Friday, December 4, 2015

Today in the death of journalism...

Yeah, nothing. This is really a
one-way form of communication. 
Hey, you know when an apology is not an apology? Well, do you? Yeah, I can't hear you, this is a blog, not like Skype or something. You could leave a comment, but by then it's too late so I'll just go ahead and tell you: An apology isn't an apology when you stick in a reminder about how awesome it is that you were first to do the thing you're now expressing remorse over. It just rings a little insincere, you know? What the hell are you talking about? You probably just said aloud. Well, I thought I'd never pretend you'd ask.

Above: the scene earlier today.
I'm talking about the media three ring that happened at the apartment of two of the suspects who carried out the attack in San Bernardino on Wednesday. Doyle Miller, the super-classy landlord of the townhouse in which Syed Farook and Tashfin Malik lived, decided to fling open the doors and let news crews storm the place like orcs into Helm's Deep but with body mics and less decorum. They pushed, they shoved, they went through drawers and cabinets. It was a shit show.

Pictured: A flannel shirt, because
journalism is alive in America.
The FBI had actually finished going over the place for evidence and turned it back over to Miller, so it's not like there would have been anything to find, but that didn't stop everyone from rifling through the deceased suspect's worldly possessions. You'd think someone, anyone would have stopped and said something like 'holy shit what's wrong with us?' but nope. Instead they just kept photographing anything they thought might be possibly be newsworthy. Spoiler alert: nothing they showed was at all newsworthy.

So what did they broadcast? Some cans of baby food, photographs of family members who had nothing to do with the assault and Farook's mother's driver's license, so that's out there now. Oh, and they also went around counting prayer mats and Kerry Sanders thinks he might have spotted a Koran. They weren't implying a connection between Islam and terrorism or anything, they just thought we'd be interested to know how many prayer rugs the family had lying around.
Pictured: MSNBC's Kerry Sanders looking for clues
in the baby's room. Not pictured: journalistic integrity.
"What? Everyone else was doing it."
-MSNBC's follow-up statement
Bunch of jerks right? Well, yeah, but MSNBC did later apologize saying:

"Although MSNBC was not the first crew to enter the home, we did have the first shots from inside. We regret that that we briefly showed images of photographs and identification cards that should not have been aired without review."

-MSNBC's heartfelt apology for-
wait, that's not really a...damnit!  

Hey, you don't suppose everyone in the
world knows how to do those things, do you?
Let's take the non-pology apart: They weren't the "first crew to enter the home" so really if you're looking for a news outlet to blame for this appalling lapse of human decency, Inside Edition are your guys. Also, while they weren't the first in, they were the first to send out footage meaning that MSNBC has their shit together. And lastly, they regret briefly showing the photos and ID cards. Briefly. I mean, they probably didn't endanger anyone in those photos so long as nobody watching knows how to replay, freeze and enlarge those images. 

I suppose the best part of this whole things has to be the different news outlets all calling each other out on how tasteless and ghoulish it was to broadcast live from the suspects apartment while at the same time replaying the footage. Like, can they not hear themselves?
"As journalists, we lack the genes responsible for restraint and self-examination.
It's a serious medical condition and-hey! Is that a Lonely Planet guide to Mecca?"

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