Thursday, April 19, 2007

Shooting at Virginia Tech: Day Three (Wednesday's Show)

Hi everyone. We've got Anderson back tonight and he's wearing a suit. Hmm, was John King wearing a suit? I don't even remember. I guess they're trying to go for repectful, but if that's the case it would have been better if they went for respectful with their coverage, not just their clothes. Tonight I bring you a sort-of review. I'm fairly disgusted by the coverage, so I only halfway paid attention. The big news that came out today is of course the videos and pictures that Cho Seung-Hui sent to NBC. 360, BTW, shows the pictures continuously throughout the broadcast, which I find completely irresponsible. I agree with NBC's decision to release what they did, but then the news organization is suppose to be sensitive in how they use them. We're totally not seeing that here (and to be fair many other shows were way out of line too). In fact a lot of the time they run the pictures on a split screen. I can't imagine what this is doing to some of the people at Virginia Tech-not to mention it's giving Cho exactly what he wanted.

So anyway, in a Gary Tuchman piece we learn that Cho actually mailed the package in that two hour gap of his murder spree. That's pretty disturbing. Afterwards Gary says, "but you can imagine, for the parents at home who lost their children, watching this, this has to be so painful." You think? Then we're on to a Randi Kaye piece that goes more indepth on the stalker situation. We learn that two women actually contacted police over his behavior, but did not press charges. After that we're on to the requisite speculation with a couple of "experts," and Anderson becomes fixated on Cho's hat (or actually lack there of) in the pictures. In the center of what turns out to be an "expert" sandwich we have a piece from Anderson on Cho's treatment (or actually lack there of) and his hospital stay.

Moving on to a John King piece that explains that initially the police went after the wrong man, thus allowing Cho to roam free for that two hour gap. The guy that they actually went after was the first victim's boyfriend, which must have been devastating for him. I mean, his girlfriend is just murdered and then he's getting interrogated about it. For some reason John needs to be at all the places mentioned in this piece. See John at the shooting range. See John in front of the poor boyfriend's house (I'm sure he appreciates that, BTW). See John knocking on the boyfriend's door and getting ignored. Love you John, but I wouldn't answer either. Can we not leave people alone? After John's piece we have a piece from David Mattingly all about Cho's second killing spree. There's even a computer animation. Is this necessary?

At this point we're at the hour mark, so they repeat Gary's piece. Then Anderson talks with an FBI profiler and asks him the question I've been wondering: "...who is the "you" he's referring to? Is it just society as a whole? " The profiler says yes, but I'm still wondering. Not to go all Bill Frist or anything, but Cho definitely rings schizophrenic to me. We've already been told he had an imaginary girlfriend. Assuming he really did believe he had a girlfriend (and wasn't just saying bizarre things to say them), it's not a stretch to assume there might have been other "people" in his life and maybe he's talking to them in the video. Of course I'm only speculating, which I hate, but whatever. Then FBI guy (actual name: Gregg McCrary) says, "And I think it's -- the responsible thing to do is to back off on showing these videos and these pictures. You can certainly report the story and that needs to be done, but I think the danger here is that we're energizing some other killer and that we may have some other events that follow in the wake of this." Exactly. Speaking of copycats, there was a shooting near the brother's university today, but it was reported as at the university. This caused the mother to immediately think "copycat" and thus freakout. I learned this all separately and called him because he does live near the unversity. Besides being asleep at six at night (slacker!!!), he's fine. So anyway, 360, please listen to FBI guy. Because a copycat false alarm is scary enough.

Next up we've got more pieces about Cho and then a lawyer women. Gary even has a whole piece that ponders the meaning of the phrase Cho scrawled on his arm. Sigh. Then we've got Candy Crowley with a piece on the gun control debate, which started up mere hours after the shooting broke news. Classy. Hey, remember how a couple days ago I said we would be seeing talking heads shout at each other about gun control. Well, here they are! Joining us is Erich Pratt from Gun Owners of America and Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Erich goes off about how gun control is the problem and blah blah blah. Yeah, well other countries with stricter laws don't have our gun violence. Paul thinks we need to prevent people like Cho from getting guns in the first place. Then Erich implies that Cho chose the university over downtown Blacksburg because he knew people would be defenseless. What the hell? Yeah, and I guess the fact that he was a student there had nothing to do with it. Then Erich states that England has a gun ban and their crime rate is the highest in the western world. I could be wrong, but that sounds like total crap to me. Anyway, there's arguing and Anderson weakly tries to jump in, but he pretty much never had control to begin with. Probably shouldn't have on the loud people when the anchor no doubt has the mother of all jet lag.

Moving on to some new video shot by two guys visiting the campus from Sweden. Man. Welcome to the US! We're usually an okay country, I swear. After talking with them we get some headlines where we learn that other stuff actually happened in the world, such as some massive chipping away at Roe vs. Wade and Baghdad imploding. BTW, the 30 minute evening broadcast by NBC went into both of these stories longer than the two hour broadcast of 360. Just saying. After the headlines there's a piece about one of the victims who was shot in the leg and at the end of the show Anderson, as if prompted by an email (ahem), notes that one of Cho's writings that they mentioned was actually lines from "Romeo & Juliet". There were blog comments somewhere in there too and I have to wonder if 360 notices that it's the same people over and over again. I mean, I don't even read the comments the majority of the time and I'm noticing.

I'm going to hold off on grading until some normalcy takes hold, but let's just say if I was grading it wouldn't be pretty. Watching tonight I have no idea why we needed Anderson Cooper for this. John was doing fine and it will be a really big shame if they don't get to go back to Afghanistan now. I hope Anderson at least moves back to the studio soon because the campus needs to be left alone. I also really hope 360 tones down their coverage because I actually found myself watching Lou Dobbs tonight and realized I'd rather be watching that than 360. I guess we'll see what happens.

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Anonymous mizzkel said...

I can one up you - I actually was watching Glenn Beck and thought he wasn't half bad... I agree that the school needs to be left alone to heal. It looks like a lot of the media has left, now it's time for the rest of them to go too.

The crucial days for the media were Monday and Tuesday, sorry that Anderson missed it, but he did. IMO, the rest can be covered from the studio.

10:54 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Mizzkel-I draw the line at Glen Beck. They should have kicked him to the curb with Imus.

And yes, it's time for Anderson to go back to NYC.

12:46 AM  
Anonymous mizzkel said...

I know, that's what suprised me that I sat there and watched it :-) I think it was entirely opposite from all the VT nonstop coverage. I'll probably never watch it again! I draw the line at Nancy Grace!!

12:15 PM  

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