There's an institutional tropism in news organizations to want lurid news and to linger over it when it happens. I'm not sure there's any conscious individual intent past the cynical awareness that "If it bleeds, it leads." And this unacknowledged, unrecognized hunger may be a far worse problem than deliberate malice could ever be.
It took about eight hours from the first shot fired until we knew the California mass-murderer's middle name and a thumbnail biography had been promulgated. Don't think the next frustrated, unhinged, attention-seeking or otherwise borderline types pondering the fame that comes from causing grievous harm to large numbers of people weren't taking note.
2 months ago