Featured Image taken from lalunablanca on Flickr.
Initially I was going to post these videos to Facebook with my comments, but I decided to write a blog post instead.
What can be said about this tragedy that hasn’t already been said? When I first heard the news of what happened, they were only reporting the gunman’s death. I went to lunch and when I came back, they were reporting the deaths of the children and staff. I was glued to live streams and real time updates, unable to detach from the horror of the situation.
Nothing I can say will ever do justice to what happened. Instead, I want to reflect on the nature of news reporting and what it’s become. Mainstream media has become like paparazzi in their fervent need to be the first to break a story, any aspect of a story. The first to get a picture of children fleeing for the lives, the first to ask a parent how they’re feeling as they desperately search for their child, the first to get a shot of the SWAT team as they prepare to storm the school.
And you know what? People like me create a demand for that kind of reporting. I clung to every bit of information I could get as it came out, whether it was speculated or verified. I watched the details shift this way and that as the media raced each other to piece together exactly what was happening and who was involved.
I cringed when reporters tried interviewing children and their parents as they reunited and left the scene. It seemed disgusting to me that someone could shove a microphone and camera in a child’s face right after they’ve gone through a trauma. Yet there I was, watching it.
What’s my responsibility as a viewer? Should I refuse to watch live reporting of such events? Don’t give the news stations the channel view, the page view, whatever the case may be.
What do you think?
How can this happen? Did the adoption agency’s efforts to reach the child’s father end after sending a letter to the incorrect address that the mother provided for him? Does the father have any recourse against the child’s mother for denying him his parental rights to take custody of his daughter?
I can’t imagine how difficult it is for the child’s adoptive family to have to give her up after raising her for two years. They did everything right, the adoption was supposedly legal. But I think the father has a fundamental right to take custody of his child.
I don’t know why his wife kept her pregnancy a secret from him or why she chose to give the child up for adoption. But I believe that when she chose to carry the child to term, the child and the father deserved certain rights. The father should have the right to accept or refuse custody of his child.
Again, how does this happen? It really disturbs me that one of the mothers told a nurse that she didn’t think the child she was given was hers, but the nurse told her she was just sleep deprived. How can one act so heedless in such an important position? Thankfully the mix-up was realized before either family went home.