Today, some asshat decided to get all shooty down there in Arizona and shoot a bunch of people, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Federal Judge John Moll and a 9-year old child. The suspect, a one 22-year old Jared Lee Loughner, is now in custody. I have already heard my share of comments to the effect of "We don't yet know what motivated the shooter". I really don't like it when statements like that are thrown into the mix of reporting for various reasons. One, I'm not really sure, at the point, that it matters what may have "motivated" someone to go to a public event and start shooting people. And two, the most obvious and likely answer to the question of "Why?" is that there is obviously some sort of mental illness afoot. You can't tell me that, whether previously identified or not, whether previously treated or not, that someone who goes to a public event and shoots a bunch of people doesn't have just a touch of mental illness going on. And even if you think that this might be the exception to the rule (which, by the way, would make you such a softhead that I think that you should stop reading this right now and go buy yourself and industrial strength helmet for your soft, soft dome), what say you check out Shooty McShooterson's YouTube page and get back to me with your assessment of his mental stability.
Naturally, the media is practically soiling themselves over all of this news that they suddenly have to cover. It's just unfortunate that they suck so badly at it. And while they don't see the consequences of their suckage at non-critical moments in news coverage, there are quite obvious consequences to their suckage at critical moments in breaking news coverage. I am specifically calling out CNN, Reuters and NPR. I am vaguely calling out all of the others who participated in the same irresponsible acts that CNN, Reuters and NPR did. All of these news stations, with their rush to be the "first" to report, had reported that Rep. Giffords had died. She, in fact, has not died. She, in fact, was shot in the head (yes, I realize that isn't good, but if she's still alive, you can't say that she's dead) and made it through surgery and is in critical condition. That's not dead. (Her neurosurgeon said that he is "optimistic" that she will recover. I don't know what that means, but I do know that it means she still isn't dead.)
What is wrong with you, CNN, Reuters, NPR and others?! You are supposed to be news outlets. You're supposed to report the news, you jackwagons. What does that say about you when you report utter crap that just isn't true? It says that you suck at your job and, while I don't often call for people to lose their jobs, whoever it was that gave the go-ahead to say that someone was dead when she wasn't should lose their job, as they are obviously completely incompetent and incapable of performing at the level needed when the pressure is on. Do you know how many people, including those who know Rep. Giffords, could have been watching any of your crap news sources and heard that she had died? Of course you do! That's why you reported it! Can you imagine the grief that was caused by your irresponsible actions, probably due to wanting to get the story out there first? Of course you don't! That's why you reported it! At the risk of sounding like someone's grandmother, you really should be ashamed of yourselves.
You know what all of this means, don't you? I fear it means that the days of public access to those who represent the people who should be able to have access them are gone. Because if there are two things that the government does well, they are nothing and overreact. I fear the end of those town hall meetings that had gathered so much steam six months ago. I fear the end of any sort of elected official ever poking their head out in public again. (I also fear an overabundance of crappy news reporting on this story over the next few days, but that's a little off the point I was trying to make here.) Way to go, assclown.
In conclusion, The New York Post (while getting their facts straight in not incorrectly reporting that anyone had died, still can't manage to get the name of Gabrielle Giffords father correct, even though they have the SAME last name. Seriously, who edits stuff anymore? Anyone? How can you get his name WRONG? It's the freaking SAME!) reported that "The congresswoman’s father Spencer Gifford, 75, was rushing to the hospital when asked if his 40-year-old daughter had any enemies. "Yeah," he told The Post. "The whole Tea Party." OK, now I'm going to give the man a pass on that comment, as his daughter had just been shot in the head. I have nothing bad to say about that man and his statement at all. But I would like to point out that the Tea Party doesn't want to shoot Congresswomen in the head. The Tea Party does not want to shoot and kill Federal judges, nor does the Tea Party want to shoot and kill small children. The Tea Party merely wants less spending and lower taxes. See? No shooting involved at all in that statement. This isn't a Tea Party thing. This is a whack-a-do thing. Please remember that. Please encourage others to remember that. One crazy person does not necessarily define an entire organization. (Oh, and President Barry isn't a Muslim, either. I figured I'd just throw that one in there again. As long I'm encouraging people to speak the truth, it can't hurt to remind folks of that just one more time.)
I pray for all of the victims and all of their families to find the strength and the courage to make it through this. (See? I don't have to mock everything.)