MSNBC, CNN Dig Through San Bernardino Shooters’ Home
One of the difficulties of running a media site like What’s Trending is figuring out how to handle tragic news like the San Bernardino shooting. When most of what we cover is funny internet trends, is it our place to try to deal with things like mass shootings, or should we step aside and let seasoned reporters handle it?
That internal debate gets a lot more difficult when organizations like MSNBC and CNN are trending because they’re ransacking a potential crime scene on live TV.
Social media is blowing up today because journalists from MSNBC, CNN and other outlets stormed the San Bernardino shooters’ apartment after the landlord pried open the door.
The result was disturbing. On live national television, reporters sifted through the remains of the lives of Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. They picked over children’s toys. They held up photos, speculating about whether the woman depicted in one might be Malik. They displayed Social Security cards and driver’s licenses with readily identifiable information—and not just for the deceased suspects. […]
As if the journalistic irresponsibility of baselessly speculating while holding up images of potentially innocent people on TV wasn’t bad enough, it beggars belief the scene wasn’t taped off and guarded. Reporters were given free rein to walk through an apartment that is an important part of the investigation, and they were allowed to handle what one would expect to be evidence. Police didn’t appear to know the media tour was going on.
The Washington Free Beacon posted this video clip of an MSNBC reporter digging through a child’s bedroom – flipping through a calendar, shuffling through a desk and digging through a trash can – while anchor Andrea Mitchell tried to direct things from the studio.
“There is something so strange about all of this,” said Mitchell at one point, sounding kind of dazed. “Obviously this is all unfolding live, we had no expectation that they were going to open up the house at this moment…”
She later said that the landlord allowed the press tour and the FBI had already removed all useful evidence beforehand.
Everybody from viewers to other reporters and media critics are shocked at what’s going on.