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Analysis: Media coverage of Texas school massacre invokes Sandy Hook – CNN

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New York (CNN Business)A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

“Mass shootings have become America’s copy and paste tragedy,” Politico’s Tyler Weyant wrote Tuesday evening. “We change the place, the town, the number of dead and injured. But the constant is lives lost, people who cannot be brought back, and the nation is left in a numb daze.”
At least, until, it happens again. In this case, it only took 10 days from the last slaughter for another spasm of senseless violence and terror to force the nation to go through the motions once again.
It’s all so predictable and formulaic at this point. First come the initial reports of a shooting, then details about fatalities and injuries, then details about the shooter and motive, and finally the tributes to the dead. All the while, there are widespread calls for the US to take some — any — action to stop these regular massacres from occurring while Fox personalities and GOP leaders insist the shooting shouldn’t be “politicized.”
“We perform this same skit every time,” pediatrician and Democratic congressional candidate Dr. Annie Andrews tweeted. “You say your thing. I say my thing. A few more people join the movement. It’s not working.”
I realize that, at this point, even pointing out the fact that we are stuck in this endless loop is cliche. But I can’t think of anything new or unique to say — and I honestly haven’t seen a single original point made in the past few hours. Years and years of these horrific acts have collectively drained us of any groundbreaking observations. Everything is just recycled. Recycled from the last shooting and the shooting before that.
“Make no mistake about it, nothing is done, and nothing is ever done,” Don Lemon said on CNN Tuesday night. “And we’re going to be back here. Grieving again, over another town.”
“This,” Lemon added, “is where we are right now.”

Stelter’s counterpoint

BRIAN STELTER WRITES:
I wish people would stop saying “there are no words.” There are so many words. Inhuman. Grotesque. Shameful.
I worry that rote news coverage and cliche reactions may unintentionally sanitize this sickening violence.
I wonder if words can slice through the cliches. Words like “destroy.” Heavy weaponry doesn’t just wound victims. These weapons destroy bodies. Local reporters on the scene say that family members are being asked to provide DNA samples to help identify the kids. “The agonized screams of family members are audible from the parking lot,” Niki Griswold of the Austin American-Statesman reported.
I want everyone to know that reality. I want answers to questions that are painful even to ask. What were the victims at Robb Elementary doing in the final peaceful minutes of their lives? What were they thinking when they heard loud noises down the hall? Did they recognize the sounds as gunshots? Did they fear for their lives? Did they cry out for their moms? For their dads? What did they feel in those final seconds?
There are plenty of words. We just have to use them.

“It’s almost like an instant replay of Sandy Hook”

“While watching the death toll rise” in Uvalde, “one father of a Sandy Hook victim felt defeated,” NYT reporter Elizabeth Williamson wrote Tuesday night. She spoke with Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse Lewis, 6, was killed in 2012, and who said he “felt compelled” to watch the news coverage. “It’s almost like an instant replay of Sandy Hook,” he told Williamson. “That replay, he predicted, would include a revived debate over gun legislation…”

Further reading

— Author James Fallows wrote a new blog post about “the empty rituals of a gun massacre,” drawing on his previous posts throughout the years.
— NBC’s Brandy Zadrozny: “I know I’m a reporter and so I’m not supposed to express opinions when babies are mass murdered … but what do we do? Who’s doing the work? How do we stop this?”
— Politico’s Sam Stein: “Sorry, but this tragedy isn’t ‘unimaginable.’ We saw ten people killed at a grocery store last week! We saw an elementary school shot up with 20 kids dead less than ten years ago. It’s very much imaginable now…”
— PBS’s Lisa Desjardins described texting with members of Congress, struggling “to hold back the feeling that I want to vomit, sob or wake up from this news. Their texts back showing similar feelings, reactions.”
A viral speech: Sen. Chris Murphy’s passionate address on the Senate floor “was viewed hundreds of thousands of times on social media,” per the NYT “What are we doing?” he asked his colleagues. “Why are you here if not to solve a problem as existential as this?”
— Novelist Min Jin Lee: “Our bodies are not designed to absorb and process this much violence, loss, and grief.”
— Liberal podcaster Jon Favreau: “I didn’t think it was possible to feel more sickened or enraged by school shootings, and then I became a parent. What an unimaginable nightmare.”
— Conservative commentator Alyssa Farah Griffin: “It’s a horrible, uniquely American epidemic. What’s the answer? Is there anything both sides can come together around? It’s not enough to just explain why each horrendous case is slightly different & therefore action isn’t justified.”

Local coverage from San Antonio

BRIAN STELTER WRITES:
The San Antonio Express-News, the daily newspaper closest to Uvalde, led with the fact that this is “one of the deadliest school shootings in modern U.S. history.” The story is full of local details: “It was also an award day at Robb Elementary,” since the end of the school year was coming up.
The paper also noted that this is “the second mass shooting in less than five years in the San Antonio area. In November 2017, a gunman armed with an assault-style rifle killed 26 parishioners at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, about 35 miles southeast of San Antonio…”

On board Air Force One

President Biden learned of the school shooting while flying back from Asia aboard Air Force One. Pool reporters on the plane were without WiFi and unaware of the news until press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre came back to the press cabin and said Biden would be speaking at the WH upon landing. Reporters turned on the in-flight TVs to see CNN’s live coverage. Per CNN’s MJ Lee, “a decision was made to make a ‘wire call’ — a rare phone call using the phone in the press cabin to alert the wires and news organizations of breaking news. While much of the news we were being told in the air had already been shared on the ground, reporters agreed — given the gravity of the news — upon a joint statement that would be read and disseminated to wires and news networks.”
All the major networks showed Biden’s prime time address live. He asked: “Where in God’s name is our backbone?”

Right-wing media immediately calls for more guns

The conversation in right-wing media immediately turned to calling for armed guards to protect schools. In other words, more guns. Pundits and personalities on Fox repeatedly suggested that funding allocated to schools to protect against Covid should be spent on security personnel. Meanwhile, personalities attacked those who called for gun control measures. After Biden did so in his address to the nation, Tucker Carlson attacked him in the most vicious terms. “The President of the United States, frail, confused, bitterly partisan, desecrating the memory of recently murdered children with tired talking points of the Democratic Party,” Carlson said, “dividing the country in a moment of deep pain…”

TV notes and quotes

— CNN will remain live all night and through the morning, with some anchors on the scene in Texas…
— Fox News preempted the 11pm comedy show “Gutfeld” for additional live coverage of the massacre…
— Savannah Guthrie will co-anchor Wednesday’s “Today” from Uvalde. Other NBC and MSNBC anchors en route to Texas include Lester Holt, Tom Llamas, José Díaz-Balart, and Ali Velshi…
— Tony Dokoupil will co-anchor “CBS Mornings” from Uvalde…
— The season finale of “FBI” was pulled by CBS “given that it involves the team preventing a school shooting,” Deadline reports
— Speaking of CBS, James Corden said on Tuesday’s “Late Late Show” that “this doesn’t reflect the country that I think America is. The America I’ve always admired…”

“It only gets worse”

WaPo reporter John Woodrow Cox, author of “Children Under Fire,” said he has been writing “almost exclusively about this subject — children who are shot to death or who survive and are forever broken — for more than five years.” He said “this feeling of horror, of helplessness, of nausea, of whatever the hell it is — it only gets worse after each day like this day.”
He pointed out on Twitter that “more than 300,000 students in K-12 schools have experienced gun violence on their campuses since Columbine.” That’s the sort of perspective that needs to be infused into the news coverage this week…

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Parenting tips on using social media – Global News

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Global News Morning Toronto

Most parents would say unequivocally that they’d like to reduce their child’s screen time, but not all time spent tapping away on a tablet is created equal. For more information on how you can make sure your kids are getting something out of their screen time and responsibly navigating the internet, Amber Mac joins Mike Arsenault.

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Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes meet media ahead of NHL Draft – CTV News Montreal

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Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes and special advisor to hockey operations Vincent Lecavalier are speaking to media Monday afternoon ahead of Thursday’s draft — the first time the Habs will pick first since 1980.  

The big question on everyone’s mind: who will join Guy Lafleur, Rejean Houle, Garry Monahan, Michel Plasse and Doug Wickenheiser as a first overall pick of the Montreal Canadiens?

The near-consensus number-one pick in 2022 is Burlington, Ontario-native Shane Wright, a 6’1″, 200-pound, right-handed centreman who spend his playing days in the OHL for the Kingston Frontenacs. He’s 18.

SB Nation Eye on the Prize (EOTP) draft rankings have the following players in the next three spots:

  • Logan Cooley, centre (5’10”, 174 pounds)
  • Juraj Slafkovsky, left wing (6’4″, 225 pounds)
  • David Jiricek, right defence (6’3″, 190 pounds)

Hughes and his team have kept their cards very close to their chest regarding who they will pick at number one, let alone at number 26 or the two second-round picks, and three in the third round.

Ottawa Sun reporter Bruce Garrioch tweeted that Habs management have called every team with a top-10 pick and may want a second young talent.

“They want to make a splash with a second pick in that area,” said Garrioch.

Since 2001, the Habs have picked in the top 10 spots.

Mike Domisarek (7, 2001), Carey Price (5, 2005), Alex Galchenyuk (3, 2012), Mikhail Sergachev (9, 2016), and Jesperi Kotkaniemi (3, 2018).

Habs fans may have just experienced a slight pain in the heart region after reading those last two names.

Coming off a last-place, forget-as-soon-as-possible season of misery, it is safe to say the Habs could use help in just about every position, and two young stars would give fans something to salivate (obsess) over.

Draft aside, the ongoing “will he ever play again” saga surrounding star goalie Carey Price continues, and it would come as little surprise if the Habs moved a veteran or two like Jeff Petry or Christian Dvorak (maybe Josh Anderson?).

The draft starts Thursday in Montreal. 

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Media Moguls Return to Sun Valley Under Darkening Financial Skies – Vanity Fair

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As fleece-clad billionaires—and newcomers like Bari Weiss—flock to Idaho this week, Sun Valley fixtures are buzzing about Netflix’s future, an Elon-led Twitter, and Disney’s power structure. But will plunging stocks and a cooling M&A market drive down the dealmaking? “There’s a cloud hanging over,” says Ken Auletta.

July 4, 2022

Image may contain Elon Musk Human Person Clothing Apparel Pants and Wood

Elon Musk speaks to the media as he arrives for the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Tuesday, July 7, 2015.  By David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images.

This time last year, as the illustrious guests of Allen & Company’s annual mogul bonanza were pulling up to the entrance of the storied Sun Valley Resort in the mountains of central Idaho, David Zaslav stepped out of his chauffeured SUV and gave an interview about big-media’s robust appetite for M&A. Zaslav had just pulled off a deal for the history books: the creation of Warner Bros. Discovery, of which he is now CEO. “There was a line wherever he was,” Oprah Winfrey told me at the time, relaying a scene report from Gayle King.

As this year’s so-called summer camp for billionaires kicks off Tuesday, Zaslav will hardly want for company while sipping cocktails in the Duchin Lounge. But other attendant honchos will surely elicit a greater deal of scrutiny and interest. For starters, there’s Elon Musk, who is expected to attend for the first time in several years, as his rollercoaster Twitter takeover inches toward some sort of spectacular conclusion. The Tesla boss isn’t just one of the most talked about and controversial people in the business world—he’s become one of the most talked about and controversial figures in the entire world, and his likely ownership of Twitter is seen as having major implications for free speech and democracy and the ability of platforms to rein in disinformation in a highly polarized society. “I definitely think Elon will grab a lot of attention,” one Sun Valley fixture told me. “No question.”

Someone else who has attended the conference over the years alternatively posited, “Everybody will be watching for the body language between Chapek and Iger, the Game of Thrones dynamic between the current emperor and the past emperor, and how that will shake out.” This source was referring, obviously, to the two Bobs—Bob Iger, the legendary former CEO of Disney, and Bob Chapek, the embattled current Disney boss—whose well-documented falling-out has been grist for the Hollywood gossip mill. Chapek, of course, will arrive in Idaho with a new three-year contract, putting to bed speculation that, following a series of highly publicized stumbles, his Disney stewardship may not be long for this world. (As another conference-goer joked, “When everyone ran out of stuff to talk about in the media business, they started gossiping about Chapek.”)

Who else? There’ll surely be eyes on Sheryl Sandberg, who recently resigned from Meta/Facebook after 14 years with the company. Or Brian Roberts and Shari Redstone, both seen as needing to enlarge their respective corporate fiefdoms, Comcast and ViacomCBS. Conspicuously absent from this year’s guest list is Jeff Bezos, who usually doesn’t miss the thing. It could be that he’s trying to create a bit of breathing room for Amazon’s new CEO, Andrew Jassy. Or as a couple of my sources suggested, he might just be galavanting around Europe on his mega-yacht. (Wouldn’t you be?) As for the Murdochs, I was able to confirm that James, Lachlan, and Rupert will all be in attendance. And among the requisite celebrity-type journalists prowling the resort, keep an eye out for Substack star Bari Weiss. “I’m going! And I’m excited!” she texted me on Friday. “But I do not have the requisite vest. Nellie and I”—as in Nellie Bowles, her wife—“are researching high-end athleisure at this very moment.”

Then there’s the Netflix of it all. For a long time, the O.G. streaming service was king of the jungle, the pinnacle to which all others aspired as they began to recalibrate their businesses for the unbundled, multiplatform future. Now, those others are catching up, which means Netflix bosses Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos find themselves fighting to hold on to the throne. One of the biggest stories in media this past spring was the company’s stunning subscriber loss, its first in 10 years, with further bleeding projected in the second quarter. That story will be hanging in the air as attendees amble along the resort grounds in their signature fleece vests. “To see how Reed and Ted engage with people will be interesting for sure,” one source said. “It’s a big sea change for them in their business. How are they thinking about it?” Another wondered whether Netflix might begin to look like an acquisition candidate, noting the steep plunge in the company’s market capitalization and value: “They still have something most people don’t have, which is 220 million subscribers and a great technology platform.”

There were a few other themes that came across in conversations with various big shots I spoke with. One was the potential for further M&A. Merger fervor has cooled since the gold rush of the prior few years, and the biggest players have shored up their power. But further consolidation is surely in store. Also, one source noted there’s a “recognition” that the biggest media companies in the world—Netflix, Disney, and Warner Bros. Discovery—don’t have controlling shareholders who own the lion’s share of outstanding stock. Will they be able to stay that way, or is it only a matter of time? Someone else suggested a sudden popularity for companies with big balance sheets. Roberts, for instance, never attracted a lot of attention, but maybe now, with Comcast’s nearly $9 billion in cash on hand, he just might.

My conversations also veered toward the larger picture, the backdrop to all the freewheeling panel discussions and furtive confabs. Last year’s festivities came with a certain buoyant optimism. Business leaders were emerging from the monotony of remote work and Zoom meetings, ready to let loose and breathe the same indoor air, the ink on their vaccine cards still fresh, the world getting back to normal. One year later, the world is positively on fire. Aside from the never-ending COVID spiral, the sociopolitical convulsions, and the unsettling global turmoil, fortunes have reversed; the stock market’s down, inflation’s up, and recession fears loom large. As one of my sources mused, “Everybody was walking around there the last few years with their chests strutted out. Now everybody’s stock has declined and the actual models are being questioned. You could ask the question, Will humility have set in to the environs of a place heretofore attended by nothing short of unbridled self-confidence? What will be the level of reflection in the private conversations and side lunches and all that?”

For some additional perspective, I called Ken Auletta, who’s been to Sun Valley a number of times since the mid-’90s, including in 1999, when he became the first—and as far as he knows still only—reporter to be granted full on-the-record access to the über-exclusive and highly secretive affair. (He has otherwise attended as a guest alongside fellow star-studded journalists—the Gayle Kings and Andrew Ross Sorkins and Anderson Coopers of the world.) “There are all these questions,” Auletta told me, “where you see Democrats and Republicans in greater agreement on reining in big companies. You’ve got questions about privacy. About Apple, and whether its insistence that [publishers] pay them 30% to be on their platform is a fair amount of money, or blackmail. Questions about whether you break up parts of Alphabet, meaning Google, or parts of Meta, meaning Facebook. Then you’ve got questions about free speech, where you’ve got conservatives, sometimes joined by liberals, arguing that Facebook and Twitter have killed freedom of speech, and then on the other hand, those on the left claiming that allowing people with false information to get on Twitter and Facebook is basically warping democracy. So if you think about the power of some of these issues out there, that would be something I think would resonate with the people who go to Sun Valley.” The upshot? “I think there’s a cloud hanging over the heads of all the people attending.”

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