One week after the shootings in Tucson, I think the media has finally hit rock bottom with its coverage. CNN.com and other media outlets are now having a field day reporting that Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged gunman, posed in a red g-string holding a semi-automatic weapon in front of his crotch or groin (word choice depending on which story you read). The idea that there’s even a word choice here makes my stomach hurt.
I understand that people want answers. I also understand that we are dealing with someone with severe mental issues. Maybe the media outlets could spare us the details on some of this stuff. Loughner in a g-string toting a semi-automatic weapon is not something that we really need to know about. The media has established his mental illness repeatedly; these “new details” are just adding to what we already know. If Loughner had not shot and killed six people, this image wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow for many people. In fact, I’m willing to bet that there a number of images just like it, and worse, up on countless Facebook pages, and those images are accompanied by thumbs up signs for “like this” and many macho comments.
Let’s allow the detectives to uncover the evidence and keep details like this for the court proceedings. Loughner’s family has, is, and will continue to suffer. I can’t imagine that details like this make it any easier for them. Some compassion here would be helpful. For all of us. Seems like the media is already forgetting the kinds of requests that President Obama made on Wednesday evening.