On Cable, a Need for Restraint
I’ve found a lot of the cable coverage of the Boston marathon bombings to be appropriate and restrained.
But does CNN have to always hype its lead-ins on the story?
And does CNN have to show over and over and over again the picture of those bombs going off?
And did MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell have to interview an eight-year-old little girl who went to school with Martin Richard, the little boy who died? For that matter, did O’Donnell have to talk about himself so much in this segment, telling us several times that he came from Martin Richard’s same neighborhood?
And did CNN really have to interview a parent whose child was in the intensive care unit?
Covering this incident cries out for restraint and respectfulness, two attitudes that are not always tops among journalists, who are trained to get the story first and to ask the intruding question.
Some on cable did get things right.
Rachel Maddow conducted a very informative interview with a former FBI agent about how they will try to trace the bomb wiring to the culprit.
And I really appreciated the mature tone that Anderson Cooper adopted over the last few days, and the empathy that he showed to the victims, and the admiration he expressed to all those in Boston who acted so heroically.
Erin Burnett also hit the right notes in stressing how devastating this event is to so many families that will never be the same again.
This is a story that needs no hype, just more tenderness than usual from the journalistic corps.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Obama’s Huge Betrayal."
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter
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