You can get a sense of what it feels like to be the victim of such media ignorance from some of Ryan Lanza’s posts on his Facebook page once he was informed by friends on social media that he had been identified as a mass murderer worldwide.
Here are some screenshots of his account posted by friends:
“IT WASN’T ME I WAS AT WORK IT WASN’T ME” Ryan Lanza wrote.
“I’m on the bus home now it wasn’t me.”
[Expletive] you CNN it wasn’t me.”
“Everyone shut the [expletive] up it wasn’t me.”
A friend posted: “How the [expletive] do they jump to such conclusions with zero evidence?”
Friday was filled with other media malfeasance after the first hours of the attack.
MSNBC’s Alex Wagner, for example, went straight to hot-button, partisan opinion-slinging instead of reporting. Here’s part of what she said on-air before anyone had any real facts nailed down:
It is, hopefully, we say this every single time we cover one of these things, a line in the sand. There has got to be some kind of measurable change, some kind of reaction. One would hope that there will be some political capital to reform the way in which we handle gun and gun violence in this country.
That’s what MSNBC does: opinionates about matters like “political capital” on the air. What else would you expect of someone like Wagner on such a channel? Responsible journalism? Fact checking. Some original reporting to try and independently confirm what law officials were saying?
Forget it. we don’t do that anymore at channels like MSNBC. You have to hire a staff of real reporters for that, and it is not as cost effective as hiring a few showboat hosts who say outrageously partisan stuff on-air.