The media vultures arrive after the dead have been carted away.

February 8, 2008 | By | 7 Replies More

There was a tragedy in Kirkwood Missouri last night.  A madman opened fire on a City Council meeting in Kirkwood Missouri, killing five people. That was last night. 

I was riding my bike through Kirkwood today, and I happened to travel past the Kirkwood City Hall.  It was about 1:00 pm and the media were out there, forcused on the City Hall as though there were hostages being held in the City Hall.  As if they were photographing something interesting.

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But there was nothing happening at City Hall, at least nothing visible.  The crime was quickly committed last night and the criminal was shot at the scene.  But this striking scene of the media doing it’s thing gives us an idea of what it is to report “news” these days.   There were dozens of cameras, lots of hustle and bustle and at least three news babes –they were quite busy primping before going on the air (you need to have your hair perfectly in place to tell the complicated story of a deranged man shooting 5 people the day before). 

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They were taking pictures of the Kirkwood City Hall–using it as a backdrop for the sensational stories they were writing. 

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Here’s a headline for them:  Kirkwood City Hall still exists!    

Too bad the meda doesn’t spend 10% of this effort on the hundreds of lies told by the Bush Administration and the thousands of resulting deaths in Iraq.

Apparently, the media prefer simple stories like this one:  a crazy man kills some people in front of a bunch of witnesses.  Yep, that’s an easy story.  Bring in dozens of cameras and lots of reporters so we can get to the bottom of this.

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Category: Communication, Media

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (7)

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  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    I was very annoyed last night when one of the local stations pre-empted the last half of a prime time drama to show us long distance shots of the exterior of where the crime had occurred an hour before, and to speculate about what might have happened, who might have been involved, and to repeat the AP wire information as it became available. KMOV-CBS was this culprit.

    It was less bothersome to me that another local station pre-empted a longer segment of its network game show schedule to give slightly earlier continuous coverage with slightly less distanced information. KSDK-NBC had this longer live coverage of "we don't know, but here we are".

    It is not as if there was an ongoing menace or situation.

    It alway irritates me the way these stations will interrupt a few minutes of a show to let us know that the storms at the fringes of the viewing area that they have been periodically yammering on about, have moved away. That information is usually continuously presented with a graphic taking up a tenth of the screen plus a banner running along the bottom, anyway.

    How is the public better served by these long and invasive interruptions than by the sort of short plugs they usually use to urge us to tune in at 9 or 10, as they do when the shooting involves residents in lower rent parts of our metropolitan area?

    Maybe I should stop watching TV, again.

  2. Ben says:

    Maybe they were just there to get a gander at you?

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Ben, you're onto something. "We interrupt this show for a breaking report: a man is riding his bicycle down the street! More tonight at 10"

  4. Ben says:

    Make sure you get a shot of the flag too…

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    Ooops. I cut it off. I'm waiting for that knock on the door from Homeland Security.

  6. Edgar Montrose says:

    Did anyone try to link the shootings to Al Qaeda?

    On a serious note, my sympathies to the victims and their loved ones. And I can somewhat understand the local news emphasis on an event so close to home. Though I now live half a continent away from St. Louis, this story hits me just a little harder than most because I grew up there.

  7. Erich Vieth says:

    Here are the follow-up stories regarding the shooting. Here's the local version "Kirkwood starts long road to recovery"  and here's the national version

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