A sorrowful day for CBS and Chapel Hill
"Here's how life works: bravest reporter ever dies cos his driver has a heart attack on West Side Hwy. RIP, [Bub] Simon," tweets Politico's Glenn Thrush, as countless others respond to the death of CBS journalist Bob Simon in a Manhattan car crash. "Stunned that a @CBSNews correspondent who covered #Vietnam & other wars & imprisoned in Iraq, dies this way," harmonizes Voice of America's Steve Herman. "Tragic, maybe preventable death: Bob Simon of '60 Minutes' not wearing seatbelt, his driver may have had heart attack," points out Keith Bradsher with the New York Times.
"Shocked to hear about Bob Simon's death. I'm going to miss watching him on 60 Minutes. Big loss for journalism," declares CTV Calgary's Scott McLean. On CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley looked visibly shaken, faced with the undoubtedly daunting and depressing task of reporting on his colleague's sudden passing. Anderson Cooper is quoted, "I dreamed of being, and still hope to be, a quarter of the writer that Bob Simon is and has been." Now is a good time to review the previously filmed CBS tribute to Simon's career. Simon was 73. "An incredibly poignant reminder of true bravery in network news," concludes New York Magazine's Frank Rich.
We can only imagine how Brian Williams must feel, having covered wars from dangerous spots himself and yet still fighting for his own legacy as an intense debate continues at NBC over whether to fire him. Also related to yesterday's media news, the Columbia Journalism Review delves into why the media will miss Jon Stewart.
Simon's death was not the only senseless tragedy yesterday. "Here are the three victims of the Chapel Hill shooting," writes BuzzFeed's Rossalyn Warren, after three Muslim students were shot to death in an apartment near UNC Chapel Hill (two of them a newly-wed couple). "Amazing, generous people taken far too soon," reflects Dina Bass with Bloomberg News. "They embodied the best of Islam, and the best of America. A tragic loss for everyone," Karim Sadjadpour responds to the news.
The official report thus far is that the shooting seems to have been "over a parking space," but Facebook posts as well as anecdotes suggest the 46 year old man charged with their murders could be an anti-theist with a vendetta against religion. "I think the word you're looking for is terrorist," suggests The Verge's Dan Seifert. Investigators pledge to dig deeper into whether it was a hate crime as the killings stir alarm among Muslims. "As an atheist, I cannot condemn hard enough the way that 'atheism' is used as a cover for anti-Muslim bigotry," announces Slate's Amanda Marcotte.
One of the victim's close friends poignantly writes for Fusion, "My best friend was killed and I don't know why." After reading, journalist Jillian York scoffs, "Hicks had approached victims with a weapon before, but sure it’s about a parking dispute."