Headlines to haunt (or incense) you
"WTAF indeed: Journalists storm #SanBernardino shooters' flat after landlord pries open door," reacts Mashable's Louise Roug Bokkenheuser, linking to an actual thing that happened today (already at 2,000+ shares). Polygon's Arthur Gies elaborates, "so news organizations just compromised an active crime scene because the property owner said it was cool." John Tozzi at Bloomberg Businessweek wonders, "um, were cops/feds not in front of this place?" "Welp, I feel like I need a shower after watching journalists rummage through a dead person's stuff on live TV," confesses Storyful's Mandy Jenkins. "FBI seemed shocked when @Mashable asked if this was OK," shares Amanda Wills there. "Even if it's legal (not convinced it is), it seems seriously unethical of @MSNBC & @CNN to enter a suspect's home," reasons Andrew Huff with Gapers Block. "These journalists in the San Bernardino apartment may share our industry, but they certainly don't share our ethics," John Schreier with Daily Nonpareil would like to remind everyone.
Also, please enjoy this gobsmacking gem of a detail, which we plucked for your additional shock and outrage: "It appeared that members of the public were inside the apartment as well. One man lingered holding a large soda. A child was seen wandering throughout the home. Another opened the refrigerator and peered inside." How do you write those sentences and, between each period, avoid facepalming your head? With your desk?
Unsurprisingly, Poynter offers an answer to what journalists should have done. "Do avail yourself of a newsgathering opportunity. Don't air it on national TV without context," details Ben Mullin there.
"Imagine receiving a text like this," entreats Politico's Blake Hounshell, posting a screen grab of Julie Paez' message to her parents: "Love you guys ... Was shot." Originally printed in the Los Angeles Times, that moving detail made its way into Eli Saslow and Stephanie McCrummen's Washington Post tick-tock on how the San Bernardino shooting unfolded (2,900+ shares) under the unsettling slammer, "Where's Syed?" "Unlikely any story will more vividly capture the horror of San Bernardino than this one," harmonizes colleague Chico Harlan.
Well, maybe not, but today's top trending story instills plenty of chills, too: "Cue the madness: San Bernardino female gunman pled allegiance to #ISIS in apparent case of self-radicalization," shares Ali Winston with the Center for Investigative Reporting. "POSSIBLE CLUE AS TO MOTIVE," snarks WSJ's James Taranto. "San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik inspired by & pledged to ISIS to murder. Anyone doubt religious motives now?" demands Michael Shermer from Scientific American. "Well, this does seem to clear up some of the motivation questions" but "Not many of the 'how do you stop this?' ones," observes WaPo's Mike Madden. "Once again, a Saudi tie to an American terror attack," concludes Nick Fox at the New York Times.
In other San Bernadino-relevant subjects, the FBI officially considers the shooting "an act of terrorism" while 5,000 readers asked whether they worry over mass shootings tell the New York Times overwhelmingly "I think about it daily." Meanwhile, NYT's Mark Follman takes the Washington Post to task over its claim of 355 mass shootings so far: "While all the victims are important, conflating those many other crimes with indiscriminate slaughter in public venues obscures our understanding of this complicated and growing problem," Follman writes. And while all these takes are going on, Australia remains a singular, stark example in the gun debate. "In Australia people who want looser gun control have to argue it'll be OK because 'We are not like America'," notes The Economist's Matt Steinglass. Yikes.