The Media coverage and reaction to the San Bernardino shootings was typical, meaning typically shameful. We have a tie for worst place in TV coverage is between Bill O′Reilly of Fox News and Brian Ross of ABC News. I′ll start with Ross, first. His initial reaction to the shootings was to try to blame it on the Tea Party. REALLY??? I doubt if it took me more than two seconds to suspect that the suspects were jihadi types. Some things never change and ABC News surely hasn′t. Then we have Mr. Bill ′Lord Haw-Haw′ O′Reilly, who claimed on Thursday that his show, ″The O′Reilly Factor″, was the ″first news organization″ to air the male shooter′s name. WRONG!!! Michael Savage, host of the hit radio program, ″The Savage Nation″, was the first to ″air″ the name publicly. Some may argue the point that Savage is not ′officially′ a ′news organization′, but is ″The Factor″ one?
On Friday′s broadcast, Dr. Savage demanded an apology from O′Reilly and Fox News′ Roger Ailes, as well as for Lord Haw-Haw to be fired or suspended. Savage contends that what O′Reilly did was no better than the lies which Brian Williams told which got him into trouble. I actually called ″The Savage Nation″ to voice my support for the good doctor, and got on the queue. But, unfortunately, he only took one caller during the first two hours and I got dumped since I was listening on WJR, the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, and they do not carry Savage′s 3rd hour. I′m guessing its some sort of contractual thing preventing callers from being heard from such markets.
I had listened to Savage Wednesday afternoon and heard him announce the schmuck′s name. Before he did so, the producers played the official, Savage Nation ′breaking news′ theme music. Savage not only gave the name but the source, which was some Twitter news alert thingy. I also watched ″The O′Reilly Factor″ Wednesday evening and saw when the name was mentioned there. However, it was neither O′Reilly, nor any of the usual paid commentators or Fox News reporters who mentioned the shooter′s name. Instead, it was from some obscure guest, some guy I′ve never seen before who is probably in the ′Expert Book′ news programs use to contact people who know something about stuff. This guy was some expert on intelligence or terrorism.
What really got my goat was O′Reilly′s reaction to his guest, who was one of two guests being interviewed at during the segment. As soon as the guy said the name, Big Bill got his feathers all in a rustle and started making excuses, like ′there is a name floating around on the Internet but its not confirmed, blah-blah-blah′. Even more funny was the camera on the guy who was at a remote studio, probably in Washington DC, was turned off, so we only saw Bill and the other guest for most of the rest of the segment. The name-dropper became a non-person at Fox News! Lord Haw-Haw does it again!
So for O′Reilly to try to claim some type of credit for a ′scoop′ is absolutely ridiculous! He didn′t say it. None of his staff said it. None of the regular Fox News reporters or contributors said it. The guy who did say it got shut out by O′Reilly′s producers. Whoever was listening to their police band radio and posted the name on Twitter should get first credit and Michael Savage second for having the courage to say the name on the air to his national and world-wide Internet audience.
We also have a tie for the dumbest ′news′ coverage of the San Bernardino shooting. This is between Sean Hannity of Fox News and the entire scrum of reporters who trampled about the crime scene at the Redlands, California home of the shooters. On Wednesday night, Hannity was giving a play-by-play of the raid at the Redlands home, describing the actions of the ″robotic robot″. I almost fell out of my chair at that one! I wonder when Meathead Sean will do a story about a computing computer? Or a distilling distiller? Wallbanger may as well do a story about the dog that didn′t bark, as that makes for far more mystery. As for the reporter scrum, that was a new low in news media. Reminded me of the scene from ″Airplane″ when the reporters start grabbing pictures of aircraft off the walls after they interviewed Lloyd Bridges. ″C′mon guys, lets get some pictures!″
What do you think about the news coverage of the San Bernardino shootings? Was any of it ′fair and balanced′? Did anybody do a good job of covering the tragedy? How well did the Media prepare the nation for the potential of more terrorist attacks? I have to give the Media a D-minus on this one.