No. It is mostly sensationalism for a buck. – Variety subscriber

On Thursday April 19, Alberto Gonzales came before a senate hearing investigating alleged misconduct regarding his constitutional powers as Attorney General whose outcome has far reaching implications not just for the Justice Department and the Bush administration but for the health of our democracy’s use of governmental balance of powers as a whole. As we know, the entire nation’s eye was still on Cho Seueng-Hui and the tragic victims at Virginia Tech. It goes without saying that the massacre in Virginia is a tragedy particularly to those family and friends of anyone involved. To nevertheless find an absence of any live news coverage of the Gonzales hearing which is a politically crucial event seriously and undeniably brightens an already glaring light on the media’s power to influence the electorate of this country by spotlighting or blind siding political events that shape our democracy. How debased does televised news media need to become before they wake up to the flip side on the coin of free speech: The responsibility of broader news media to actually inform? (Please don’t tell me to go turn on CSPAN 3.) Is our “free market place of ideas” on which a democratic society depends truly just a market place? If it’s not televised media’s responsibility then whose is it? Ah, the electorate, of course! I guess then you could say when democracy at work doesn’t get good ratings this country really has changed the channel. – Variety subscriber

It seems to me that the media are trying to rush this story out of the news. It happened on Monday and by Wednesday Oprah Winfrey had some of the victims parents and family members appear. Her comments before one of the commercial breaks were “some of the parents are speaking out for the first time.” The first time? It only happened two days prior to your show. Let the parents grieve for a few months before asking them to appear on TV and do interviews.

Primetime also had a complete breakdown of the story by Tuesday with Diane Sawyer. Which is amazing. I’m not saying to drag out the details but two and three days later is too much to take in. If we look at how much the media were tuned in on Anna Nicole Smith’s debacle, which still has plenty of coverage, compared to this. It’s safe to assume the media has it’s priorities backwards. – Variety subscriber

No, not at all. There was too much coverage of the Virginia Tech killings in proportion to the coverage of tragedies abroad. For example, on the same day as the Tech shooting, over four times as many innocent people were killed by car bombs in Baghdad. Our failure to cover events and tragedies abroad at even a justifiably disproportionate level perpetuates a myopic world view.

We are so caught up in the why that we forget that there are yet more innocent young people who have paid the ultimate price in the lottery of today’s social realities.

With all sincerety. I look at my own precious kids and am heartbroken that these unlucky lives were wasted senselessly. I cannot imagine the pain of the families.

For one moment, forget the issues and think of the lives. – Variety subscriber

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