Analysis overload: Aurora

So much has already been said about what happened at the midnight premiere of the new Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado last Friday. There’s not much I can say that hasn’t already been said.

One of the dangers of the 24 hour news cycle is that in the absence of new information, media outlets often substitute “expert” opinion, conjecture and innuendo. Just hours after the name of the alleged gunman had been released, the following exchange between Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos and Brian Ross took place:

“There is a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado page on the Colorado Tea Party site… talking about him joining the Tea Party last year,” Ross said. “Now, we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes, but it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.”

ABC later issued an apology:

An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect. ABC News and Brian Ross apologize for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted.

I fully and correctly predicted that the tragedy in Aurora would be used as a platform for gun control, but what Brian Ross did was so blatantly, shockingly irresponsible. He seemed almost giddy at the prospect of connecting a political movement he opposes to a homicidal maniac. The Jim Holmes Ross incorrectly connected with the shooting is a 52-year old Hispanic man who looks nothing like the suspect in custody.

There have been calls for boycotts of ABC and their affiliates, but I will not be participating in any such boycotts. They are just one more distraction which divide a nation who should be coming together in support of the people of Aurora, Colorado. We need to set aside our personal and political agendas and try and remember what it’s like to act like decent human beings again.

People die violent and senseless deaths every single day and each one is a tragedy. I think what’s especially frightening about the Aurora shootings is the familiarity of the venue. The chilling realization that it could have been any one of us sitting in that movie theater–or worse–one of our children.

Twelve people were brutally murdered and many more will sustain life altering injuries–both physical and emotional.We should all be outraged by this senseless violence, but the ultimate blame sits squarely on the shoulders of one man: James Eagan Holmes. May God have mercy on his soul.

« « Previous Post: Two wolves | Next Post: Stuck in the middle » »

4 Responses to “Analysis overload: Aurora”