Why Did CNN Refuse To Humanize The Shooting In a Chicago Hospital?
When the horrific mass shooting held a quaint family-friendly suburb in Pittsburgh under siege, major cable networks, notably CNN, immediately jumped to the assignment of concentrated coverage that lasted for weeks.
The dramatics were necessary when you consider that the scope of the tragic event covered the gamut of the systemized dysfunction that allows innocent lives of decent Americans to be direly vulnerable to the lack of governance — that keeps the plague of gun violence and racially-motivated crimes consistently activated.
In the midst of the terrorizing weeks that included the bomb packages being deployed to various notable individuals, and the news organization the president loves to hate, there was another terrifying hate crime that took place during that time period, that didn’t get nearly enough attention as the other incidents.
The victims were Maurice Stallard, 69, and Vicki Lee Jones, 67.
They were both gunned down by a White male terrorist, in and around the Kroger grocery store in Louisville, Kentucky, and for some weird reason it took too long for CNN to add this particular item to the list of atrocities that all seemed to transpire within days of each other.
Or maybe the simple explanation is that in order to humanize victims of violence, there’s the requirement of who they are and what they represent to a society that has been programmed to comfortably endure the images of Black pain and the bodies that suffer no more.
As a Black woman who is challenged with the daily routine of stepping into a crowd that could feature a White supremacist wielding a gun or large knife in my direction — it’s disconcerting to observe how the brutal killings of two Black people can be casually placed on hold — until producers give the thumbs up.
CNN is the main target because watching this network has become a lesson in what can happen when the obsession with a madman evolves into a virus that inadvertently destabilizes the tools of responsible engagement — that elevates the method of reportage.
Yes, the attention that President Trump commands is warranted due to his unique station that stems from gross distortion and his ability to prove his damning viability with mainstream media, and why that fact will always give him the upper hand.
Imagine how drastically altered the landscape would be if we actually had a leader in The White House who is able and willing to lead.
It’s hard to even configure the reality of not being assaulted with unappetizing images and incoherent sentences from the yellow-haired oaf who is masterminding the imminent demise of civilization.
But as we keep adjusting to the never-ending analysis of a temperamental and toxic administration, we can’t be forced to accept that certain tragedies are more noteworthy than others.
Days ago, in the late evening “breaking news” hit the screen, and the reaction wasn’t shock, since every day basically fits that description — but then the chaotic scene and the references to a “massive shooting,” successfully initiated interest.
It was the awful hospital shooting in Chicago, and at that point, it was too soon for confirmed details, but the brief summation was disturbing enough, and seemed to indicate that this event wasn’t going to end well.
Unfortunately, CNN didn’t hold on long enough to give viewers what we deserved from the initial investment.
The story was abruptly pulled and randomly switched to Jim Acosta’s restored press pass, and how that victory will surely force The White House to recognize the limits to rejecting the freedom of the press.
How could CNN set the stage with the same ambitious undertaking that has always greeted these types of emergencies, and then swiftly switch gears without notice or any promises to return to the scene of the crime with real-time updates?
The horrifying tale of the 38-year-old ER doctor, who was shot dead by the man she was planning to marry earlier this year, before the engagement was called off in September — should’ve been appropriately handled by a network that professes to deliver the news items that matter.
Tamara O’Neal was killed in the parking area of Mercy Hospital by her ex-fiancee Juan Lopez, 32, and as she lay on the ground covered with her blood, Lopez proceeded to shoot at arriving officers, and carried the violence into the hospital.
The murdering rampage claimed the life of a 25-year-old pharmacy resident, Dayna Less, who was getting off an elevator, and unknowingly walked into a hail of bullets. Less had just graduated from Purdue University this past May, and was in the process of planning a summer wedding in June to her high-school sweetheart.
Officer Samuel Jimenez of the Chicago Police, was also killed, as he tried to subdue the shooter by sacrificing his life to save the patients and hospital personnel who were stuck in the line of fire.
Juan Lopez didn’t survive his bloody massacre, and the details surrounding his death are still pending, but like all the other shootouts that have become the normalized American existence — the casualties suffered the ultimate fate of not having the protection of laws that can’t be instituted if criminal politicians refuse to piss off the NRA.
There’s also the truth of why CNN didn’t want to waste the segment that had to be allotted to Trump’s exploits, instead of the heart-wrenching coverage of a bloody shooting in a hospital in the heart of America.
What if the hospital was located in a town that’s more White than anything else, and the victims had the background that juxtaposes with the ugliness of a climate that’s cruel enough to venture into unfamiliar territory?
It seems that we’ve become accustomed to the relevant packaging of goriness, and how the delivery can’t fall into the categories that won’t inspire tears and anguish, as the faces of victims and testimonies from the bereaved — guarantee the ratings of a lifetime.
It’s appalling that CNN began coverage and then yanked it away once it became clear that diving further into that pool of blood wouldn’t yield substantial returns.
That was a very bad call.
Every victim of violence in this battlefield of bullets and guts, has a backstory that includes all the elements that will prove relatable and incredibly moving — regardless of race, creed or geography.
It’s time to honor each and every soul without bias or the transparently inhumane agendas that gives a group of victims the prized treatment, while unceremoniously shafting the undesirables.
The shooting in the ward of a Chicago hospital, that was initiated by the horror of domestic violence, is just as tragic as the shooting in a Jewish synagogue.
Why is that so hard to comprehend?