The practice of journalism as an objective excercise is dead. It has been for some time, if it ever existed.
Not hours after the bombings did these vultures begin spinning:
BOSTON — This is just breaking, but at least two explosions occurred in downtown Boston near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Several people were injured and two have been reported dead. There are reports of people missing limbs. Obviously, nobody knows anything yet, but I would caution folks jumping to conclusions about foreign terrorism to remember that this is the official Patriots Day holiday in Massachusetts, celebrating the Battles at Lexington and Concord, and that the actual date (April 19) was of some significance to, among other people, Tim McVeigh, because he fancied himself a waterer of the tree of liberty and the like.
This isn’t journalism. This is speculation. It’s hackneyed. It’s malicious, unprofessional, and dangerous. The lack of professionalism demonstrated by the above should be enough to shame them forever from the profession, but the profession now thrives on tabloid-level “reporting.”
After a tragedy the normal person responds by falling to their knees in prayer. The compassionate person responds with concern for the affected. The professional reports the facts and differentiates between speculation and confirmation.
It is the desperate and professionally and spiritually anemic who heartlessly view tragedy as a chance to settle some imaginary score. These individuals are baselessly impugning innocent groups and in doing so, inadvertently impugn themselves and their profession.
Get over yourselves. For one day, get over yourselves. For one day realize the purpose you claim to serve and distribute what the authorities are confirming as fact. Practice actual news gathering. A public is fearful. Cities are securing their public centers and people are hugging their loved ones extra tight tonight. If you’re an anchor or reporter your professional designation is a publicly-declared obligation to provide unfiltered information to this very public. The public doesn’t give a damn about your political leanings or what you think. Give them the facts.