Tucson is under scrutiny by the national media, again. Or should I say, still?
Hours after the horrific shootings on Saturday, the media swooped down on Tucson. Our local media, on numerous occasions since then, has credited national newspapers for new information about the Tucson tragedy. The Tragedy in Tucson, so named by the media, has dominated national headlines for the last few days.
Endless speculation by the media has also dominated headlines regarding motives of the alleged shooter. Our so-called political climate has been scrutinized. Today, the headlines are asking if the “pep rally” atmosphere at the memorial service was “appropriate”. .
The Associated Press has chimed in with their perspective: “Some question pep rally atmosphere at Obama speech.”
May I point out the name of the event, according to this AP headline? “Obama speech”
CBS News headline: “Obama’s Tucson Speech: Pep Rally or Memorial Service”.
The media started calling it that, some variation of “Obama’s Speech”, soon after President Obama accepted the invitation to attend what was once billed as a memorial.
As a result, the event somehow morphed into something else. A theme for the event emerged, called: “Together We Thrive:Tucson and America.” The theme doesn’t include anything about it that evokes a memorial. There’s nothing about remembrance, either.
The theme sounds like, well, like a political rally.
The Washington Post released an article prior to the event, describing the atmosphere outside the McKale stadium, like people “camped out” prior to a rock concert. “Camped out” became a common phrase used by many members of the national media to describe those who arrived early to “hear Obama speak”.
Please read a snippet from that article from The Washington Post. (They refer to the Pima County Assessor’s Office as “Pima County tax accessor’s office” by the way.)
“At an entrance to the stadium, people waited in a packed crowd in the warm afternoon sun. Many had been camped out there since mid morning and said the mood was exciting and generous. Sandra Kimmelman, 53, said she took the day off from her job at the Pima County tax accessor’s office to come hear Obama. She said people in line had given her candy, water and shared their pizza with her.
“There’s a sense of community,” she said. “I came because I want to hear Obama say we as a nation are all mourning and that we need to fight violence with love and peace. We need to be unified. 9-11 was the most horrific thing that happened to our nation. This comes close.”
Nicole Siegel, a freshman at the University of Arizona who is from Columbia, Md., said she was excited to hear Obama speak.
“I am happy to see he’s taking this seriously and isn’t just staying in the White House,” she said, wearing a light blue T-shirt with a picture of Obama on it.”
They came to hear Obama. Would a T-shirt with Obama on it be appropriate for a memorial service? Is that why The Washington Post pointed out what she was wearing? Is that why they pointed out the pizza and candy?
The “event” was advertised as “first-come, first-served”, by the way. Like a rock concert. The “event” that drew media coverage to be broadcast around the world, was covered extensively for “Obama’s speech”.
So, now the media speculates over “appropriateness”.
Had Obama not been in attendance, would it have been covered to such an extent, or just broadcast locally with some members of the press present?
I’m grateful that Obama did attend. I watched the coverage from home. The President’s speech is what we needed to hear.
As far as criticism from the media, I’d like to remind you that you have created a media circus atmosphere in Tucson since you arrived Saturday.
Who is being disrespectful? Tucsonans or members of the national media?
I’ll have to go with the national media.