Nine of the worst responses to the murder of the Virginia TV journalists

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Thursday 27 August 2015 10:00
news

Two US journalists were shot dead by a former colleague on Wednesday as they were filming a live segment in Roanoake, Virginia, and sadly the reaction has already strayed into the stereotypical territory that often accompanies tragedies involving guns and different skin colours.

After killing Alison Parker and Adam Ward, suspected shooter Vester Flanagan uploaded a video of the incident to Twitter and Facebook before turning a gun on himself, dying in hospital on Wednesday night.

Flanagan sent a 23-page "manifesto" to another local news station two hours after the shooting in which he claimed he had been inspired to act by the June murders of nine black churchgoers by a white supremacist in South Carolina.

But obviously, easy access to guns had nothing to do with the shooting. That is, at least if you listen to these opinions:

1. You guessed it: gun control is not the answer

2. That the shooter was black is evidence that 'White Lives Matter'

3. That there was a racial comparison to be drawn between the Roanoke shooting and protests against police violence in Ferguson

4. A Twitter account calling itself 'the real George Zimmerman' tweeted something both racist and homophobic (as well as riddled with spelling errors)

5. Autoplay is a more pressing issue for some than gun control

6. Flanagan bought the handguns legally last month, but the problem is that he's an 'angry gay black man'

7. Fox News couldn't grasp the concept that it wasn't a hate crime

8. Some media outlets thought it was OK to broadcast the shooting video

9. And the next day, many newspapers thought it was OK to use pictures of the shooting on their front pages

Rather than dwell on the ugly biases and sensationalism that always accompany tragedies like this, we'll leave you with an image of Parker and Ward the way family and friends want them remembered - for their life and work, rather than the way they died.

More: Instead of disturbing video footage, here's how we should remember the two journalists shot on camera

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