The commentators 28-08-15
...on the Virginia shootings
The ghastly truth is that he enjoyed shooting people dead, because that is what guns are designed to do. So what if he had a grudge? Lots of people have grudges; I have had more than a few myself at one time or another. But it would never occur to me – to us, let me say – to nourish our grudges with gunfire. It did so occur to this man, because it is natural to him to think thus. The grudge is only the background. What matters is his chosen solution, and the satisfaction it afforded him. Americans have been brought up for very many years to enjoy shooting. It is the American way
- Brian Masters, Daily Telegraph
Such excreta of violence should not be shared on social media, let alone screened by television stations or hosted by news websites. But like everything else that simply should not happen, the broadcasting and circulation of this monstrous video has happened. It is one more step in the destruction of boundaries that seems a relentless rush of our time. Nothing is sacred. Not even the very last moments of Alison Parker as we see, from Flanagan’s point of view, Flanagan’s gun pointing at her
- Jonathan Jones, The Guardian
There is a deep well of hypocrisy involved because some people who viewed the disturbing footage undoubtedly went on to express outrage that editors should have dared to publish those images.
And it is highly likely that people who took to Twitter to curse newspapers were also guilty of retweeting them or sending links to social media friends.
After the event, ghouls are often critical of other ghouls. We looked, they will say, but we did so merely to inform ourselves, not to glory in it as others did
- Roy Greenslade, The Guardian
There are always two competing imperatives at play in the reporting of an incident in which people have been killed or injured. On the one hand, we should tell readers and viewers what has happened in a way that doesn’t over-sanitise or mislead; on the other, we should show sensitivity to the feelings of bereaved families and surviving victims and avoid needlessly distressing other readers. Getting the balance right is often less than straightforward – it is also a highly subjective judgement
- Will Gore, The Independent
The Conservatives promised controlled immigration, not mass immigration, in their manifesto. To that end they stuck to an “ambition” of cutting net inward migration to the tens of thousands. That looks even less achievable now than when it was a “target”. Immigration is not controlled. It is out of control, and the public has every reason to fear that the country has no long-term immigration plan beyond turning a blind eye
- The Times
Despite the Tories’ broken promise — which they knew perfectly well they couldn’t possibly honour — to reduce the flow of migrants to the ‘tens of thousands’, still they keep coming. A huge demographic shift has taken place. In the past 15 years, Britain has been transformed beyond recognition, without the vast majority of the indigenous population ever having been consulted
- Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail
When Mr Cameron began to contemplate renegotiating the UK’s relationship with Europe, few held out any hope that the EU’s commitment to free movement of people could change. That is no longer a given. The fact of the matter is that if we want control of our borders this matter must be resolved. There is no point pretending otherwise
- Daily Telegraph
What would have happened had the shootings taken place not in America, but in Norwich? What if the victims had been a local TV crew known to two or three hundred thousand people? Would our London-based newspaper executives have thought "We've never heard of them, so we'll use lots of gory pictures" or "They're British. We'll show some restraint"?
What if the victims had been a Newsnight reporter and cameraman, people we were used to seeing in our living rooms, people known all over the country?
Would the photographic coverage have been muted - in deference to our familiarity and their families - or even more excessive?
Editor's blog: Murder on camera
Comment archive, 2015
Boris Johnson, Greece
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