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EDITORIAL: Politicization of Arizona tragedy, other issues must end PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Friday, 14 January 2011 22:05

If you watched cable news for more than 10 minutes this weekend, you were bound to have caught wind of the repulsing, inhumane story about a gunman killing six people and wounding 14 others in a Tucson, Ariz., shooting spree.

If you watched cable news for more than 20 minutes, you were bound to have been exposed to the politicization of this tragic story.

The response from many media personalities in the wake of this nightmare is the definition of what is wrong with our country.

We’re trapped in a seemingly endless cycle — consumed by agenda-driven, one-sided vitriol that is only heightened by 24-hour cable news rhetoric.

It’s time we wake up.

And I’m not picking sides on this one. The assertions from left-wing columnists that this calamity was brought on by right-wing pundits is no different than right-wing talk radio hosts throwing fuel on the fire and pointing fingers.

It’s a continuous disgusting cycle between two groups of people — two groups which I, by the way, don’t feel a part of in the least — and the American media consumer is stuck in the middle.

You can’t condemn political quibbling while simultaneously engaging in it.

I’m talking to you, Keith Olbermann, Bill O’Reilly, Paul Krugman and Glen Beck.

I long for a day when media outlets decide to change their coverage from political side-taking in favor of returning to true journalism — to looking for an answer to the question, “why?”

Why didn’t this psychopath, who was said to have scared classmates and teachers with his bizarre behavior, receive proper help for his mental problems that were apparent to everyone surrounding him?

Why wasn’t a more concerted effort made at monitoring this lunatic?

Also, why do people like him, as well as the youngster who opened fire in an Omaha school last week, commit such gruesome atrocities?

I don’t know the answers but the questions need to be asked. And the people on our TV sets that do nothing but place blame and point fingers are not getting it done.

I’m not hinting at limiting free speech — the very notion strikes at my core as a newspaper man. I’m hinting at ending our insatiable intake of radically motivated media which breeds the type of hate that causes people to kill. These radio, television and newspaper personalities rely on their listeners, viewers and readers to survive. It’s we, the American media consumer, who hold the key.

Please join me as I pray for the families of those victims who were lost in Tucson and Omaha.

Please join me as I search for an end to the continued bipolarization of our great nation.


JOSH SUMNER is the managing editor of The Breeze. You can reach him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .