In case the handling of the Terrell Owens episode
wasn't a good enough example of the media's desire to believe the best possible "story," along comes a much more disturbing one. When one young student at the Colorado high school taken over by a gunman this week told a story of his personal heroism in the face of grave danger, the media – particularly television news – jumped at it. Unfortunately, it turned out to be false
Making the rounds of the morning news shows Thursday, including CBS News' "The Early Show," Platte Canyon High School student Cassidy Grigg said he tried to stay in the classroom with the female hostages, fearing what might happen to them, but was forced by gunman Duane R. Morrison to leave.
Now he admits he left the room before Morrison even arrived and felt terrible about his lie.
In the wake of such a tragic event, first-hand accounts and interviews are often muddled and sometimes conflicting. What would lead a student to wholly fabricate such a tale is beyond my understanding but the media's thirst to believe it without question is another troubling episode and borders on exploitation of the young man. Yes, the news is a first draft of history, but that certainly doesn't mean it must be an irresponsible one.
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