Monday, August 6, 2012

Media headlines highlight shooter's military ties

As details of the shootings at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin emerge, media put emphasis on the gunman's military ties.

There's this headline over at

And this headline at the NBC's affiliate in New York:

The New York Times uses this headline as of late morning:

The dead gunman has apparently also been tied to things extremist activities, yet some media prefer to highlight past military service from over a decade ago as the primary descriptor for the perpetrator in this case.

Military service is part of the perpetrator's past. He also was discharged from the army under less than honorable conditions and was ineligible for reenlistment. Maybe the media just needed a new hook to freshen their stories. But using headlines to link the gunman to the military strikes me as knee-jerk, typical of media stereotyping. At least ABC's headline casts the tone of the gunman's discharge, but you might need to know the background to understand what it's saying.

Has anyone bothered to ask if the police officer who stopped the deadly rampage or others who risked their lives by responding to the scene are also a military vets?

Update: Even Drudge couldn't resist:

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