Not an exaggeration

Buzz from First Friday shooting grew from public, not media

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Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength criticized the news media last week for exaggerating the shooting at downtown’s First Friday celebration July 6 that wounded six.

Likewise, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam once lamented, “Why is the media here so negative?”

Of course, Kalam made the remark in India – where he was president.

Some things appear to be universal.

Thanks to advances in technology, “media” outlets have exploded across the world in recent decades. That’s mostly good; we’re getting more information from more sources than ever. But it can be bad too: We risk information overload – and because so much of the news that cries out to be covered is viewed as negative, it can wear on you.

In addition, you have to be wary of the credibility of some sources, particularly unknown or fly-by-night operations. A
conservative blogger recently took liberal writer Connie Schultz to task, demanding to know why she has allowed herself to be caught in rather chummy photographs with a U.S. senator.

“Care to comment?” the unnamed blogger wrote to her.

Why yes, she did care to comment. “He’s cute!” she wrote back. And he just happened to be her husband.

That was easy enough to have learned before making any accusations.

The moral of the story is that the word “media” is plural. There are a million iterations of “media,” and they’re only growing.

People have historically loved to criticize them, but the fact today is that the media outlets that tend to be the most responsible and accountable are the traditional “old media.” Heaven knows, you would hope a local newspaper’s reporter would do enough fact-checking to find out that a well-known writer and senator are married.

With that backdrop, we’ve considered what the sheriff’s conclusion was – and we respectfully will disagree on this one.

With the possible exception of some repetitive “looping” of images from the July 6 shooting by our broadcast brethren, we don’t think the local media have blown the incident out of proportion.

First off, we pray that the shooting of six folks on a downtown street is still a huge deal in Augusta, Ga. In our view, it would be difficult to overstate the episode’s impact.

If all that the local news media did was to report on it once, people in this town would still be talking about it. And they’d be wondering why the media were ignoring it.

In addition, it must be said that on the Saturday following the shooting, reporters were called to an afternoon press conference on a downtown sidewalk to hear area residents’ and business owners’ concerns about the First Friday-related violence the night before.

The news media didn’t create that buzz. The shooting did. And it would have occurred with or without a microphone, camera or pen. It was an important story for one reason: Because it was on the top of everybody’s mind who’d heard about it.

In the movie The American President, an aide to the president says of potential news coverage, “With all due respect, sir, the American people have a funny way of deciding on their own what is and what is not their business.”

It’s as true in Augusta as it is in New Delhi.

Comments (26) Add comment
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Riverman1
87026
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Riverman1 07/23/12 - 11:32 pm
12
4
The Orchestrated Attacks Continue

I was completely amazed at the comments attacking Sheriff Strength and his wife that stayed up for quite a while under the previous editorial tonight. I tried my best to combat them while they were up. With this editorial it appears there's another attack on Strength. For the past few days it's been one attack after another in print and on the air. WHY?

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 07/23/12 - 11:38 pm
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River, that really got rough

River, that really got rough on the other thread. I expect to see more become banned with those types of comments. Passion is strong and we haven't even gotten through the primary...This promises to get very ugly. What I don't understand is how do people think any of this stuff does anything to help the candidate they support? If I were them, I'd be thinking, please don't help me. What a mess!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 07/23/12 - 11:46 pm
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3
Willow, it was strange

I am a cynic and don't take anything at face value, but some of them used real names and put up things that were way out of line. Plus, this orchestrated attack on Strength and his wife has been going on for awhile now. That's why this editorial at THIS time bothers me. I have criticized some of the statements made about the First Friday Shootout previously, but not now with these attacks going on.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 07/23/12 - 11:52 pm
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It's really hard to believe

It's really hard to believe that any candidate would endorse such behavior. I'm not at all certain that they have. In fact, some may not even be aware that it's happening. It's hard to sling it, without getting some of it on you.

Riverman1
87026
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Riverman1 07/24/12 - 12:01 am
3
2
Willow, that was my thought

Willow, that was my thought too. But there were two real names put up making some hard charges. That's going to be investigated I'm sure. Then there is this orchestration on the air and in print the past few days. Something ain't right and I think it's because a campaign is not getting what they want.

specsta
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specsta 07/24/12 - 01:44 am
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5
Time For New Ideas

Strength represents the old school way of doing things. Why else does Augusta have a police force that isn't even accredited?

What worked back in the 90's and 00's isn't going to work today - progress has to be made in how law enforcement works with the citizens. It's time to bring up the standards of professionalism.

myfather15
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myfather15 07/24/12 - 04:10 am
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3
"People have historically

"People have historically loved to criticize them, but the fact today is that the media outlets that tend to be the most responsible and accountable are the traditional “old media.”

Seriously?? The most responsible is the "old media."? I guess that would include ABC's Brian Ross who made a disgusting comment about trying to link the Colorado shooter to the tea party with no investigation at all? Is this accurate and true reporting? It sounds to me like the "Ol school" media needs to clean house of these extreme ideology journalists.

Brian Ross actually tried to say the Colorado shooter "could be" a James Holmes that joined the Tea Party last year. Turns out he couldn't be farther from the truth. Why would you say such a disgusting, irresponsible comment without any PROOF to back up your accusations? I'll answer that myself, because your a left wing radical who wants to blacken the tea parties reputation any way you can, even if it takes LYING. Now Brian Ross has caused this innocent James Holmes serious backlash. The man has even received death threats.

When will journalists actually start reporting truth? Even if it means not being the first to break the story. Shouldn't you wait to get the facts straight and not rush to put the story out with inaccuracies? But I don't believe this was just inaccurate, I believe it was calculated. It was intentional as the left does EVERY TIME. They see this as an opportunity to bring up gun control again and blast those they disagree with (Tea Party). They did it with Gabriel Giffords soon after her shooting they tried to link him to right wing extremists with zero proof. The bottom line is we CAN NOT trust any media today, they are just like politicians. They manipulate the stories to fit their political agendas. Truly ask yourselves this question; is there anyone you can trust today?

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 07/24/12 - 07:28 am
2
8
Full quote: ""There's a Jim

Full quote: ""There's a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year," Ross said. "Now, we don't know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it's Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.""
He screwed up by trying to be first, a problem for many news agencies. "your [sic] a left wing radical". Give it a break. They did a Google search and pulled up a name, screwed up, annd apologized. Do we want to get started on the errors of Faux News?
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2011/jun/22/jon-stewarts...

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 07/24/12 - 07:48 am
9
1
You can't put "it" back into the horse...

Tech, do you really think it was responsible journalism? How does the apology chance the message? What if it had been your name associated with say, communism, would an apology cut it? Using your explanation, the media is free to say anything about anyone... but, actually they already do.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 07/24/12 - 07:55 am
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I didn't say it was

I didn't say it was responsible journalism, I said it was a mistake, not some giant made up, "Oh, the corporate media is all left wing" plot.

dstewartsr
20389
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dstewartsr 07/24/12 - 08:06 am
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2
"I said it was a mistake..."

Sure was. Death threats? Wow. So, in all fairness, did Ross look to see if the shooter was a member of OWS before or after checking on the TEA party? Or at all?

Thought so...

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 07/24/12 - 09:18 am
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2
No, it was no mistake. More

No, it was no mistake. More like SOP.

myfather15
55764
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myfather15 07/24/12 - 09:36 am
6
2
Unbelieveable, someone would

Unbelieveable, someone would actually play off such a pathetic, disgusting and (in my opinion) intentional act as a mistake. I guess that speaks for itself. I guess thats kinda like a drug dealer making a "mistake" after getting arrested his 5th time for selling crack. Kinda like a serial killer saying their sorry and made a "mistake" and asking for forgiveness. I know these are extreme examples but I believe Mr. Ross's comments were a mistake about like I believe these examples. PATHETIC that ANYONE would attempt to push this off as a mistake. This is where it is clear when someone is a committed left wing ideologue.

allhans
24030
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allhans 07/24/12 - 09:40 am
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Didn't I also hear that an

Didn't I also hear that an ABC reporter called the shooters mother before she had been notified by authorities? If true, that is even more disgusting.

Riverman1
87026
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Riverman1 07/24/12 - 09:44 am
10
2
The problem is

The problem is Ross looked for links to a nonviolent organization, The Tea Party. At their rallies, they even clean up after it's over. What made him choose that organization? Because it's conservative.

myfather15
55764
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myfather15 07/24/12 - 10:03 am
5
2
Well, it looks like ABC might

Well, it looks like ABC might have got one right. They actually reported partial truth in the fact these were left wing anarchists, but they didn't mention that each man had attended numerous OWS events. ABC wouldn't even mention OWS in the same breath as these terrorists, yet they feel perfectly comfortable tying an innocent (tea party) man into a mass murder incident. Mistake?? Coincidence?? You make the call for yourself, my mind is already made up. "By their fruits ye shall know them."

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/anarchists-plotted-blow-cleveland-bridge-f...

myfather15
55764
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myfather15 07/24/12 - 10:13 am
7
2
Tech; Are you actually being

Tech; Are you actually being serious with that link? Jon Stewart? Oooooooh YES, we must get all our serious news from Jon Stewart and his ooooooh so accurate investigating. I'm suuuuuure he is just sooooooo accurate and truthful.

Now, On a serious note; I don't have time to sit right now and research a lot of those LIES they have listed. But the one about the Muslim Brotherhood and they never said they wanted war with Isreal????? Well, maybe they don't want WAR with Isreal because that would require both sides fighting. They don't want WAR they just want to wipe Isreal off the face of the planet. They want a complete JIHAD, BY THEIR OWN WORDS. I'll find the links and post them tonight, or just google it yourself. There are NUMEROUS videos of the new president of Egypt saying those EXACT words. Please use a better news source than Jon Stewart.

allhans
24030
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allhans 07/24/12 - 10:24 am
3
1
The problem with the Politico

The problem with the Politico facts check that was mentioned was done in 2010. If it was redone today it would look entirely different. Many of the things called "false" then have now been proven true.
We need to make sure we are using current data for our facts.

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 07/24/12 - 12:01 pm
4
0
River and Willow, Yep gotta

River and Willow, Yep gotta little out of control for sure. I tried changing the subject, but that didn't work. I understand the importance of this race, but I hate to see the division that it's causing.

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 07/24/12 - 12:39 pm
6
0
WB, I would except if its

WB, I would except if its Peebles or Silas against Sanders it won't get to rough, but if its Roundtree and Sanders it will.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 07/24/12 - 03:44 pm
1
1
Taking facts and presenting

Taking facts and presenting them in a manner that will engage readers is part of the media's job. It's a business principle and ethical. But reporting them in a manner that gives little consideration to what it accomplishes is flighty and NOT so ethical. For one reason or two, something was spun into the coverage of THIS crime and anybody associated with dowtown was summarily thrown under the bus, including downtown Augusta. I can say that with confidence b/c of all the reactionaries who quickly condemned the place and began pointing fingers here and there. Thankfully, cabin-pressure was restored and folks are concentrating on productive energy instead of playing the blame game.

Some will say "well the media has a responsibility to report daht daht daht...." No, the media isn't required to cover anything. If they intend to stay in business and turn a profit, they will cover whatever is necessary. And they are susceptible to the same ills that effect other businesses.

I saw a great opportunity for the media to be the tip of the spear in an effort to make downtown a better destination. They opted to ride the sexier "City of Augusta in Peril" headlines until they played out. Now we are seeing coverage of the new "Get Down Downtown" and I'm thankful we get that. It doesn't erase the damage already inflicted.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 07/24/12 - 04:53 pm
2
0
High, heads shoulda been

High, heads shoulda been rolling today. As my grandmother use to say, it beat two hogs flying sideways.

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 07/24/12 - 05:06 pm
2
0
And Davie P, isn't that just

And Davie P, isn't that just what Sheriff Strength was saying, when many went ballistic. Remember, we had our hands full that day.

HighSociety
1840
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HighSociety 07/24/12 - 05:17 pm
3
0
Willow, never heard that

Willow, never heard that saying, but I love it!

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 07/24/12 - 05:31 pm
2
0
LOL, High, I cleaned it up a

LOL, High, I cleaned it up a little, they were really "hawgs".

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 07/25/12 - 04:14 pm
0
0
It was open season on us felt

It was open season on us felt like.

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