At least, until, it happens again. In this case, it only took 10 days from the last slaughter for another spasm of senseless violence and terror to force the nation to go through the motions once again.
It’s all so predictable and formulaic at this point. First come the initial reports of a shooting, then details about fatalities and injuries, then details about the shooter and motive, and finally the tributes to the dead. All the while, there are widespread calls for the US to take some — any — action to stop these regular massacres from occurring while Fox personalities and GOP leaders insist the shooting shouldn’t be “politicized.”
I realize that, at this point, even pointing out the fact that we are stuck in this endless loop is cliche. But I can’t think of anything new or unique to say — and I honestly haven’t seen a single original point made in the past few hours. Years and years of these horrific acts have collectively drained us of any groundbreaking observations. Everything is just recycled. Recycled from the last shooting and the shooting before that.
“Make no mistake about it, nothing is done, and nothing is ever done,” Don Lemon said on CNN Tuesday night. “And we’re going to be back here. Grieving again, over another town.”
“This,” Lemon added, “is where we are right now.”
BRIAN STELTER WRITES:
I wish people would stop saying “there are no words.” There are so many words. Inhuman. Grotesque. Shameful.
I worry that rote news coverage and cliche reactions may unintentionally sanitize this sickening violence.
I want everyone to know that reality. I want answers to questions that are painful even to ask. What were the victims at Robb Elementary doing in the final peaceful minutes of their lives? What were they thinking when they heard loud noises down the hall? Did they recognize the sounds as gunshots? Did they fear for their lives? Did they cry out for their moms? For their dads? What did they feel in those final seconds?
There are plenty of words. We just have to use them.
“It’s almost like an instant replay of Sandy Hook”
Local coverage from San Antonio
BRIAN STELTER WRITES:
On board Air Force One
President Biden learned of the school shooting while flying back from Asia aboard Air Force One. Pool reporters on the plane were without WiFi and unaware of the news until press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre came back to the press cabin and said Biden would be speaking at the WH upon landing. Reporters turned on the in-flight TVs to see CNN’s live coverage. Per CNN’s MJ Lee, “a decision was made to make a ‘wire call’ — a rare phone call using the phone in the press cabin to alert the wires and news organizations of breaking news. While much of the news we were being told in the air had already been shared on the ground, reporters agreed — given the gravity of the news — upon a joint statement that would be read and disseminated to wires and news networks.”
Right-wing media immediately calls for more guns
The conversation in right-wing media immediately turned to calling for armed guards to protect schools. In other words, more guns. Pundits and personalities on Fox repeatedly suggested that funding allocated to schools to protect against Covid should be spent on security personnel. Meanwhile, personalities attacked those who called for gun control measures. After Biden did so in his address to the nation, Tucker Carlson attacked him in the most vicious terms. “The President of the United States, frail, confused, bitterly partisan, desecrating the memory of recently murdered children with tired talking points of the Democratic Party,” Carlson said, “dividing the country in a moment of deep pain…”
TV notes and quotes
— CNN will remain live all night and through the morning, with some anchors on the scene in Texas…
— Fox News preempted the 11pm comedy show “Gutfeld” for additional live coverage of the massacre…
— Savannah Guthrie will co-anchor Wednesday’s “Today” from Uvalde. Other NBC and MSNBC anchors en route to Texas include Lester Holt, Tom Llamas, José Díaz-Balart, and Ali Velshi…
— Tony Dokoupil will co-anchor “CBS Mornings” from Uvalde…