Thursday, November 05, 2009
Army of Darkness
Just a few very quick thoughts about today's deadly rampage at Fort Hood, Texas:
1. As soon as I heard the shooter's name -- Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan -- the first thing I did was put my head in my hands and say, "Ah, shit."
(Update, 11.6.09: So witnesses say Hasan shouted the obligatory "Allah hu akbar" before opening fire, and investigators have found internet postings, likely from him, that equate suicide bombings with the heroic act of falling on a grenade to save your fellow soldiers. Once again, "Ah, shit.")
2. An interesting series of coincidences: The gunman graduated from Virginia Tech, site of the worst mass shooting in American history; Fort Hood is located near Killeen, Texas, which had been the site of the worst mass shooting in American history -- 23 people killed at a Luby's restaurant back in 1991 -- until the Virginia Tech massacre.
3. NBC Nightly News just made what could be one of the most inexplicable decisions I've ever seen from a network newscast: After leading the show with the always-excellent Jim Miklaszewski from the Pentagon, Brian Williams then immediately tossed to someone named Jade Mingus live at Fort Hood. Jade Mingus, as it turns out, is a cute-as-a-button reporter for KCEN, the local station covering Killeen, Temple and Waco, who looks like she's about 23-years-old. For those of you playing at home, NBC News put a kid from market 89 -- who sounded every bit as green and terrified as you'd expect a kid from market 89 to sound when suddenly speaking to an audience of ten-million people -- on the air as the second element in their nightly newscast.
The more I think I understand the TV news business, the more I realize that it still confuses the hell out of me sometimes.