“Show up and shut up.”
Rabbi Harold Kushner was my guest for a PBS series on God in America, and this was his condensed version of advice for those who would comfort the grieving.
It ought to circulate around the halls of American broadcast media for once again there were no boundaries the collective media would respect in the aftermath of the murders in Newtown, Conn.
The rush to assemble a media mob is now expected and the ratings consequences to the networks of ignoring such a horror are no doubt enormous, but the intrusion into the awful grief of the families of the victims is itself sickening.
Each of the little ones had parents and grandparents, siblings and cousins and friends, all of them reacting with the worst sort of grief anyone can feel: the loss of a child. The sudden, unexpected loss of adults to violence is awful enough, but there is simply nothing worse than the massacre of children.
So the American and indeed international media went into overdrive and Friday through today there is hardly nothing but the wrenching backdrop of a small Connecticut town on any of the channels that carry “news.”