Five days after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., residents are becoming increasingly frustrated with the media’s blanket coverage of the shooting and its aftermath.
A popular Facebook post by the Newtown Bee led to an outpouring of the townfolk’s frustrations with reporters that have descended upon them. The original post from the Bee asked reporters to leave the families of victims of the shooting alone, stating that it was time to let residents of Newtown grieve in private.
“On behalf of the entire staff of The Bee — we are imploring ALL our colleagues and journalists to PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THE VICTIMS,” the original post read. “We acknowledge it is your right to try and make contact, but we beg you to do what is right and let them grieve and ready their funeral plans in peace.”
In the comments of the Bee’s request to journalists, Newtown residents are taking out their frustrations on the national media. Many say the television reporters are blatantly ignoring their pleas for privacy in an attempt to get quotes, and in the process violating journalistic ethics.
“The phone calls from 7am-11pm need to stop. and coming to my doorstep was completely out of line. LEAVE US ALL ALONE,” wrote Christine Dennison Wilford.
One concerned resident told a story of a CBS News employee who deliberately lied to residents in order to get quotes for a story.
“I had a person from CBS news lie to me and say she was a friend of one of the grieving mothers,” wrote Eileen Byrnes. “She came with a plant and so we let her on the property only to find out she was with the news. Some of these people just don’t have a soul.”
Others charge that unnamed media peoples have been intruding on private moments for victims of the tragedies.
“Unfortunately, the media will not be leaving soon, or respecting the privacy of the funeral home as a sacred place for people to say good-bye and support the families. As I drove down main street today, I was upset at the number of cameras just aimed at the door to the funeral home... The last thing these families need is to see their family and friends in these tender moments broadcast for all the world to see.”
One Newtown resident, quoted by the Denver Post while frequenting a bar in town, perhaps summed up the town’s sentiments best.
"It's like, f**k you," he said. "Go away. Leave us the f**k alone."