The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

20 November 2005

No Self Control


Police Hampered In Tacoma By Overeager Reporters

It's been a tough day in Tacoma, Washington, where a gunman opened fire inside a shopping mall and took music store employees hostage. So far, at least six people have been taken to area hospitals.
According to accounts, Tacoma police officers actually had trouble reaching anyone inside the Sam Goody store where employees had been taken hostage, due to tied up phone lines.

Why? Because during the standoff, news media outlets were flooding the store with calls.

From the AP:

One record store employee said he was being held hostage after gunfire erupted.

"We're being held hostage," said Joe Hudson, who answered the phone and identified himself to The Associated Press as an employee at a Sam Goody store.

Hudson said little else, but could be heard telling someone that he was talking to the AP. Then he hung up.

What were they doing phoning the store directly? Getting updates from the police department wasn't enough, so they had no problem getting in the way?

What if the calls had triggered more violence?

And they dare to criticize bloggers and talk show hosts for being "irresponsible"? These people have no control.

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