Media Feeding Frenzy as Reporters Stampede Into San Bernardino Suspsects’ Apartment


On Friday afternoon, cable news networks CNN and MSNBC, along with other photographers and reporters, gained access to the home of the couple suspected of carrying out the deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 people and injured 21. The rampage, which occurred only two days prior, has since been the subject of an FBI investigation for possible terrorism.

It’s still unknown exactly how the journalists gained entry into the apartment. (There remains some dispute around the role of the landlord on the scene.) Reporters could be seen going through children’s belongings and even holding up a driver’s license that appeared to belong to a family member of one of the suspects. The scene became an instant breaking news item, of blockbuster proportions:

One of CNN’s own security analysts, Harry Houck, appeared appalled by what he was watching live on air, even as CNN continued to show more footage from inside the house. “I’m having chills down my spine what I’m seeing here. This apartment is clearly full of evidence.” Watch his reaction below:

CNN even chose to lead with a photo of what appears to be a crib from inside the house on the network’s homepage with this banner headline:

FBI sources tell CBS LA that the investigation at the house concluded Thursday.

Nonetheless, outrage was swift on social media:

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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