The recent Planned Parenthood attack is still resonating with the public, especially those reporting the news. This became readily apparent as news of the San Bernardino shootings started to break on Wednesday (December 2).
One local Fox affiliate anchor, Araksya Karapetyan, mistakenly named the women’s health clinic as the site of Wednesday’s deadly attack.
“A planned parenthood clinic in San Bernardino,” she tweeted. “Details coming in… no much info yet.”
Karapetyan was in such a hurry to get the news out there that she forgot to mention why the clinic was important. This was brought to her attention by a follower on the microblogging site. Her response is below.
— Araksya Karapetyan (@Araksya) December 2, 2015
To the anchorwoman’s credit, she has been working feverishly to keep her followers updated of the at-this-time ongoing developments, and she has since deleted the tweet indicating that it was a Planned Parenthood attack.
This screen cap from Mediaite preserves the original message, however.
The incident has caused some to question the professionalism — not just of Araksya but the media in general — to look for angles before the truth comes out.
One commenter wondered, “[H]ow the f*** people are making this political when NO INFO on the shooters is even out yet.”
“Didn’t they try to say it was a PP [Planned Parenthood]? Geez!” wrote another commenter.
At this time, San Bernardino Police know the attacks occurred at the Inland Regional Center, which serves developmentally disabled individuals. There is believed to be more than one shooter, with each carrying rifles and wearing body armor. Twelve people are confirmed dead and as many as 20 have been wounded.
As the story is still breaking, these numbers could fluctuate. The shooters were still at large at the time of this post.
Unfortunately, there can be pressure to be first and fast in today’s media landscape, and that can lead to events such as this becoming politically charged before all the facts are in play. It’s not exactly the first time this sort of thing has happened over an active shooter situation.
In 2013, Business Insider revisited the Sandy Hook Massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, and examined why so many believed that gunman Adam Lanza didn’t act alone.
According to the site, the reports started circulating because police were trying to control the situation and detained a number of people, whom they would not allow to leave until identities could be confirmed.
Two of those people were reporters in the woods near Sandy Hook. Another individual was detained because he’d gotten a news alert about the incident and went to the scene to see what was happening. Yet another individual was a mobile phone-toting parent.
School officials also told police that they had seen someone run out of the school while the shootings were in progress.
The media’s rush to make all these facts known had numerous individuals on Facebook and other social media sites declaring there were multiple shooters and tripping over themselves with outdated news.
In this case, if you hear that the San Bernardino shootings are a Planned Parenthood attack, disregard. While a clinic does exist near the site, authorities are certain that it was focused on the IRC.
What do you think, readers? Was the rush to call this a Planned Parenthood attack politically motivated? Should the station issue an apology? And do you think incidents like the San Bernardino shootings and the recent Planned Parenthood attack should be a call for more gun control? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via InlandRC.org]