Television news networks showed their viewers a bizarre spectacle Friday afternoon: a tour of the San Bernardino, California, shooting suspects’ apartment. Was this responsible? Allowed? Good for the world? Airing coverage live when there might be, say, Social Security numbers and other personal information of family members on display makes me think no, maybe, and doubtful, in that order. But the landlord to Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook opened up the apartment, and so camera crews rushed in.
CBS: "Why did you let the cameras inside?" Landlord: "I didn't. When I opened the door ... they rushed" https://t.co/BZSsyAwBUy— Andrew Katz (@katz) December 4, 2015
MSNBC got in on the action first. What’s that, a pink stuffed animal of some sort? Big catch.
Eventually more networks, including CNN, got into the mix. Here they are, doing whatever they want, at the scene of an investigation. (We've made sure the following clip does not contain any personal information.)
Turns out the apartment featured other toys. Hmm.
They were Muslims … and had a Quran?!?
NBC reporter rifling through what he identifies as the Quran in attackers’ apartment on live TV pic.twitter.com/cRu5csdtcB— Kia Makarechi (@Kia_Mak) December 4, 2015
Why not just blast a lot of very private information of someone or another onto live television?
Screenshots from MSNBC. I added the redout pic.twitter.com/Ttu3zJ0Fjj— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) December 4, 2015
MSNBC examining woman’s photo in the bathroom >> "I’m going to guess that these are the photographs of Malik … But we don’t know."— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) December 4, 2015
Andrea Mitchell was talking to Sen. Lindsey Graham during the breaking news. Graham was … confused.
Lindsey Graham, on the phone w MSNBC, says he's "astonished" they're letting people go through the apt. "I've never seen anything like this"— Jordan Fabian (@Jordanfabian) December 4, 2015
It’s unclear how authorities feel about the TV news stampede.
Asked FBI Los Angeles if suspects' apartment now open to the media/public: “I don’t believe so…it is still an ongoing investigation.”— Brian Ries (@moneyries) December 4, 2015
"Our search is over. We released the scene yesterday." -- Spokesperson for FBI LA, to me, moments ago. Take it for what it's worth.— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) December 4, 2015
Update, 3:45 p.m.: A CNN spokesperson emailed the following statement:
CNN, like many other news organizations, was granted access to the home by the landlord. We made a conscious editorial decision not to show close-up footage of any material that could be considered sensitive or identifiable, such as photos or ID cards.