The problem with heroes

By ADAM REILLY  |  October 10, 2007

Obviously, there are some big differences between Talbot’s death, on the one hand, and Cahill’s and Payne’s on the other. For our purposes here, this may be the most important: the lack of detail about Talbot’s shooting quickly raised questions that still haven’t been answered, while Cahill and Payne seemed, for a long time, to be above reproach. Until they weren’t.

But maybe the media shouldn’t need red flags to make it proceed with caution and a modicum of detachment on stories like this. Maybe, instead, the simple fact that every hero is also a fallible human — and that we in the press may need to chronicle this fallibility — should be enough to take the edge off our adulation. When public grief is at its peak, this may seem like an awfully cold solution. In the long run, though, it’s probably better than trying to have it both ways.

On the Web
Adam Reilly's Media Log: http://www.thephoenix.com/medialog

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  | 
  Topics: Media -- Dont Quote Me , Science and Technology, New York City Fire Department, Boston Fire Department,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY ADAM REILLY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   BULLY FOR BU!  |  March 12, 2010
    After six years at the Phoenix , I recently got my first pre-emptive libel threat. It came, most unexpectedly, from an investigative reporter. And beyond the fact that this struck me as a blatant attempt at intimidation, it demonstrated how tricky journalism's new, collaboration-driven future could be.
  •   STOP THE QUINN-SANITY!  |  March 03, 2010
    The year is still young, but when the time comes to look back at 2010's media lowlights, the embarrassing demise of Sally Quinn's Washington Post column, "The Party," will almost certainly rank near the top of the list.
  •   RIGHT CLICK  |  February 19, 2010
    Back in February 2007, a few months after a political neophyte named Deval Patrick cruised to victory in the Massachusetts governor's race with help from a political blog named Blue Mass Group (BMG) — which whipped up pro-Patrick sentiment while aggressively rebutting the governor-to-be's critics — I sized up a recent conservative entry in the local blogosphere.
  •   RANSOM NOTES  |  February 12, 2010
    While reporting from Afghanistan two years ago, David Rohde became, for the second time in his career, an unwilling participant rather than an observer. On October 29, 1995, Rohde had been arrested by Bosnian Serbs. And then in November 2008, Rohde and two Afghan colleagues were en route to an interview with a Taliban commander when they were kidnapped.
  •   POOR RECEPTION  |  February 08, 2010
    The right loves to rant against the "liberal-media elite," but there's one key media sector where the conservative id reigns supreme: talk radio.

 See all articles by: ADAM REILLY