Most of us love a story about an unlikely hero (male or female) who steps up to confront a horrifying crisis, neutralizes the situation, and saves lives in the process. But do we love that story enough to throw out the truth? Apparently, in this 24/7 cable and internet news environment where mistakes are reported first and corrected later – sometimes much later – the answer is: Screw the truth, give us some heroes.
Greg Mitchell, editor of “Editor & Publisher,” offers this much-needed re-appraisal of the Ford Hood massacre that redistributes credit between Kimberly Munley (first cited for taking down gunman Hasan) and Mark Todd (the one who actually did it). For many, this will be a small detail in an enormous tragedy. But given the avalanche of (premature) media praise for Munley, the question for all news consumers is: Do we want the facts to be carefully vetted, or do we want a parade down Main Street that hastily and inaccurately honors the kind of heroes we prefer?