Readers React: Enough with the wall-to-wall San Bernardino coverage, readers say

A makeshift memorial near the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino on Dec. 11.

A makeshift memorial near the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino on Dec. 11.

(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Initially, most of the letters written in response to the Dec. 2 terrorist shooting in San Bernardino skipped the apolitical mourning and got right into the debate over gun control. The letters that focused on coverage of the attack mostly praised The Times or asked the media, including this newspaper, to refrain from publishing photos of the attackers.

Increasingly, however, as The Times has reported more on the attackers and any preshooting clues that may have indicated their terrorist intentions but were missed, readers have expressed dismay over what they feel is aggrandizingly prominent coverage of the perpetrators. Many object to seeing their photos in The Times, while others want the paper to cease mentioning the attackers completely.

Here are some of their letters.

Laurie Guitteau of Santa Barbara says The Times’ exhaustive coverage increases the public’s fear:


I was out of the country when the horrific San Bernardino attack occurred on Dec. 2. In fact, I was in Paris and had been there during the aftermath of that city’s Nov. 13 attack.

It is agreed that one of the purposes of these terrorists is to gain their “15 minutes of fame” and to promote their agenda through publicity. Well, The Times must be on their payroll.

Since we returned home Dec. 5, the front page and many other pages of The Times have had prominently placed articles about the attack. It must be a slow news period, because you seem to be searching for every detail possible to create a headline story. No wonder fear among the general population is at an all-time high. The media fan the flames.

Enough already. Let’s return to responsible reporting and leave this Hearstian hysteria behind. Your readers deserve better.

William Kirwin of Newport Beach accuses the media of giving “free advertising” to killers:

I fail to understand why the media, both print and television, insist on running the photographs of the two terrorists who fired weapons in the San Bernardino killings. Do you not understand that this is akin to free advertising for the jihadists?


I suspect that every time these photos are shown, there are cheers from the supporters of Islamic State and any potential “lone wolf” sympathizers in the United States. Please cease this kind of publication and relegate the pictures to the archives.

Los Angeles resident Kim Airs wants The Times to devote more coverage to the victims:

Could you please stop immortalizing the killers from the San Bernardino massacre?

I understand it’s a journalist’s job to research those who caused it, but if you are going to devote space to anyone, it should be the victims. Bury your reporting on the attackers deep inside the paper, not on the front page.

The more press (never mind on the front page) you give to these people, the more others will follow so they can be famous too.

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