April 30, 2007

ABC News: Reaching, Failing Yet Again, and My Fleeting Affair with Holly Hunter

It is getting increasingly difficult to describe stories published by ABC News as anything remotely approaching competent journalism.

Today, ABC runs the headline Va. Tech Shooter, Victim Linked to Gun Range, in an attempt to establish a connection between Seung-Hui Cho and his first victim, Emily Hilscher.

The connection?

Cho used the Jefferson National Forest Firing Range at least three times in the six weeks prior to the Virginia Tech massacre. Heather Haugh, Emily Hilscher's roommate, said that Hilscher went to that range with her boyfriend Karl David Thornhill, perhaps even a month ago.

The ABC News reporter, Lara Setrakian, then states:

The link between Hilscher and Cho is unclear, but possibly crucial to understanding a motive behind the April 16 attack.

Interesting line. Setrakian essentially admits there is no clear link, but then speculates that a link that may not even exist is "possibly crucial to understanding a motive."

Setrakian presents no evidence that Cho and Hilscher were at the range at the same time, same day, or even the same week.

This is "crucial?" Do we blindly speculate much?

You know, I was in a sporting goods store some years ago in Middletown, NY, when actress Holly Hunter purchased a treadmill, and I actually helped her and the guy she was with load it. Does that prove we have some sort of relationship? Apparently it would to ABC News, as it is a far more concrete link than this Cho/Hilscher story.

Sadly, blind speculation and incompetence, along with outright, still uncorrected falsehoods, are sadly becoming the new journalistic standards of ABC News, where "ABC" seems to be defined as "anything but credible."

Holly, if you read this, and remotely remember that tender handful of seconds we almost had together almost talking in a Middletown, NY parking lot... call me.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 30, 2007 11:35 AM

Using ABC's logic, the hundreds or thousands of others that visited the range would also be somehow linked to Crazy Cho-Cho. Egads.

Posted by: Laddy at April 30, 2007 12:38 PM

I used to have a deep yearning for Holly Hunter.

Posted by: Doc Washboard at April 30, 2007 01:01 PM

I've spent about 1/2 hour within arm's reach of Bill Gates while manning IBM booths at trade shows and when he was making a tour of the Boca lab back in 89'. We've even conversed for maybe 5 minutes.

We're real tight Bill and I.

Why, I'll bet I spent 5 seconds "getting tight" with Trent Lott at some conference in D.C. maybe 10 years ago too.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at April 30, 2007 03:35 PM

Interesting line. Setrakian essentially admits there is no clear link, but then speculates that a link that may not even exist is "possibly crucial to understanding a motive."

Odd. Where have I heard this errant logic before? Um....

Oh, right.

Posted by: bub at April 30, 2007 11:28 PM

Turn the story around. The girl knew how to use a gun. If she were allowed to have access to one, instead of her right being restricted, would she now be alive? Could she have stopped the mad man?

Posted by: David Caskey at May 1, 2007 07:27 AM

It sickens me. Anti-gun legislation makes average people sitting ducks. She would have had a chance to be alive, and she could have saved many other lives as well. A chance is better than no chance at all.

Posted by: Justin at May 1, 2007 08:28 AM