Reporter Asks If Aurora Shooting Survivors Were 'Worthy' of Dead Boyfriends' Sacrifice

Twisted 53

movie theaterWall Street Journal reporter James Taranto had to know he'd be courting controversy when he took to Twitter last night to comment on the theater shooting. Taranto's tweet about the girlfriends of the men who died trying to shield them in an Aurora, Colorado theater asked if the women were "worthy" of such sacrifice.

Perhaps he thought he was starting an interesting conversation about how we all hope that our loved ones don't die in vain. But he failed. In saying he hopes these living, breathing women are "worthy" of having been saved, Taranto came off as a self-righteous jerk at best, as a cruel, callous one at worst.

Here's exactly what he had to say:

I hope the girls whose boyfriends died to save them were worthy of the sacrifice.

Set aside the ridiculous question of how to measure the "worth" of a person, and let's look at the timing of Taranto's tweet. Did it have to be now? I can't imagine in total what life is like right now for the women who lost their loved ones in that theater. So I'll just go with a few facts.

Jansen Young, Samantha Yowler, Amanda Lindgren, and Julia Vojtsek (whose name was not reported in the initial round-up of women whose boyfriends paid the ultimate sacrifice) are grieving. They lost the men they cared for, Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn, Navy Petty Officer Third Class John Larimer, and Alex Teves.

At the same time, these four women are survivors of one of the most horrific tragedies our country has faced. They went to see a movie, and their lives changed forever.

Their troubles are numerous. Grief. Fear. Despair. Perhaps even a little guilt -- not because they did anything wrong, but because the psychologists have told us over and over in recent days that this is what survivors deal with, a tendency to blame themselves, to question themselves. This even though the men who loved them chose to do something honorable and beautiful for them.

And James Taranto chose now, chose these women as, what, a conversation starter? He never clarified what, exactly, he meant by the tweet, only decided to retweet some of his detractors in what could be taken as a form of lackluster apology.

It should be a good thing that the media has turned its attention toward the survivors of the Dark Knight Rises massacre. These people are the bright symbols of hope that shine out against the darkness of alleged shooter James Holmes' story.

But we need to weigh our needs for hope and happiness, our need to talk about this tragedy, with the much greater needs of the survivors and their families, as well as the families and friends of the victims. They don't need reporters piling on the guilt and despair. They have enough going around as it is.

What do you think of Taranto's Tweet? Was it inappropriate or perfectly OK?


Image via the_toe_stubber/Flickr



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noneya79 noneya79

Very inappropriate. He has some nerve! 

Amber Peerboom Mosher

I think that it is highly inappropriate that he say that! What an a**hole!

CanCa... CanCan123

UGH!!!! This MoFO does have some nerve. Who says shit like this? He has no idea what these people are feeling right now. what a dumbass!

stork... storkneedsgps

What an asshole! I bet he's never been in love. I feel sorry for anyone who is ever in a realionship with him.

Tasha Bertram

Wow. I am in absolute awe at what he said. That is horrifying that he could even think of that. It probably structures from some horrible relationship that he has had, but whether the women were good girlfriends or not we all need a hero, and it's not his business to choose the time and place nor to criticize the decision. It's like those in the military, they die everyday supporting our freedom. Now I ask is James Taranto worth sacrificing our troops for? From his controversy probably not, but they don't second guess it they just do it!

ldbc ldbc

Heartless. That reporter was only trying to stir up controversy.

Mimi Trimble

He needs to be fired from his job and blacklisted from journalism.

nonmember avatar Army Wife

Though I agree that what this guy said was horrible. I do not think that "one of the most horrific tragedies our country has faced" It is no doubt a horrific tragedy but not one if the most that our country has faced! Soldiers are dying everyday overseass THAT is the most horrific tragedy that our country faces DAILY.

NatAndCo NatAndCo

What's worse is the fact that thereafter a good chance these women are already asking that themselves. To have someone tried it in their face just makes it worse.

Joanne Sellers-gundell

I think it is very tacky,ignorant and low class anyone that tries to tag along for recognition on someones tragedy. It shows the lack of character wannabe media newcomers have. they ignore someones suffering and pain to create more just for their name in the headlines. I chose to see them as non existent as the criminal..not giving them what they want. anyone without compassion or tact as bad as the criminal in my eyes..and just as a child that thinks a temper tantrum gets him what he wants, i will give anything but what they recognition...gone are the days of reporters that want the truth, write the truth, and goal to inform the public without self gain. This particular a joke. he will never be anything better than a shmuck.

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