As I type this, I am watching a Twitter exchange between the MPR NewsCut blogger (Bob Collins) and several of my friends on Twitter. In a short version, Collins tweeted:
The idea of a youth camp run by a political party is kinda scary.
Several people (my friends included) called him out on this, and it's degenerated into kind of a Twitter snipe-fest; though anyone is welcome to have their own views, I don't think that if I were tweeting for public radio I would respond is such a curmudgeonly manner.
What Collins fails to grasp is that he is more than welcome to his opinion about whether or not political parties should run camps. But to make that your very first tweet on the subject after tweeting earlier simply that you were "Following Oslo..." reeks of "blame the victim." I think it someone had commented after Columbine that it was a "scary high school," there would have been all kinds of offense taken — and rightfully so.
Collins' comment is not unusual. It's not really all that different than wondering out-loud "Well, what was she doing there?" when finding out a woman was attacked in a bad neighborhood, or any other comment that draws an unwarranted relationship between unrelated issues. He claims that:
What I said was I like to think ppl who folo me are able to differentiate btween finding camps scary & wishing ill on attendees.
If so, why make the comment now, as your first impression of the Norway shootings? What Collins fails to grasp is that cause and effect don't stop with an issue, they continue into the reporting on it. Twitter, blogs, and other citizen-journalist methods are rapidly gaining ground as how we learn about things. And I think we owe them all a little more thought.