COMMENTS: Dying to Shop

All three networks tied up loose ends from the Omaha department store shooting that was Story of the Day Wednesday (text link) and Thursday (text link). NBC was most perfunctory, assigning Leanne Gregg to a short stand-up, including a line from killer Robert Hawkins' suicide note: "I know everyone will remember me as some kind of a monster." CBS had Byron Pitts lead its newscast with the aftermath. Pitts said Hawkins' note was "scribbled like a kindergartener" and selected a different line to quote: "I have been a constant disappointment and that trend would only have continued." ABC ran two reports: Eric Horng's (no link) on the suicide note and CCTV images from the Von Maur department store showing Hawkins casing his targets; and Chris Bury on Person of the Week Jodi Longmeyer, from the store's human resources department, who stayed on the telephone with EMS 911 for 30 minutes narrating the carnage. By the way, NBC anchor Brian Williams, in his occasional weekending summary of viewers' e-mail comments, remarked that those killed "died because they went holiday shopping on a Wednesday afternoon." Well not quite. Of the nine who died, six were employees not shoppers, one was the suicidal gunman himself--only two were looking for Christmas presents.


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