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Victoria Advocate Editorial Staff,
Thank you for this well reasoned and needed editorial. I agree with EdithAnn that sad events such as this bring out the dark side of some commentators and the people that are suffering from loss would be better served without the sometimes cruel comments.
Part of our culture is the burning desire to have swift, final conclusion and judgment; lack of quick definitive findings turns normal citizens into a judge and jury in a manner of minutes. "Trial by press" and "trial by public opinion" seems to be commonplace.
We should discern that things are often not as they appear; instead we levy judgments regardless.If history has taught us nothing else, it clearly illuminates swift judgment is seldom righteous justice.
We hear about change of venues many times-- the jury pool is indeed polluted.
Conclusion prior to investigation is indeed contempt. Of this, we are guilty.
I believe this was a story that warranted coverage. However, besides this editorial, there have been at least 3 videos, and 6 or 7 articles about this terrible event, on top of multiple stories of the previous attacks and at least one poll. I don't know if I counted the PRO/CON stories, either.
Do you think that the saturation of Advocate stories--coupled with the ability to post comments--may have contributed to much of the rush to conclusion before the fact? I think it has, and I am not sure that has been the most responsible thing the Advocate could have done.
Maybe the policy on this type of story needs to be no comments from the get go, rather than having to shut it down when it goes south.