Rather than cover what is their biggest story in years, the pathetic UC Santa Barbara student newspaper has, in effect, issued a trigger warning on it. Weenies.
The poor little dears are afraid of getting the shooting story wrong or that someone might become upset by it. So first they posted an Op-Ed saying they wouldn’t cover it at all for fear a reporter might suffer emotional harm. They then, after predictable outrage, fired the person that posted the Op-Ed and offered a tepid explanation that they were hard at work and would report on everything several days after it happened, but not before. However, they did say they were tweeting about it. Sigh.
In the “fog of war” immediately after a horrific event, journalists sometimes do get the story wrong because all the facts aren’t in. However, that is piss poor reason not cover the story at all. And if a reporter can’t handle troubling events, he has no business being a journalist and should probably write real estate copy instead.
An educator comments on the troubling trigger warning trend.
The trigger warning—if it is to be used at all—should appear on the application to college itself: Please be aware that you will be challenged here, you will be exposed to ideas you cannot now imagine, you will experience times of cognitive dissonance and intellectual vertigo, and you will likely be transformed in some unscripted and unpredictable ways. If that doesn’t appeal to you, stay home in the comfort of your couch and your familiar books and things.
Oh, and if that set includes the Bible, here’s a trigger warning for that: This good book contains graphic scenes of murder including patricide and matricide, fratricide and genocide (spoiler alert: in the serial genocides that occur in the opening chapters, God takes the wrong side every time), rape including gang rapes and incestuous rape and child rape, torture, tribal warfare, human sacrifice, and slavery—if any of that might trigger bad feelings or icky reactions, stick to the Bible Stories for Children. It’s so much more comforting.