When journalists are dashing out the first rough draft of history, are they allowed to get some of it wrong?
Journalist/author Dave Cullen is cautioning reporters to be careful with what they write about James Holmes, arrested for the Dark Knight Rises massacre in Aurora, Colorado. “In 1999, I lived in Colorado and was part of the first wave of reporters to descend on Columbine High School the afternoon it was attacked,” he recalled in an op-ed in Sunday’s New York Times. “I ran with the journalistic pack that created the myths we are still living with. We created those myths for one reasons: we were trying to answer the burning question of why, and we were trying to answer it way too soon. I spent 10 years studying Columbine, and we all know what happened there, right? Two outcast loners exacted revenge against the jocks for relentlessly bullying them.
“Not one bit of that turned out to be true.”