BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Valentine's day became a nightmare for people in Broward County, Florida – 17 people lost their lives in yet another school shooting. There are two parts to this note I received not long after getting home to my family that evening, while discussing the school shooting and the sadness surrounding that, with Bethany and my 17-year old twins. M-G sent in this complaint, and you just can't make up this type of thing:
"OMG OMG OMG. Thank you for letting us know about the recent school shooting. Also, thank you for showing the same information and the same hundreds of students running out of a school over and over and over and thanks for the interviews of all the different people that don't have a clue what is going on but all have the same thing to say, "we don't know, it's unconfirmed, she said he said" In place of the regular tv viewing that I was watching and enjoying. While I appreciate the great reporting and information I also appreciate getting back to my TV viewing. While I'm on the subject, why are we viewers being punished EVERY weekend and made to watch the AARP infomercials? I have nothing else to watch!!! When I'm able to sit, relax watch TV I want to actually do that...watch good TV! NOT INFOMERCIALS CONSTANTLY! Come on, people. Oh those poor kids having to run out of that school over and over and over and over. Please hear me."
As always, I responded, and have since confirmed, yes CBS interrupted regular programming to cover the shooting. So, no, you didn't see all of our regular programming. We could have rolled Ellen at 3 while coverage was happening with regard to the shooting, I suppose.
But in times of crisis, like that of the fall of bonfire, being on air saying "we have no new information," while waiting for any new details, is incredibly important – especially to those in the area who may have family there, relatives in the area, or – how about just concerned caring people – like anyone in education, or many other walks of life. Here's an excerpt from the first response:
"Thank you for responding so quickly. I appreciate informing the viewers of what happened but I don't appreciate the media trying to "create" a story and fill up time, Basically stealing my precious time, while I could be watching my show and being informed as new information happens."
To the defense of CBS and all outlets on the ground, no one was trying to create a story. There was a follow-up e-mail from MG, a nice one:
"PLEASE don't get me wrong. My heart goes out to these families. I'm devastated that this is yet happening again. My prayers are with them."
Yes, it is difficult to find words to respond sometimes. This was one of them. I got nothing else.
Special thanks go out to the National Order of the Purple Heart, Fort Hood Chapter. I had the honor being their keynote speaker at the annual Purple Heart Ball on base there. Also to the amazing crew responsible for the Heart Ball at Miramont a couple of weekends ago, had the honor of serving as emcee for that event.
Tis the season, a busy time for events, but all for very worthy causes.
Be in touch anytime. Your opinion always matters to this family of KBTX News 3.