Feeling deceived, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Adrianne Haslet-Davis stormed off the set of NBC’s Meet the Press in protest and in tears. Reportedly, she had agreed to appear on air so long as the names of the alleged bombers would not be mentioned during the broadcast, only to learn that the promise had been broken.
Surely, we can sympathize with Haslet-Davis’ point of view. The bombing one year ago today, in which the 33-year-old dance instructor lost her foot and hundreds more were injured or killed, was an unspeakable crime, so much so that the names of those believed to have masterminded the attack should be unspeakable. Of course, it is perhaps a stretch for Haslet-Davis to expect a news program, while commemorating the anniversary of the horrific event, would not once identify the suspected bombers by name. However, the outraged woman is absolutely right in terms of what the focus should be into the future.
Whatever the extent to which NBC and other national outlets choose to refer to the suspected terrorists, patently gratuitous are the countless photographs and videos of the two explosions and their immediate aftermath, highlighting mutilated limbs and terror-filled faces of stunned spectators. In addition to the graphic scenes of destruction, on-camera interviews asking folks to recall where they were, what they saw, and how they felt at 2:49p.m. last April 15 emphasize the wrong story, that of injury rather than recovery.