This afternoon, Bill Richard released a statement which in part read:
We also ask for your patience and for privacy as we work to simultaneously grieve and recover.This man's son, eight-year-old Martin Richard was pronounced dead at the scene yesterday, following the explosions in Boston. His wife Denise Richard, and six-year-old daughter, Jane, were seriously injured.
His request for privacy, despite his tragic loss and his ongoing suffering, was ignored by at least one reporter whose apparent desire to get an exclusive interview outweighed their sense of decency.
In a story on NPR this afternoon, a reporter actually said the following:
No one answered the front door. In a statement the family asked for privacy.This reporter actually knocked on the door of this poor grieving man and essentially went on to report that they had ignored the family's request for privacy. They didn't report that he had done so before he had been made aware of the statement, so I can only assume that they knocked on that door despite being aware of the request for privacy. This kind of pushy reporting is pretty standard, but I would think that requests for privacy under circumstances such as these would supersede standard 'journalistic' operating procedures.
How tragic must the circumstances be exactly, before members of the press will respect such requests for privacy? And given the circumstances, why would a reporter presume that they can initiate such communication, even in the absence of a specific request for privacy? I know they have a job to do, but it just seems so heartless, so damn cold and heartless. 'Tell us how you feel tragically bereaved person'. How the fuck do you think they feel, give them some damn space! If they're up to it, maybe they'll contact you if you show them a little respect.
It's a good thing I'm not a reporter, because I could never make such a presumption. At best, I would leave a calling card (quietly without so much as a squeak) that would simply explain that should they decide to talk, I would be available at any time and that they can pull the plug at any time, for any reason, or for no reason. Well, something like that anyway. I guess it's a good thing I'm not a reporter.
I gotta say, I don't know how these family members ever go on camera and talk about the loss of their loved ones. I would lose it, I would completely break down. I have great respect for those folks who can talk about their loss, not because I have some morbid curiosity, but because they serve as examples of how people can deal with the most tragic of circumstances and not be engulfed by them. For those that can do that, for those that can share their thoughts with us whether it's printed format, audio or video, they should be given the opportunity to do so on their own terms. They should never be pushed into it by anyone, ever.
It's a really good thing I'm not a reporter. For those who are, I implore you to respect the privacy of the victims of yesterday's tragedy, especially when they have asked for it. The innocent survivors of any tragedy deserve the same respect.
My condolences are not worth much, but I offer them to Mr. Richard and his family with all the heartfelt sincerity I posses. My condolences also go out to the families of the other victims.