Prior to announcing that Officer Darren Wilson had not been indicted in the shooting death of Michael Brown, St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch hit against the media coverage surrounding the incident in the aftermath of the shooting.
During his announcement, McCulloch specifically pointed to the 24-hour news cycle’s “insatiable appetite” for news of any kind and the “non-stop rumors on social media” as the biggest challenges the investigation faced in coming to a decision to indict or refrain against further prosecution.
“Within minutes, various accounts of the incident began appearing on social media, accounts filled with speculation and little, if any, solid or accurate information,” said McCulloch.
“The most significant challenge encountered in this investigation has been the 24-hour news cycle and its insatiable appetite for something, for anything, to talk about, following closely behind with the non-stop rumors on social media,” McColloch added soon after. “I recognize that the lack of accurate detail surrounding the shooting frustrates the media and the general public, and helps breeds suspicion among those already distrustful of the system.”
Meanwhile, many reporters railed against McColloch’s points against the media:
Things indicted so far: Social media, regular media, the public Things not indicted: The person who killed a kid with his hands up
— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) November 25, 2014
McCulloch says “most significant challenge” was the 24-hour news cycle & “insatiable appetite for something, for anything, to talk about.”
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 25, 2014
Social media and the “24 hours news cycle” get blamed for everything.
— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) November 25, 2014
Interesting that prosecutor went out of his way to slam social media. Which is starting to erupt
— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) November 25, 2014
He’s blaming the media so much I think this might be a Republican primary debate.
— Ana Marie Cox (@anamariecox) November 25, 2014
My jaw’s on the floor. This is really something.
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) November 25, 2014
Sounds like social media is being imdicted tonight
— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) November 25, 2014
McCulloch: it’s the media and twitter’s fault
— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) November 25, 2014
— Van Jones (@VanJones68) November 25, 2014
Dude just indicted social media
— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) November 25, 2014