The astounding journalism in Orlando

There were two interviews in the media on Tuesday which were beyond compelling and deserve the attention in this space.

First was Anderson Cooper’s grilling of Pam Bondi, the Florida attorney general who defended Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Yesterday, Bondi said the state will “go after” anyone who attacks the LGBT community in Florida.

“I talked to a lot of gay and lesbian people here yesterday who are not fans of yours and said that they thought you were being a hypocrite, that you for years have fought—you’ve basically gone after gay people, said that in court that gay people simply by fighting for marriage equality were trying to do harm to the people of Florida,” Cooper said.

How could she be a champion of helping gay and lesbian victims and their families from Sunday morning’s shootings while also opposing their freedom to marry last year, he wondered. He called it a “sick irony” that Bondi was trying to get families information about their hospitalized loves ones after denying that right to same-sex partners previously.

I can’t say for certain that Cooper crossed the line, but he at least approached it. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Some of the finest journalism happens right at the line.

But I also don’t know exactly where the line is on an interview like this during a story like this. So I’ll leave it to you to help sort it through.

I have no such conflict in listening to NPR host Ari Shapiro’s unbelievable interview with the family of a young woman — the youngest victim — who was killed after she escaped from the club, only to realize her friend and cousin were still in side. So she went back in and died there.

If there was ever a definition of compelling journalism and storytelling under the most difficult of conditions, this is it.

  1. Listen Philadelphia Teen Was Youngest Victim In Orlando Nightclub Attack

    June 14, 2016

Shapiro, and his NPR team, have been committing astounding acts of journalism . That includes the story of Eddie Meltzer, a shooting survivor who is acting as translator for many of the Puerto Rican families of victims.