I won’t say Jarrod Ramos was hearing the Supreme Leader’s voice in his head, the one that says the press is the enemy of the people, when he shot up the Capital Gazette. Ramos’s grudge seemed more personal.
But who will say some other slackjaw, somebody who has let Drumpf’s hatespeak echo off the walls of his empty basement of a brain, won’t find slaughtering journalists a reasonable thing to do now that Ramos has broken the seal. It’s a culture war, and in war, there are enemies.
These were lifers — reporters, editors and an ad man — old enough, most of the five, to be able to see retirement on the near horizon but unable, I imagine, to think of a “next” in their professional lives. Newsies, literally to the end.
Every newspaper is owned by somebody, but the Capital is a local paper doing local news, allowed to live and carry on rather than being compromised and emasculated, downsized and deligitimized, by its corporate overlords. Know any papers like that? I worked for one. Know any papers like the Capital Gazette? I worked for one, a long time ago. The same paper.
Gazette staffers, the survivors, worked through their massive grief to publish. The next day, same as any other day. But not the same paper, ever again. Will the first American newsroom to endure a massacre by gunfire be the last? Can we hope?