Like most I have been following the news reports coming out of Orlando Florida. Having received an alert of the shooting I immediately took to twitter to find out what was going on. Or more to the point if I could find any livestreams from the nightclub. It did not take long to find a live stream on periscope. I opted for the livestream as it was being streamed by ordinary people. Not the mainstream media. And what I found was, not only very interesting but very telling indeed.
My first thoughts were on how calm everyone was, police cars and ambulances everywhere and people were just standing around. There did not see to be any adrenalin whatsoever, in fact at one point the young man holds aloft his phone and remarks how good he looks in the light; much to the disgust of his friend. “I’m only trying to lighten the mood.” Our host replies. He possibly was just trying to lighten the mood. I just found it strange, given the magnitude of the situation.
What was more interesting however was the eavesdropping into the statement of one witness, who has now been all over mainstream media. I remember thinking as he was speaking about how heroic he was, how he’d helped two people and the way in which he’d helped.
“Where’s the blood?”
The witness in his three-quarter length trousers, shoes, USA flag t-shirt and fedora hat, sweating slightly, bearded face illuminated by the lights of the hungry media described the scene inside the Pulse nightclub. He is so composed, he is not shaking, not crying. He is simply reiterating what happened, what he saw, what he did. He saw bodies falling down.
At first he wasn’t sure that it was gunshots, the shots went with the beat almost.
“There were just too many, it was like. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. People fell down. I fell down.”
He said shooters! “I didn’t see any of the actual shooters. There had to be more than one or two, there had to be. People were trying to escape out the back.”
He then managed to escape himself and was able to help the injured.
“There was blood everywhere. I was helping someone. I wasn’t sure if he was dead or alive, I was saying hey, are you alive? Hey are you okay?”
Our hero then took his bandana off and pushed it into the hole in the victim’s back. Then he helped a second person, a girl who had been shot in the arm.
At this point our hosts decided they were going to try and get nearer the club to get a better view. Bearing in mind the situation had not been resolved at this point. There were still hostages and the gunman/men were still believed to be inside. Either our hosts knew there was no real danger, or they were being very silly putting their lives at risk either way they began to walk away from the nightclub and I went in search of other news outlets. Not finding anything interesting I retired to bed.
Sunday morning of course I woke to floor to floor coverage on just about every channel I tuned into. From Sky News, to Fox news (someone was kindly live streaming it on youtube) And RT, therefore the following are all taken from various mainstream news outlets.
First thing I noticed was the mantra. The terrorist had a name and there was wall to wall coverage of just about every aspect of his life. Which is in keeping with the mainstream mantra for the ‘home grown terrorist’
Emotions are a strange phenomenon.
Witnesses being interviewed were either complacent, over emotional, or just downright passive. One woman, interviewed the previous night by mainstream media told of how her son who was hiding in a bathroom and likely to die. She told him to hang up and text her. I mean really? Really? She was so calm, passive, like it was an everyday occurrence. No adrenaline, no emotion whatsoever. She just stood there. It seemed a very odd and unnatural reaction to the gravity of the situation her son was in. He may die and she was just standing there. I feel sure that if any parent who knew their child was in imminent danger would stop at nothing to get into the that club to rescue him or her. I have never seen anyone so composed. It was almost as if she was indifferent.
Unlike the over the top woman clinging onto the journalist. I have never seen such over the top sobbing in my life. She was looking for her son who had gone to the nightclub with his boyfriend who was at the hospital but there was no sign of her son. Now I am not saying she was not telling the truth, I am not saying her son is not missing. Her first interview, she was sobbing, her second interview of the night was the most over the top emotion I have ever seen in my life. Like that of the young man interviewed on RT who was standing in line do donate blood, chatting, fully composed in the background while the presenter did her piece to camera and then in a scene very reminiscent of Robbie Parker, the parent whose daughter was gunned down at Sandy Hook; seen laughing minutes before taking to the mic to tell how his daughter died. As this young man turned to the camera it was as if a switch went on, as if the director shouted action. It was like a performance. Emotion that was not quite believable.
I am not saying this horrific event did not happen. I am simply saying those interviewed by mainstream media reacted in a very strange way indeed. I have not simply looked at this from one side. I compared it with other horrific events, such as the Dunblane Massacre which happened in Scotland in 1996 where parents were wailing. The Columbine Massacre where eye witnesses were seen shaking, crying, searching for loved ones. Nothing was forced, it was all natural raw emotion.
I know different people react in different ways. I am simply stunned at the reaction of those who were present. There was no panic, no running away, no taking cover. Are Americans so desensitised to these shootings that their reactions are somewhat unnatural to those observing from outside the country?
I really cannot fathom it.