Covering Friday’s Isla Vista killing spree last night, Anderson Cooper and Megyn Kelly chose not to mention alleged killer Elliot Rodger‘s name, air his photo, or play the YouTube video he made shortly before killing seven, including himself.
“I respect the position that you’ve taken on the coverage of these events,” Richard Martinez, father of one of the victims, 20-year-old Christopher Martinez, said to Cooper.
“As you know, I don’t believe in saying the person’s name, or showing the person’s picture who committed these things,” Cooper said. “I think history should not remember that person’s name, but should remember the name of your son, and all the others who lost their lives.”
Martinez added there’s another important reason not to report perpetrators’ names: would-be shooters thinking of committing a crime might be watching Cooper, and shouldn’t see other shooters rewarded with on-air name recognition from the media. “I agree,” Cooper said.
Later in the show, Cooper spoke with “Columbine” author Dave Cullen about not reporting shooters’ names. “There’s almost a glorification, and other people are watching,” Cooper said.
Over on “The Kelly File,” Megyn Kelly stuck to her show’s policy: “We are not naming this shooter, nor will we show you his picture or his videos.” Kelly then tossed to Trace Gallagher, who reported on the investigation into the stabbing and shooting spree without mentioning Rodger’s name, showing his picture, or airing his YouTube video (which has been removed from the site).