Okay, so I admit it. It's a prerequisite that in order to be a television reporter, you have to cut out your heart (which is probably black as coal anyway) and sell your soul to the devil. Learning how to do the "circling like a vulture" trick is the hardest to learn in journalism school.
Look, I have a thick skin. I don't take the words of some self-righteous reporter personally. But I told my parents about the article, joking, "hey they could have at least spelled my name right!" My parents responded in the comments section. I was a little embarrassed at first when I read it, but then I realized that what my parents wrote was beautiful and touching, and speaks passionately about the human condition.
So I wanted to share what they wrote:
Jan & Kent says:
As parents who tragically lost our son at age 19, we would like to say that while we never had a microphone thrust in our face, we always appreciated the expression of concern and condolences, no matter the source. And because our son was working off camera at a TV station when he died we were very touched when the anchor expressed on-air condolences to Jason's family and friends. We taped that and still have it. Twenty years later we still weep when we watch that.
The media can help to make connections among people and tell the stories of those who are lost. Some do it better than others. Tess Koppelman does an outstanding job in our opinion - probably because she remembers the difficulty of losing her brother, Jason, 20 years ago on September 13, 1989. We know that she is not just doing her job, but that she is doing it with compassion and caring. We know that, because we know her well. She is our daughter and best friend.
Reporters see so much tragedy in their work, and we have seen our daughter weep privately over some of those stories and rage over others. Reporters are people with feelings and families and histories. They want to tell the stories to humanize the tragedies. We want to hear the stories to become more human. We all become connected when we do so. As Garrison Keillor has said, "grief makes relatives of us all."