Mansfield selectmen said on Wednesday that the coverage of the tragic shootings in Newtown Connecticut last week was poor at best and at worst could cause more damage.
“The media was phenomenally poor in accuracy for the first two days,” said selectman George Dentino. “What I worry about is the media overdoing it … it tends to affects people’s minds that are very small, and history will repeat itself down the line. It puts suggestions in people’s minds that otherwise wouldn’t have them.”
Selectman chair Olivier Kozlowski said that the media coverage was questionable because reports and connections were made that were not there, including the shooter’s apparent Aspergers syndrome.
Following the shooting, a report came out that Aspergers syndrome, a syndrome part of the autism spectrum, can lead to violent behavior. Many experts have said this to be utterly false.
“A lot of the news reports were atrocious and subject to change by day,” he said. “I am really cautious and really nervous when people tend to act on something when it doesn’t seem to be the case. We need to caution people not to react to something that may not even be true.”
The board all agreed that such an incident is a tragedy and hits home to anyone with children.
“All of us are parents, I can’t imagine what those folks are going through,” selectman Jess Aptowitz said. “Especially being this time of the year, we all have issues and complaints, but you’ve got to sit down with your kid and remember what’s important in life… you can’t talk enough about it. My condolences to all those families in [Newtown], it’s just a terrible thing.”