Newscasters know that a panicked public will stay glued to their screens. Political candidates who campaign to the emotional responses of voters know they can use the San Bernardino massacre to increase the sense of despair and fear which their strategy relies on. Pundits look for perspectives on San Bernardino that can be said to effect as much of their audience as possible. Even The New York Times, by making the San Bernardino massacre its lead front page story five days in a row, with three banner headlines, contributes to the hysteria.
The news media has a responsibility to report thoroughly and extensively on the facts and ramifications of an act of terrorism as horrific as San Bernardino. However, by making San Bernardino into another Paris – which it was not, neither in its planning, nor its execution, nor its outcome – newscasters, pundits, political candidates and political leaders have aggrandized Malik and Farook. I doubt they imagined that their office party bloodbath would cause the entire nation, from the White House down, to tremble.
(Sent to the NYT, who didn't publish it.)