Larry Wilmore used a roller coaster metaphor to explain the media coverage of and the public reaction to the epidemic of mass shootings.
The “Nightly Show” host said we’re pulled up to the top of the “Big Thundering Mountain of Emotional Exhaustion” by the initial reports of an “active shooter,” and then comes the questions and guessing.
“Everyone on the coaster’s trying to guess what the shooter looks like at this point,” he said, showing a clip of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly asking why authorities won’t release descriptions or other information about the suspects during the breaking news event.
“Yes, what are the ethnicities?” Wilmore said. “Can’t they see we need to know who to hate?”
Wilmore said the initial release of the suspects’ description was a particularly scary part of the emotional roller coaster.
“Everybody’s praying that their type isn’t the one at the bottom of that drop,” he said. “If you’re like me, you’re like, ‘Lord, don’t let them be black, don’t let them be black — please.’ Even white people are like, ‘God, I never ask you for anything — you know, because I’m white and everything. But please.'”
He said the San Bernardino shootings yanked our emotions back and forth as the initial reports indicated the shooters were white, but then authorities said the suspects were a Muslim couple.
President Barack Obama issues statements condemning the shootings and lamenting their frequency, but Wilmore said nothing was ever done to prevent them.
“That’s because we’re about to take a hard right,” he said, showing video of various conservative lawmakers and pundits saying that mass shootings had nothing to do with gun control or even guns themselves.
“I’m starting to get sick,” Wilmore said, as he rolled video of the familiar litany of evasions and excuses. “Oh no, here comes the craziest part of the ride — the Fox News loop-de-loop of loopiness.”
Fox News host Steve Doocy asked a guest whether the San Bernardino shooters had deliberately targeted an office Christmas party, and legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. connected the dots on another program by asking: “Is it a literal war on Christmas?”
“I knew this was going to make me throw up,” Wilmore said.
He said cable news networks too often filled airtime with guesses and speculation as mass shootings unfolded, rather than waiting for facts to be revealed.
“They get into this game of speculation and conjecture, or as I like to call it: premature conject-ulation,” he said.
Wilmore said each mass shooting was carried out for singularly awful and usually bewildering reasons, but they all had something in common.
“The only thing we can be sure of is, as we get off this ride, we’re a little queasy, our legs are a little wobbly and, in the pit of our stomach, we know that it’s not going to be long before we get on this ride again,” Wilmore said. “And the scariest part about this whole thing is that it doesn’t surprise us anymore. We’re actually getting used to this.”
“That’s not good — and this is not just my opinion,” he added. “This is how it was reported by the BBC (on Wednesday): ‘Just another day in the United States of America — another day of gunfire, panic and fear.’ Just another day.”
Watch the entire segment posted online by Comedy Central: