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Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

MLive mocks domestic violence?

I know Twitter is supposed to be different than your standard news format, whether newspaper, TV or radio.

Twitter can be conversational. It can used to question what people think about a topic. For instance, we at The Oakland Press, one of Michigan's last daily delivered newspapers, asked what people thought of the government being the ones who set standards for broadcasters.

Twitter can also be a place to have fun. I know many 'stupid criminal' stories that are perfect for the 140-character Tweet format. But mocking domestic violence? It's unfortunate that it's so easy to fire off a Tweet without thinking too much about what you're saying (see the Lion who told fans to go back to be broke and poor.)

At about 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, MLive tweeted about a man biting off a woman's nose, saying: "Well that's one way to solve a disagreement."

It seems rather flippant and insensitive to a story that occurred within one of mLive's communities, Grand Rapids. John Agar's story doesn't make fun of the situation, which to me sounds extremely serious. The story notes the woman, 44, will need reconstructive surgery. It also indicates that a Michigan woman who did the same thing was recently sentenced to 4 years in prison. Police could not describe the relationship between the man and woman, Agar's noted. But it appears to me that they at least knew each other, attending a party together. The 56-year-old man is jailed.

Perhaps the chaos of the scene police encountered amused the Twitter author, police finding a part of the nose after the woman called from a pay phone. To me, it sounds terrible, a woman fleeing from a residence in the cold of the night, running from a man who had just viciously attacked her.

There's nothing funny about domestic violence (or an attack against a woman, if it turns out there was no relationship between the pair). It happens again and again, and sometimes, it leads to murder. Locally, a story about a firefighter killed in a traffic accident turned as investigators learned the man was a subject of a domestic violence investigation with his wife hospitalized. The death has been ruled a suicide.

Families can destroyed by domestic violence.

Last year, too many times we reported on murder-suicides, one of which included the couple's two young children as victims of homicide. And domestic violence does not need to involve a death to be serious business.

At The Oakland Press, we report on plenty of crime. Sometimes the crimes are strange; sometimes gruesome; and yes, sometimes funny. I don't think this is the sort of story to have fun with when Tweeting.


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