Okay hopefully you read the CNN print story linked above. When you finish, or if you need context first, be sure to also read the Texas Tribune/ ProPublica/ Washington Post collaboration on when this story really broke and how the print media covered it and uncovered it better.
no-paywall version here: www.propublica.org/…
Now, back to our topic :
Let's attempt to break down this CNN story as written:
Amanda Shoemake - DPS interviewed
Kathlene Torres - not interviewed, or interview not available to CNN?
Virginia Vela - - DPS interviewed
DPS Zach Springer, EMT trained - - “Ranger interviewed” (there should be a difference, a distinction made. It’s unclear if it matters here, however to the reporter.)
Maya Zamora, student, (arm shot) and fingers missing - not interviewed
4th grade boy who ran to bus, son of EMT, presumably named Vela as well?
unnamed deceased chest wound girl who was transported (improperly)
various EMT "colleagues," ambulance drivers, LEOs who moved wounded and dying and dead children from classrooms, improperly
Amanda Shoemake was on the first Uvalde EMS ambulance to arrive at the school, directed traffic, later worked on Maya Zamora, girl in and out of consciousness with fingers missing whose care was delayed waiting for a no-show helicopter. Worked alongside colleague Kathlene Torres. INTERVIEWED BY “an investigator from the Texas Department of Public Safety”
Kathlene Torres - Kathlene Torres moved Maya Zamora, (missing fingers) from ambulance floor to stretcher to ambulance #2, attended while awaiting no-show helicopter, likely accompanied transport in ambulance to where?
Viginia Vela - attended morning ceremonies w her 4th grade son, (not killed) treated window evac kids at noon in funeral parlor, saw first child brought out - dead -VELA SAW FIRST “TRIAGED” (improperly) child was deceased, yet brought out to ambulance where Uvalde EMS Shoemake locked the body in an ambualanceVELA never went inside the hall or the classroomVELA treated 1 male shoulder wound child, 1 male thigh wound child, 1 female child with missing fingers “in and out” of consciousness in one ambulance, seemingly one of the two first there on scene(then she saw her son was alive but continued working on the 3, the female/fingers child being most critical and on O2 )Her son got put onto a bus as confirmed to her by father via cell phone.Vela worked with Shoemake “and the others” - who?“load and go”. loading who into what?then she asked her partner (apparently not shoemake? IDed as female so maybe it was Shoemake ) “did i even help you?” Seemingly never left Robb E. "Interviewed by DPS"
DPS Zach Springer, EMT trained - - Ranger interviewed
Springer entered hallway to triage area at T. He heard the breach, saw children brought out NOT BY EMTs. HELPED BP MEDIC w female chest wound. It was here while doing this that 5 chest seals got lost, grabbed up and/or used, or not used. He brought 5 and had to use gauze on girl he treated (who later died)Went with whomever moved this (doomed) chest wound girl on wrong backboard, unsecured somewhere and then returned to hallway T, smelled the blood. Zach Springer’s CNN reported account ends there - when he returned were there additional casualties being treated ar triaged? We don’t know.
Maya Zamora, (4th grade, homeroom 112.) Wounded in room 112, moved from classroom 112 to hallway T triage floor by LEOs, strapped to ill-fitting board, carried to AMBULANCE #1 FLOOR, was moved again to a stretcher, AWAITED A HELICOPTER somewhere undetermined, possibly second ambulance, possibly the playground, delaying the transport and then finally went to hospital how?? Which hospital? Story does not say
I'll do the "when where how and why" separate because as you can see, the story is a mess and incomplete because the reporter only has three written initial interviews, and they may just be summaries at that. (But those aspects matter too, and need to be parsed as well.)
It's a good picture of the chaos in part because the story is chaos, too.
I'm not faulting his earnestness as a reporter, but by AP newspaper standards, this is pretty bad stuff considering he could have followed up with the participants or asked further questions at the hospital, or from the other ambulance drivers, etc. CNN didn't even speak to Zamoras parents, yet.
This is a report saying "I got three short, typed files from my source, EMTs who were initially interviewed by someone, I guess it was Rangers or DPS - and I need to go to press with it NOW!"
And let's be honest, why not just print/publish those in .pdf form and make them available for download to the public? I'm guessing they are at least as coherent as Prokupecz, only more so for being linear instead of intermingled for dramatic purposes. What CNN has done is insert themselves as another middleman we have to go thru to get the actual facts, which they then withhold from us, even thought those are arguably public records in an Open Records Act state.
Ten months we've waited and he can't spend two more days cleaning up the story here. Will he follow up? Possibly. Wil he do it in print? I doubt it. He's likely busy conducting TV interviews, I hope or confronting officials which is what he does best.
Don't think I'm ungrateful. We need all the transparency we can get. But this is what it is: "TV breaking news" in search of eyeballs, clicks, likes and subscribes, not actual journalism in my opinion. The ethics, craftsmanship and public service aspects come secondary, if ever here.
And that is part of the overall issue and the problem. Public officials know news moves like THIS now and can be countered on TV, using TV tricks. And these power-hungry, shameless official types have known that for decades now. There has never been a better time to be a corrupt official. If you can hoodwink, stall, lie and bamboozle past the first 48 hours on any scandal, you can probably hold onto power. Television's public moves on. There are consultants and media coaches to help with all of this and police have outfoxed the press to the point to where they are essentially unaccountable, and above the law, IMO. How? By using Public Relations and abusing public trust, either with the media's acceptance or in defiance and what's the difference if the media doesn't change tactics?
The story more or less documents chaos but doesn't begin to attempt to assign responsibility or address the command and control issues that caused the chaos here.
Again, compare this to the Wash Post/ Texas Tribune/ Pro Publica written and visual investigative account and you will see what I mean. Those guys and gals are professionals. These accounts, while new and certainly compelling to read, fascinating to question and dramatically stirring, are really just the color commentary and what's missing is the play-by-play and the assessment of the coaching staff and strategy, in sports terminology. (Sports reporters would likely do this whole sad story better. Because they understand winners and losers, and fair play and cutting corners on the rules to win.) .
Who failed Maya Zamora and her classmates? Isn't that what we need to know, more than how it happened in real time that so many injured were mistreated, improperly triaged etc? Who created the conditions here for helicopters not to arrive, for ambulances to be blocked, and staged on Main Street, etc etc?
That's likely another topic, but I need to point out it's likely the important one.
And finally, the real and only question that matters, after the tears pause and the rage calms for a bit: “what now must we do?”
In Uvalde we've seen the step of "identify and confront those repsonsible" goes nowhere. DPS McCraw's org, Greg Abbott’s private army gathered all this information ten months ago, and has done nothing with it but hide it from the public. Like ALL the other whistleblower stories since Oct 2nd, he will simply ignore them completly and never respond to them directly, when and if confronted. He knows he won’t resign and that His boss dare not fire him. Lawmakers, parents and the press have all pressed him. He simply gives glib answers and awaits the next USA Today puff-piece profile or Board review by Abbott’s biggest donors.
So we can maybe go higher, appeal to politicians instead? What we get there is PR, policy proposals, and prayers. What we won't get is accountability, action or actual facts.
The middle path along that way produces blue ribbon reports written by prayerful policy partisans.
The truth is the first casualty of war, and don't kid yourself, our kids are having war made upon them.
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