MSNBC, other outlets gone crazy in shooting suspects' San Bernardino apartment

Never have TV correspondents seem so, well, ghoulish than at this very moment.

This week's why-we-hate-the-media moment was a little late in coming -- Friday afternoon. But MSNBC came through with flying colors as it ripped its way around the apartment of Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the suspects in the San Bernardino shootings.

CNN was in the apartment as well. And MSNBC wasn't the only fine, fine journalistic outlet showing a teddy bear, driver's licenses, Social Security cards and pictures, including some that could be those of innocent people.

But MSNBC was the worst by far with the channel appearing to show everything it could without restraint on its live feed. Loved the correspondent poking around the baby's crib. Who says this channel can't go deep?

I am squeezing my brain as hard as I can, and, at the moment, I cannot think of anything like it that I've seen -- even by the debased standards of cable TV. Maybe the palace of Saddam Hussein after the invasion of Iraq. But that felt nowhere near this personal. Nor did the invading correspondents seem so ghoulish and out of control.

But let's not blame just the correspondents. In fact, in the cable TV news business, if you are a correspondent on the scene of a story as big as this and the producers back in New York are telling you, "Get in that apartment and get your channel out in front on this story," you go. And you go hard. You don't stand outside and have a debate about privacy versus the public's right to know.

No, that's what the people calling the shots in New York should have already done so that they could give the correspondents responsible marching orders once they were inside. And then, as gatekeepers, they could responsibly decide what to air or not.

But, as I have been saying for years now, MSNBC defines journalistic irresponsibility in TV news. Remember when the channel's executives decided to all but abandon any notion of traditional journalism in favor of left-wing ideology on its road to a deep last place in cable news?

This is just what I expect of MSNBC, the poster channel for a TV news industry that has lost its journalistic and ethical way.

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