When I first heard that Oprah was sending Lisa Ling down to Blacksburg, Virginia to cover the Virginia Tech mass killing, I braced myself for something awful. I cursed the television. I pictured Lisa’s brand of red-carpet reporting coupled with this unfathomable tragedy and began to write an angry letter to Oprah in my head (“Dear Oprah, Stop faking it. Stop drinking. Stop pretending John Travolta is not gay. And for that matter…). I TiVo-ed the show but watched it live anyway, unable to handle the anticipation.
I never thought I’d say this, but Lisa Ling actually did a good job. She seemed kind of wrecked by what had happened and, dare I say, sincere. She hung back during heartbreaking interviews with victims’ friends and relatives and left their palpable grief unadorned. She said her “heart sunk” when she found out the shooter was Asian–which was true for so many of us–and I believed her. Maybe robots have feelings after all.
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