Yesterday, two journalists were shot dead in cold blood, live on American television. Later, the gunman posted a point-of-view video of the shooting, in which the gun can be seen in his hand as he kills Alison Parker and Adam Ward, both Virginia journalists in their twenties.
This, just the latest in a somehow bottomless pit of horrific, tragic shootings in the United States, had an added abhorrence. News outlets have repeatedly thrust such stories in our faces; from unarmed black men shot in the street by police officers, to classrooms full of infant-school children and church-fuls of people shot mercilessly by roving gunmen.
But something about this is different.
This tragedy seems almost perfectly calibrated to appeal to all the worst instincts of the 21st-century mainstream media.
And they fell for it.