Media critic

After every mass shooting — a frequent occurrence — there’s a cable-news information gap. It comes after a mass shooting has been confirmed and before there’s any firm information about just what happened. In this infernal period, “law enforcement analysts” provide remarks about what authorities might be doing; anchors make tentative claims about what might have happened, invariably caveated by disclosures that they don’t know anything; and people who are miles away call in to add to the cacophony.

The disparity between the voracity of 24-7 cable news and the availability of news after a mass shooting came into relief Thursday afternoon as news surfaced that there were injuries and fatalities at the Baltimore Sun-owned Capital Gazette, publisher of local papers the Capital and the Maryland Gazette. On Fox News, reporter Trace Gallagher came onto the air and said this to host Neil Cavuto:

We checked in earlier, Neil, with the ideological bent of the Capital. Again, it’s one of the oldest papers in the country. It’s owned by the Baltimore Sun. … This newspaper — we kind of looked at the editorial board, who is on it, what topics they cover. It’s very much a local newspaper. They cover the capital, which is a few miles away, the Naval Academy, which is a few miles away, and local elections. For the latest primary, they endorsed a moderate Democrat. So the paper itself [is] very local. Doesn’t really seem to have a major ideological bent — if that plays into the motive at all, we certainly don’t know.

As with so many other things that “we certainly don’t know,” it’s best to simply not talk about such stuff while information is still in flux. [Check the latest from The Post on the shooting]