They descended on Floyd like locusts in a Biblical feeding frenzy, the TV trucks, the talking heads and the rest of the pack that follow blood and guts stories. They are the vampires of the journalism trade, the sensationalists driven by a TV news culture that calls car chases "breaking news" and feeds on the blood of of victims.
Floyd tops Virginia news tonight as Steven Dale Branscome continues to elude capture. Not a surprise. Branscome is the grandson of former Floyd County Sheriff George Branscome and he is at home in the woods and it will probably take more than armor-clad SWAT teams waving M-16s and time-consuming roadblocks to trap a country boy on his home turf.
But Branscome is sought for shooting a State Trooper and he has sworn he will not be taken alive. This is the kind of bloodlust story that sends TV anchors into on-screen orgasms.
They call these exercises "location stand ups" and it is designed to show viewers that their local TV crews are on the job, even though they could tell the same story from their studios in Christiansburg, Roanoke and Lynchburg and the average viewer could care less.
Eventually, the law will get Branscome — dead or alive — but probably long after the satellite trucks have moved on. The story is already going stale and there is always something else to sensationalize.
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