A lot of you are writing to say that the repetitive nature of the sniper story is making you crazy, and that people like me spend too much time on a story with few facts — except for the overwhelming facts of 10 dead people, whose only offense was they went outside.

I hope this is not a news flash, but we're frustrated and exasperated too. We also know that this is the kind of story that overwhelms everything else.

With the eastern part of the country wondering if it's okay to walk from the car to the grocery store, or if it's okay to send the kids to school, or if dinner will be followed by a walk back to the car and a shot that will mean spending the rest of your life with half a stomach and no spleen in the best case. How do you talk about other important stories?

Lots of stories are important and many of them have way more facts than this one, but this one is urgent... really urgent... and that urgency is what makes news. So this story crowds other stories out.

I worked the O.J. Simpson case for a year-and-a-half straight, seven days a week. I hold the world record for live shots on the same story. I know how some stories that are not always that important can crowd others out.

But don't yell at the TV. It won't help. We'll know when this one has lost its urgency. When it's over, we'll go back to normal.

But at this moment, I still can't tell you it's absolutely safe to walk to the car.

See? That got your attention, didn't it?

That's My Word .

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