Whoopi Goldberg was infuriated about the Austin American Statesman’s decision to leak a video of the delayed police response to the Uvalde School Shooting, which has been criticized by the victims’ families. Whoopi called out the paper for releasing the video before the victims‘ parents could see it themselves during The View on Wednesday, July 13. She said that she felt like it was “appalling” and that the outlet should be “ashamed” of publishing it.
Whoopi Goldberg is extremely angry at the Austin American-Statesman for releasing the video of the Uvalde police officers standing down for 77 minutes, calling it "indefensible."
"Shame on — I know it doesn't mean anything coming from me [spits], but shame on you!" pic.twitter.com/tZyjKa8CL8
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 13, 2022
Whoopi started the discussion with an emotional address that criticized the newspaper for releasing the disturbing video, which is surely upsetting to the victims’ families. “Many parents of victims are outraged this was released, but the paper is defending their decision. I find it indefensible. You forgot that attached to all those sounds are people’s children, and you didn’t have to do this. They were going to see this video on Sunday. You did not have to release this and leak it. I think it’s appalling, and you should be ashamed of yourselves for doing that. For being thoughtless about the parents who have to relive this every day, because it’s on television. Every time you turn around, you’ve got to see it. I don’t know if you guys over at that newspaper have children, but shame on you. I know it doesn’t mean anything coming from me, but shame on you,” she said. Later in the discussion, Whoopi also criticized the decision to leave gunshots in the video.
In a piece explaining the reasoning for releasing the video, the Austin American Statesman ethics and standards editor Manny Garcia explained why the paper felt it was important for the video to be released. “We have to bear witness to history, and transparency and unrelenting reporting is a way to bring change,” he wrote, also noting that there have been “heroic-sounding narratives proven to be false,” that have come out since the shooting.
The decision to publish the story has been criticized by many of the victims’ families, as well as Texas officials, including Governor Greg Abbott, according to Poynter. Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw revealed that the organization had planned to show the video the victims’ families on Sunday. “Gov. Abbott is disheartened and disappointed that this video was leaked before the victims’ families and the Uvalde community – those most affected by this tragedy – had the opportunity to view it,” the governor’s office said in a statement, per Poynter.
Whoopi’s co-host Sunny Hostin explained that she felt “differently” about the leaked video, but she also agreed that the victim’s family “should’ve seen it first.” She explained that by showing the video it pushes back on the narratives that have been presented about how police responded. “Now we know what really happened: that they were cowards in that moment,” she said. “Through history, we’ve always had this police narrative, and we didn’t have anything to combat it, and now with the ubiquitousness of cameras, now we finally know.”
Sunny also explained that videos have helped bring about change in public opinion, and guest co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin, agreed, although she also said that the parents should’ve been told sooner. “I think this outlet had an obligation to make every attempt to reach the family to say they were publishing it sooner, but I do think that justice does come from seeing these things,” she said.
Towards the end of the segment, Whoopi reiterated that parents should’ve been told to be given “the opportunity to re-steel themselves,” and she said that the sound of the gunshots still being in the video were still horrifying, even though the outlet had edited out the sounds of the children screaming. “These are real people. These are real children that died, and I understand everything you’re saying, but you say they took the sound out. The bullet. You can still hear the shooting,” she said.