Fox News' "America's Election HQ" website published one of those "wacky coincidence" stories yesterday that will make you want to take a cold shower or seven after reading: A student at George Washington University committed suicide yesterday, just as President Obama was giving his major deficit-reduction speech at another campus building. Not that there was anything linking the events, but apparently it was enough of a nutty coincidence for Fox News to make note of it as important political news. Ick.
College students, unfortunately, commit suicide with some frequency and while each one is a tragedy, very few are written up at length on national election news websites with frequent references to the President of the United States. Here's how the story—which is still up—opens:
George Washington University students in Washington, D.C. learned of a tragic coincidence of timing on their campus Wednesday. As President Obama delivered a speech on deficit reduction in the Jack Morton Auditorium, university officials were learning one of their students had committed suicide in his dorm room across campus.
Fox News has learned that the male student may have been a junior at the school and was described as solitary. He rarely left his dorm room, according to a source.
Who knows how old he was, but some anonymous person said he was "solitary." On another note, President Obama was speaking a few buildings away. Okay?
GWU officials tell Fox that police were notified about the incident around 2pm, which happens to be at the same time that President Obama was speaking. A source tells Fox that the incident may have occurred earlier, noting that police went knocking on the student's door at 1:30pm. As of this writing, Fox has not been able to obtain reaction from the White House.
And why would this be something that the White House needs to comment on?
This isn't the greatest act of journalistic malpractice we've ever seen. But to post the news of a student's suicide under the headline "GWU Suicide Tragically Coincides with Obama Speech" in the political news section seems a bit... chilling.
[Image of Obama speaking at GWU via Getty Images]