Why did CBS place quotes around ‘hero’ in story about cop who ‘saved hundreds’ of lives?

Why did CBS place quotes around ‘hero’ in story about cop who ‘saved hundreds’ of lives?
Factory where the shooting occurred (Image: YouTube screen grab, via AP)

By now you’ve probably heard about the latest shooting rampage. It happened Thursday in the town of Hesston, Kan., where 38-year-old Cedric Ford drove around in his truck, opening fire at several locations before heading to the lawn mower factory where he worked to “settle a score.” (Then again, you may not have heard of it because the profile of the shooter, who was black, fails to conform to the liberal narrative that all gunmen are white bible-thumping conservatives.)

Before all was said and done, Ford had killed three people and wounded 14 others.Ultimately, he was himself taken out by a police bullet.

Which brings us to the coverage of the incident by CBS News. Their telling of the events ran under the curious headline “Hero” cop protected hundreds from Kansas gunman, sheriff says.

Did you will notice that hero is in quotations marks? The apparent reason for that stylistic decision is that the headline draws on a comment by the local sheriff:

Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton described the officer as a “tremendous hero” because 200 or 300 people were still in the factory and the “shooter wasn’t done by any means.”

“Had that Hesston officer not done what he did, this would be a whole lot more tragic,” Walton said.

Even so, was the decision to place the word in quotes intended to show that CBS News does not consider the officer a hero?

As to why Ford went on a killing spree, the New York Post advises:

Employees at the factory said the shooting may have stemmed from a dispute with co-workers.

“He had some mental issues and … he was being teased a little bit,” Jared Trujillo told KAKE-TV.

Cedric Ford (Image: 2010 mugshot(
Cedric Ford (Image: 2010 mugshot(

Also reported:

Ford had multiple convictions in the state of Florida for crimes such as burglary and possession of a weapon.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer.

Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.