America’s newsrooms are — yet again — being forced to confront a familiar and unrelenting evil. Special reports. Banner headlines. Push alerts. They were all activated Wednesday night as news organizations found themselves suddenly tasked with covering the monstrous sickness of mass shootings that continue to plague American society, resulting in staggering losses of innocent life. Coverage of both the Israel-Hamas war and the new election-denying Speaker of the House was swiftly supplanted with rolling images of a prime time manhunt after a suspect opened fire in multiple locations in the small town of Lewiston, Maine. “We have some breaking news to report,” Chris Hayes said on MSNBC following a segment on the war in the Middle East, adding to viewers that “it is our understanding the situation is serious.” It quickly became apparent just how serious the situation was. CNN’s chief law enforcement analyst John Miller raced to air, telling Kaitlan Collins at the top of the 9pm ET hour that at least 16 people had been killed, with many dozens more wounded. That gruesome death toll, unfortunately, kept growing, with scores more wounded, according to officials. But the number is expected to continue swelling in the hours ahead. As the scale of the violence became more clear, television news outlets adjusted their programming. ABC News broke into regular programming with a special report. MSNBC dipped into coverage from its local affiliate. And Fox News pre-empted Greg Gutfeld’s right-wing comedy show for breaking updates. All the while, authorities hunted the suspect, enlisting the news media in their efforts. Police released multiple images of the alleged gunman, asking the public for help identifying him. The photographs were chilling, showing a middle-aged man carrying an assault-style weapon. News organizations usually resist airing images and even the names of the gunman who carry out sickening acts of violence. The worry is always that doing so will make celebrities out of mass shooters, potentially inspiring others to mirror their inhumanity and stage similar acts of barbarism. But in this case, with the suspect at large, the reverse was true. Images of the alleged gunman were plastered everywhere. The name of the person of interest were spread far and wide. And, as a result, millions of Americans will become familiar with him, the unsettling pictures of another gun-wielding man seared into the national consciousness. Weeks after seeing disturbing images of Hamas terrorists gunning down and slaughtering innocents in Israel, the cameras will now be trained on a reprehensible act of violence here at home. A weapon of war used to intentionally and indiscriminately gun down civilians in a senseless atrocity.