Live Shots, Name-Calling: The Worst Of The Williams Coverage

The word "impromptu" and other more major missteps are leading to insensitive coverage of the icon's death.

Live Shots, Name-Calling: The Worst Of The Williams Coverage
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That's the word being used by many media outlets to describe memorials and tributes to Robin Williams. It's not inaccurate, but doesn't the use of "impromptu" after a suspected suicide seem somehow ... insensitive?

Of course the tributes are "impromptu." No one saw this coming.

And that's the tamest of some of the distasteful coverage of the actor's death — which is being investigated as a suicide.

Satirical site The Best Page In The Universe called out ABC, pointing to the site promising live aerial shots of the actor's home while simultaneously reporting his family's request for privacy. ABC got flak on Twitter for the live coverage, too — the network ultimately apologized, admitting there was no news value in the footage.

TMZ went with in-your-face headlines like this — and listen to its over-the-top music choice when breaking the news.

"Hey guys, this is Brian — really sad and tragic news that has just hit the TMZ newsroom: Robin Williams has committed suicide."

Just some subtle sound effects — and the dangers of media discussing mental illness and suicide. On CNN, Nischelle Turner apologized for saying Williams was battling "demons."

"I apologize for using the word 'demons' because Robin Williams was, by so many people's account, was a bright light — a bright light in Hollywood, a bright light in his life that was battling a disease."

And here's what Shepard Smith said on Fox when talking about Williams' love for his children.

"They're inspiring you and exciting you, and they fill you up with the kind of joy you could never have known, and yet something inside of you is so horrible, or you're such a coward, or whatever the reason, you decide you have to end it."

Smith saw backlash for using the word "coward."

Although he did apologize in a statement to TVNewser"The last thing I would ever suggest about a man I know nothing about personally, is that he's a coward."

But going back to that word — "impromptu." It is being used in a way that makes sense for a comedy great, a legend of improvising ... by those who are remembering all of the legend's genius impromptu performances.

This video contains images from Getty Images.