I checked Twitter just before 10 last night and found that my timeline was full of news that something big was going on in Rothbury where Police had been looking for Raoul Moat, the man wanted for the murder of one man and the serious injury of two others.
Way back on Tuesday, when the Police first closed Rothbury down, they politely asked the media not to set up camp there. Well, we rightly have a free press, but we don't always have a sensible one, so every news bulletin has come from the Northumberland town ever since.
Even when the Police had Moat cornered near the river in Rothbury for 6 hours last night, the media conducted live rolling news coverage metres away, as close as they could get to the Police cordon. The noise from all the media crews and the light they needed must have carried to the scene and at least caused background noise. The coverage even took a surreal note with the reported arrival on the scene of an intoxicated Paul Gascoigne.
I couldn't believe the stupidity of the photographer who went and snapped Moat lying on the ground and the Police facing him. In a tense situation like that, his movement, or his noise, could have destabilised things and in the worst case scenario could have cost someone their lives.
It's hard to have too much sympathy for a wifebeating murderer, but he was a human being and the media circus which surrounded his final hours, and days, was inhumane and obscene.
It may also have more serious repercussions as Johann Hari argued yesterday in this excellent article.
If we are ever to see such a situation again, I'd like to see the media report only as much as is necessary to protect the public and otherwise keep schtum until it's over. I won't hold my breath for that.