The reporters wanted to get back to the fiscal cliff.
Is it "unbelievable" and "shameful" that the press corps wanted to talk about the fiscal cliff? Or has the Newtown massacre been a diversion from the fiscal cliff?
I use the word "diversion" here with circumspection. The word connotes amusement and entertainment, and the murder of children is terrible and serious. Nevertheless, our fixation on something is not immunize from criticism on the ground the thing we are focused on is terrible and serious. Our fascination with it may be morbid and prurient.
This is the 4th definition of the word "diversion" in the OED: "The turning away of the thoughts, attention, etc., from fatiguing or sad occupations, with implication of pleasurable excitement; distraction, recreation, amusement, entertainment."
What is the fatiguing/sad occupation and what is functioning as a diversion? The media and the American public were energized by the massacre and spurred into to producing/consuming copious media. Politicians, including and especially the President, seized the opportunity to demagogue massacre.
So I would honor the professionalism of the press corps in dragging our attention back to the fatiguing and sad occupation of attending to the federal budget.