Friday, July 20, 2012

And again.

We're very slow learners, us civilized folks.  Here we are, with another mass shooter orgy; it will go on for weeks now.

If you have the stomach, take a look at my post from 2007; Screaming Headlines.  Nothing has changed, if anything, the media have had practice now and crank out the trash faster.

I maintain now exactly what I said then: THE reason these shootings happen is; the instant celebrity, the media orgasm frenzy, the "smug-shot" photograph the killer knows will be repeated on every front page and news outlet for weeks.

If we banned such coverage- the shootings will stop.  I guarantee you.  Did we have these events before the media potential was realized?  Sure.  Once every 20 years.  Crazy persons exist.  Now- it's twice a year, and accelerating; and so far, not one major media outlet (The New York Times?  Washington Post?) has taken the high road, and announced the will not make a celebrity of the murderer.  Not one.

So what can you do?  There is something.  Don't watch.

And- tell the medium involved you're doing it.  Here's what I do:

When the Smug Shot shows up on my screen; I immediately go to the bottom, where there's a "Contact Us!" link.  I contact them.  I tell them; having seen their murderous coverage, I have turned it off; and will not visit their website for the next 3 days.  Actually- yeah, they lose revenue, when you don't click.  You can make up a standard message, and just paste it in, repeatedly.  Here's mine:

"You have chosen to make a murderer a celebrity.  I choose to not read your lethal coverage.  The media frenzy is unquestionably THE CAUSE of these massacres.

"I am normally a serious reader of your news; but now I have closed your site; and will not return for 3 days; I will take my traffic elsewhere.

"Stop this mindless snuff porn you are pushing.  Look in the mirror.  You are complicit."

If that gives one media employee a sick stomach- it's worth it.  Copy that (or improve it) if you wish.

I'll check back in in 3 days; if their coverage is still "America's Favorite Home Murderers!"- I'm out of there, 3 more days.  Cover the event, cover the survivors?  Sure- a little; then respect their sorrow.  Publicize NOTHING about the killer; not their name, photo, story- make them become a non-person.

Tell them.  And put this post up on your Facebook site.

The media have shown they have the spines of jellyfish- we don't have to follow them or participate.

There is other stuff to do, and read, in the world.

Maybe if the survivors, and parents of the dead- made this their crusade, someone would listen?


Anonymous said...

i think it's far worse than making the murderer a celebrity -- it's also bumping "real" news off the air too.

i recall shortly before the OJ trial, some media folk were saying how they'd love to cover the news that north korea might be making nukes (the big 'serious' news of the time), but there just wasn't time. then the OJ thing started, and the had several hours of watching the car on the highway, then remain parked by a house, etc. really, couldn't have devoted that time to serious issues? couldn't have used all that time when nothing was happening to talk about serious issues, then break in once something happened with the white bronco?

i think the powers that be like a dumb audience that doesn't think, and is constantly having their emotions manipulated, and that's why they'll keep up these types of news stories. and that's why i don't watch or read the mainstream press. i get most of my news from a variety of blogs, as they're not afraid to take a real stand. (and no, i don't read only folks i agree with.)


knutty knitter said...

Was there another one then. Not heard about it so far.....maybe because I don't watch much tv :) I figure if anything is important enough, someone will eventually tell me. Meanwhile I get the news I think is important.

viv in nz

Robyn M. said...

Thought you might like to see this video from Charlie Brooker about exactly your point:

Some of us are trying to pass it around on Facebook & Twitter, to get some groundswell of action against this style of reporting. As usual, Brooker is both brilliant and compelling.

SharleneT said...

I've posted your blog on Facebook and hope it spreads. Sooner or later, they'll catch on and stop it. I'm just praying that some clever lawyer doesn't work in an insanity plea for this jerk. What amazes me is that he didn't kill himself after the shooting to avoid having to pay for the crime.

Anonymous said...

I disconnected my TV three and a half years ago. It took Comcast four months and several phone calls to finally get disconnected. Then several more months of calls to see if I really meant it. From the remarks I've received when I mention this, I'm definitely a mutant when it comes to current American culture. No one can conceive of why in the world I would delibrately disconnect the TV, Inconceivable. It's as if most people must have had their brain waves reconfigured to match up with flatline TV. Aided and abetted by the internet and our dumbed down schools of course.
If everyone disconnected TV? Now that would be a real revolution. My god, we might actually wake up to our situation without all the psychobabble.

Jill in Berkeley

James said...

I think a fair bit of the bumping "real" news off the air is calculated and deliberate. It is well-known that certain politically "sensitive" announcements are often released quietly in the midst of some other media circus that so conveniently popped up to provide welcome cover.

The Knowledge Junkie said...

I agree with most all of these points and explanations but feel the serious effects of over population on these issues have been forgotten.

Greenpa said...

Knowledge Junkie- oh, really not forgotten. Certainly not by me. The problem is more that population has been discussed excessively, and without anyone ever finding a real "handle" on the problem. Tons of "we shoulds" and "we must" and "they must" - but not any of them with a snowball's chance in hell of actually happening. Gets hard to talk about, again, after a while.