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SHOOTING: Media giving perpetrator notoriety

Letter by Virgil Thrapp, Graham on Jan. 14, 2011 at 11:43 am with 4 Comments »
January 14, 2011 11:43 am

Please, media, stop the insanity! Quit hiding behind the “freedom of speech” curtain while spewing a litany of faux pundits’ commentaries regarding the sanity or rationale of one nut job. The media have essentially facilitated his rise from obscurity to the level of infamy. Every article, every picture posted feeds his empty, soulless ego.

Several years ago I was involved with a safety study group trying to eliminate employee accidents. After all was said and done, it boils down to the fact that, regardless of the rules, regulations and processes implemented to prevent accidents, society, will never cross the threshold into the minds and thought processes of an individual at any one moment in time.

This same issue applies to all human actions. Try as we may, we will never have the resources to connect all the dots (individual acts) along with a societal process that will prevent such acts.

What the media can and should consider is to minimize the publicity given to the offender and focus on the victims. This one small effort may in some small degree deny the starving ego of the perpetrators the one thing they want most and don’t have: notoriety.

Unfortunately the media are 100 percent complicit simply because they alone have the tools to create “infamy” and infamy sells more than its counterpart. All I ask of the media is to report the news in an unbiased manner and quit making news surreptitiously.

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  1. BlaineCGarver says:

    Sir, your letter doesn’t make one lick of sense. I’m not a big fan of the liberal media, but it beats not having access to any of the goings on in this world.

  2. Roncella says:

    Virgil, Come on lets get real. This is a huge story, a Senator gets shot, and Judge gets shot and a 9 year old among others.

    There is alot to the story, from a mentally sick shooter to what set him off to do this horrible deed.

    The story is not over till the facts come out, Like Joe Friday use to say, The Facts and Just the Facts, Please”.

  3. Virgil, got a question for you…

    “What the media can and should consider is to minimize the publicity given to the offender and focus on the victims.”

    How do you propose the media minimize the publicity to the offender while they focus on the victims. The victim stories are interesting but in the case of Arizona… a wacko with a gun… hmmm, a case can be made he is more interesting.

    By reporting the news they are relating the facts to the public, hence the incident itself, those involved, etc… so I am not too sure that the name or story of the victims could not be told without telling the viewer/reader who or what affected them.

    That being said, if you are referring to the non-stop, ad nauseam, repeating of the same facts over and over again… oh no she is not dead, live feeds, over and over again to the point of tedium… then I agree.

    But that is not about the offender, it’s about the self pontificating media who will milk a story until there is nothing more than a bone dry caucus.

    Not too sure if the media is truely providing the facts… or just reflecting our blood lust for watching train wrecks of a story…. over and over again.

  4. I’ve seen much more ink dedicated to the 9 year old victim and the hopeful signs of recovery for Gifford than the shooter.

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