The definitive clip on how the media should handle mass murderers.
At least it is in my opinion. Watch til the end for the payoff. (It’s only 2:48)
It’s true that these crimes have to be reported; we don’t want to be left in the dark. But it’s not true that they have to be pumped up into a big story or given wall-to-wall coverage on CNN. In Denver, it’s a huge story. But in the UK?
What bothers me most about the coverage of these things is the atmosphere of excitement that creeps in. The tone should be business-like, informational, the voice of someone resigned to the fact that crimes like this happen but determined to deny the killer any hint of glamour. An excess of sobriety to frustrate his craving for notoriety.
This is also true for print and digital media. My Twitter feed turned into an tragedy industrial complex, offering tidbits that are seemingly mundane, yet captivating. Red hair! Application for guns obtained legally! And I wonder if post-Columbine, post-Oklahoma City, post-9/11, media enthusiasts and Internet denizens and TV news watchers are both disgusted and enthralled by these types of tragedies, as they are news outside of the norm, a hot flash in the media pan. And one of the ways of dealing with a dialectic tension such as disgust and enthrall is to post, or air, endlessly about it. Then again, if we’re living in, as McLuhan says, a global village, then it does matter, doesn’t it? A village takes care of one another, especially in times of tragedy. Shouldn’t we want all the information that’s given to us by the media?
Yes, this, all of this. The media shouldn’t be fueling more crime.