Friday, February 15, 2008

Is the Media Complicit in Recent Mass Murders?

We stated on April 19, 2007 (Virginia Tech shooting) and December 7, 2007 (the Omaha Mall shooting) that the media should be held accountable for the next mass shooting. Now that it has tragically happened again in at North Illinois University, we thought it fitting to repost the article we wrote after the Virginia Tech and Omaha Mall murders.

When will the media learn?

Also, Let's stop giving murderers the publicity they'd die for.


Anonymous said...

No, the media is doing their job and reporting events.

The groups that are responsible include the far right wing pro-gun lobby and the way they fight tooth and nail against any form of gun control that would prevent crazed lunatics from easy access to such deadly weapons.

Another group that bears responsibility is the Republican Party that supports the pro-gun lobby.

Another total disgrace and failure from the past 7.5 years of Republican rule.

Anonymous said...

So typical of far right wingers to blame anyone but themselves.

So it's the so-called left liberal media that's reponsible for these horrible acts? Not on your life Mr. Fox News.

It's the far right wing pro-gun lobby that's got the Republican Party in their pocket. Look in the mirror!

Mike said...

Leave it to the elitist liberal lefties to claim that they supercede the constitution. Too bad the rest of the students didn’t have a firearm so they could have shot the bastard before he killed anyone.

Mark said...

I am so happy we have the looney left to amuse us. However, they are so clueless that it raises serious concerns about their mental state and should probably be committed.

Guns kill people like spoons made Rosie O’Donnell and Christina Wilkinson fat.

Linda said...

The media is doing its job getting ratings without any regard for decency, integrity or compassion. Long gone are the days of responsible journalism.

Joseph said...

A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
--- 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

Liberals want you to believe that the implementation of gun control by disarming lawful citizens will miraculously end violence in the world. They feel that they should be the governing authority and not the constitution. Liberals cause more harm to Americans than guns

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage then to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
--- Thomas Jefferson, quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria in "On Crimes and Punishment", 1764

Let therefore every man, that, appealing to his own heart, feels the least spark of virtue or freedom there, think that it is an honor which he owes himself, and a duty which he owes his country, to bear arms.
--- Thomas Pownall

The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will loose.
--- James Earl Jones

Anonymous said...

Hey Jospeh.. "WELL REGULATED MILITIA!!!!!" Get it?
All gun owners need to be members of the state militia/national guard. Then you can have a gun.

Anonymous said...

Yes, bonehead, a well regulated militia. How many of you gun toting Rambos are in a well regulated militia? Your willful distortion of the Consitution continues to cause these tragedies.

Shame and disgrace on you.

Anonymous said...

Got to love the way it's "elitist lefties", when the elite of this country is the far right wing fasicst regime that has occupied the White House for the past 7 years. But keep saying it's the left, perhaps people will keep believing it for another 8 years (not on your life).

Hasn't the past two terms of disgrace and incompetence opened your eyes that the Republican party has the middle class voting against its own economic interests?

It's time for you Limbaugh and Hannity lobotomites to sit down and shut up so the Democrats can restore our country after the unmitigated disaster of Republican rule. Lordy, y'all have f**ked up real nice now. You'll have at least 8 years to try to spin this disaster while the "lefties" clean your diaper.

JohnDoe said...

I knew that liberals were clueless but now they are proving to be illiterate too! Let's try this again slowly for the lefties...


How much clearer can our forefathers have been...maybe they should have drawn pictures for the libs

Thomas said...

Few public policy debates have been as dominated by emotion and misinformation as the one on gun control. Perhaps this debate is so highly charged because it involves such fundamental issues. The calls for more gun restrictions or for bans on some or all guns are calls for significant change in our social and constitutional systems.

Gun control is based on the faulty notion that ordinary American citizens are too clumsy and ill-tempered to be trusted with weapons. Only through the blatant abrogation of explicit constitutional rights is gun control even possible. It must be enforced with such violations of individual rights as intrusive search and seizure. It most severely victimizes those who most need weapons for self-defense, such as blacks and women.

The various gun control proposals on today's agenda--including licensing, waiting periods, and bans on so-called Saturday night specials--are of little, if any, value as crime-fighting measures. Banning guns to reduce crime makes as much sense as banning alcohol to reduce drunk driving. Indeed, persuasive evidence shows that civilian gun ownership can be a powerful deterrent to crime.

The gun control debate poses the basic question: Who is more trustworthy, the government or the people?

Max said...

I'm not the sharpest tack in the eagle's nest but I believe the Patrick Henry and Mr. Coriuch was eluding to the fact that media must stop giving these sick murderers their 15 minutes of dubious fame becuase this is exactly what they desired when plotting their crime. But leave it to the looney left to miss the point and distort the meaning of the original post into a gun control crusade. It is very sad that the left just doesn't get it and even more pathetic is that they never will.

Anonymous said...

Max... What you call the "looney left" is actually the educated, thinking portion of society. However, I am not writing to debate gun control since the complexity of the discussion would elude the jingoism of most of the posters here. Most have clearly not read the Constitution, the history behind each Amendment, and the reasoned debates on each side when it comes to the 2nd Amendment.

But since you and others here pretend to be absolutists when it comes to the Constitution, please try reading the First Amendment guaranteeing freedoms of expression.

This tragic occurrence was covered extensively in the rabidly conservative NYPost, FOX (Fixed) News stations throughout the nation, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington, conservative reactionary Washington Times, and virtually every newspaper in the nation; over 80% of which are CONSERVATIVE.

The tragedy was newsworthy. The mentally ill individual who did this was most likely motivated by personal demons; not craven press.

The old express about blaming the message IS the point of the criticism here. The Patriot often performs admirable service to our local community, but all too often, his narrow-minded conservative thinking clouds reason, distorts facts, and manipulates the truth for political purposes. It’s like Bill O’Reilly Junior at work here.

We cannot censor the press and still call ourselves America. We cannot hide reports of crime because others might read about it. We cannot restrict coverage of distasteful events such as sex crimes because doing so would push them out of the public consciousness; and, therefore, off the public agenda.

Parental and child abuse has always been with us. Animal abuse (ala Michael Vick) has always been with us. And so on. Covering them in the press exposes them to scrutiny and helps change public perceptions. Many abhorrent things have been made unacceptable thanks to the press.

Jane Jacobs reporting on the planned cross Manhattan highway helped preserve SoHo. The plight of migrant sharecropper farmers was highlighted by John Steinbeck in the Grapes of Wrath. And Rachel Carson helped spark the environmental movement with her amazing Silent Spring.

With the prevalence of the internet, news of school and mass shootings would quickly disseminate whether covered by mainstream media. But, perhaps you’d prefer living in China where bad and dissenting news is illegal and you could be imprisioned for writing anything against the government or against a business with political power?

A nation without a free press soon gets the government it deserves.

One day we will discuss gun control. But first, learn the Constitution and read some history- turn off Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and other blowhards.

Anonymous said...

Umm...JOhnDoe you kinda left out a part...
You know, A Well-REGULATED Militia.
Reading is fun-da-mental.

Anonymous said...

Right Wing Nutjobs, please comment, and try not to get your undies in a twist:

God forbid one of your own would be a victim of a gun-related crime and then watch y'all change your hypocritical tune in a heartbeat just like James Brady from your beloved Reagan Administration.

From Wikipedia: James Scott “Jim” Brady (born August 29, 1940, Centralia, Illinois) is a former Assistant to the President and White House Press Secretary under President Ronald Reagan. After nearly being killed and becoming permanently disabled as a result of an assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981, Brady became an ardent supporter of gun control.

One of your dumbass saying is that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality. Is it true that you hypocrites live in your ideologically driven universe where guns don't kill or harm people and they should be completely unregulated? That is, until you're mugged, or shot by reality?

Anonymous said...

Patrick: How come you didn't post my comment about James Brady?

You're not into censorship are you, nyet?

Anonymous said...

Those who think that had students been carrying guns that the crime would have been stopped or shortened are absolutely ignorant of facts. The reaction time required to properly and safely respond to a surprise attack made it impossible for anyone to respond had they had guns in clasa... and the last thing needed were students shooting blindly with hundred of other students unaware of who was the attacker and who was the defender.

Richard B. Isaacs wrote the excellent "Seven Steps to Personal Safety" ( Though he is a gun owner, he does not support the idiotic responses on this page....

Have someone jump out and surprise you sometime and later calculate how long it took for you to respond.

The next time you're on a subway... imagine everyone having and using a gun... wow... that would really increase safety- with everyone dead, crimes would stop.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, the Medford Mail Tribune in Oregon ran an editorial on the very topic of this discussion. This is what they wrote:

From the Editor

Do bad guys want news coverage?
A story planned for Wednesday's paper (2/20) on a gang-suspected shooting prompted a short conversation in the newsroom that was a twist on earlier comments about a much more publicized shooting in Illinois. The basic question is when does news coverage "reward" the bad guys by giving them the publicity they apparently crave?

The well-documented case of the shooting of five students at Northern Illinois University prompted some readers and TV viewers to say that the coverage was overblown -- and provided exactly the kind of notoriety the killer hoped for. The same concern was raised over coverage of a Monday-evening incident in Medford in which seven shots were fired at a car filled with teenage girls. No one was hurt, but police have expressed concern that this is connected with a growing gang problem.

So, by reporting fully on the incident -- whether in Illinois or Medford -- do we encourage more bad behavior or are we informing our readers about an important issue? Do we set up the likelihood of copycat shooters or possibly inadvertently promote local gang membership? Or are we letting people know the dangers exist so they can take appropriate precautions?

In the final analysis, I don't think newsrooms can cover news with one eye looking over their shoulders or gazing into a crystal ball. Do we know what effect our coverage will have? No. If we cover bank robberies are we encouraging more bank robberies? I doubt it. If we cover honor students, will that lead to an increase in honor students? I doubt that, too.

We need to base our coverage on news value. Is it important? Is it interesting? Is it something people care about? Those are the question we need to ask ourselves. Certainly, we need to handle stories sensitively and not glamorize violence or sensationalize tragedy. But we also have to operate under the premise that our readers are intelligent people capable of making up their own minds about information presented to them. An informed community will have the basic knowledge needed to take action to improve a potentially bad situation. An uninformed community is ripe for finding out about these sorts of tragedies the hard way.

Anonymous said...

Hey Pat, you should refer o the supreme court when they spoke of this in the 1930's, It refered to state militia's not beer swilling, illiterate neo cons.

I know according to most conservatives, the 2nd amendment gives them the right to hunt squirrels with an AK40 or a 44. magnum ( "we sure did blow away that critter..didn't we skeeter..woohhhh")

But the fact of the matter is the NRA could care less about hunters, because its all about the gun manufacturers. As far as they are concerned, they could care less if they sell to pimps, drug dealers, psycho's and yes even terrorists. A buck is a buck to them

More cops in NYS are killed by guns brought from gun shops in VA and GA who don't have rstrictions on who and when they can buy.

Gun advocates love to talk about America and how much they love the NYPD, but ask them why they support a group that supports unrestricted accesss ti guns and even fought a bill in Congress to ban teflon (armor piercing) bullets.

Oh yeah, Dick Cheney was one of only 2 members of the House to vote against that ban.....

Anonymous said...

Switzerland does just fine with guns everywhere. US would too.