Does Promise of Media Coverage Encourage Mass Murder?
It goes against every fiber of my conservative nature to blame anyone or anything other than the evildoer for evildoing. But the media does not. Literally, within seconds of the awful Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last Friday, the craven media was pushing an agenda blaming access to guns for this awful crime. Okay, then, if the media wants to open this door, let's talk about how the media offers major incentives to go on a killing spree.
Ask yourself this: What are the guaranteed promises the media makes to those willing to go on a shooting-spree targeting innocent people? The answer is simple:
1. The media will make you famous.
2. The media will ensure your crime controls the national conversation for days, even weeks.
3. The media will try to make your crime relevant when it comes to national policy.
4. The more awful your crime, the more attention you'll receive.
5. The media debate and push for political impact will be so great, the president of the United States will talk about what you did, books will be published, and movies will be made.
Anyone who doesn't believe these five guaranteed promises can and do encourage minds twisted by evil simply doesn’t want to believe it.
And yet, the media keeps on keeping on -- making those promises over and over and over again.
Could the media save lives by instituting a policy that would ignore these crimes altogether -- by putting an end to the promise of fame, celebrity, national impact, and immortality in exchange for committing a murder rampage?
I honestly don’t know. No one does. But as the media often says, we're just asking questions...
I do think that when it comes to stopping these mass shootings, the easier case to make would be ending the media payoff the wicked receive (and probably fantasize about beforehand) as opposed to a ban on gun clips that hold more than 10 rounds.
Furthermore, there is precedent for this working. At sporting events, in order to remove the incentive to get on television and enjoy a little fame for bad behavior, the networks stopped broadcasting streakers, fights, and other obnoxious types of behavior that used to guarantee "a moment" in the national limelight.
Again, I only blame the evildoer, and the thought of restricting the media's rights and liberties in the hopes it might save lives goes against absolutely everything I believe in. But it's the media that's being wildly hypocritical here, because they're the ones willing to blame my civil right to protect myself with a firearm, but not their civil right to cover what is legitimate news.
If the media wants to go outside the idea of personal responsibility and restrict the personal liberty of others with the idea that doing so will "save lives," then I say let's have that conversation. But let's look at every outside factor that enables or encourages this horror and see who's willing to put their money where their mouth is.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC