Imagine a deadly school shooting just weeks after the 20th anniversary of Columbine where the media quickly lose interest in it.
You would think you were living in an alternate universe, no?
Watching the corporate media today, though, or even yesterday, you might not know that on Tuesday afternoon, a mere three days ago, at the STEM School Highlands Ranch, what should have been the makings of a sustained perfect media storm unfolded.
Just as we saw at Columbine, there were two alleged mass shooters who shot up a school just minutes away from Columbine.
One student, who is being hailed as a hero, Kendrick Castillo, was killed; eight others were wounded; and the two suspected shooters, Devon Erickson (18) and Maya McKinney (16), are still alive! That means upcoming court appearances, trials, attorney interviews, interviews with parents and maybe even the suspects themselves.
This is what our media would normally call a Narrative Bonanza, the kind of story that hooks viewers and keeps them tuning in to see how it all ends.
And through the years, as we have seen over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over, every single school shooting has been perfect grist for a 24/7 cable exploitation-mill.
So where are they?
Where are the media?
Where’s the 24/7 firehose of experts, the parade of talking heads culled from law enforcement, legal, and psychiatric retirement homes? Where are Jake Tapper’s town halls where not even a rape victim is safe? Where’s the MSNBC freakout over The Children and all those Guns in America?
It’s already gone.
How is this possible…?
There’s no political upside for the media this time.
I mean, this is only a school shooting; it’s not like a kid in a Make America Great Again hat smirked at a member of the protected class.
You see, what we have here is a school shooting that is politically inconvenient to our unbiased, objective, not-at-all left-wing media.
And if a story, any story, is politically inconvenient — if our unbiased, objective, not-at-all left-wing media cannot further a preferred narrative through the coverage of even what amounts to a Columbine Part II — this very same unbiased, objective, not-at-all left-wing media are going to move on as quickly as possible.
Oh, yes, there are countless reasons our corrupt media see this story as toxic.
To begin with, according to various news reports, Maya McKinney is the most inconvenient suspected school shooter of them all, a trans activist, a biological girl who says she is transitioning into a boy.
And Devon Erickson, well, he is real bad news for a media who have spent years demonizing traditional Christians and right-of-center Americans as Nazis because Erickson appears to have taken all that hate to heart. According to reports, Devon is a registered Democrat who hates President Trump, loves Barack Obama, and has used social media to express his hatred of Christians.
A two-year-old Facebook post of his reads, “You know what I hate? All these Christians who hate gays, yet in the bible, it says in Deuteronomy 17:12-13, if someone doesn’t do what their priest tells them to do, they are supposed to die. It has plenty of crazy stuff like that. But all they get out of it is ‘ewwwwww gays.’”
Sure sounds like someone’s been getting his religious training from CNN, amiright?
Overall, this represents a potentially troublesome thread the media do not want to pull on, especially with the news that “the motive of the alleged shooters went beyond bullying and involved revenge and anger towards others at the school.”
“Revenge” and “anger” towards whom exactly?
We’ll probably never know because the media are terrified of what the answer might be.
What’s more, CBS News producer John Fenton reports that Erickson’s car had “666,” what looks like a pentagram, and “fuck society” spray painted on it — so not exactly the Rebel Flag-waving evangelical gun nut in a MAGA cap the media are hoping for.
What about gun control, though?
Where’s the media’s ten-day gun control tantrum?
Well, once again, all the news is politically inconvenient.
To begin with, according to early media reports, both suspects have mental health issues, and the media do not like to talk about mental health because it gets in the way of their fantasy where the federal government kicks in the doors of law-abiding citizens to “buy back” our firearms — you know, for our own good.
Worse still, according to local reports, the weapons used in the shooting were stolen from a locked gun cabinet.
But-but-but what about exploiting the survivors, those young minds that can be twisted into camera Hoggs that perfectly repeat the media’s anti-Second Amendment talking points?
Surely there’s some narrative gold in them thar hills?
Well, you see, STEM School Highlands Ranch is a charter school, which means it is a school that primarily focuses on four areas of education: science, technology, engineering and mathematics — hence, STEM. This also means that unlike our rotting public schools, this school does not focus on these four areas of education: sex with everyone, hate America, icky Christianity, and Trump is a Nazi — or SHIT.
So what we have here is a school filled with students who still retain some independent thought and a healthy spirit of teenage rebellion, which we saw in action when legions of them walked out after anti-gun Democrats and activists perverted what was supposed to be a vigil for the victims into a partisan and divisive anti-gun rally.
There are reports that some students chanted “fuck the media” during the event, which *sniff* brought a tear to my eye.
Imagine that; we still have young people who do not want their grief exploited by Anderson Cooper, who do not want to become props for mercenary politicians who seek to chip away at our civil rights….
Maybe there is still hope for America’s future.
In his 2003 review of Elephant, Gus Van Sant’s look at a Columbine-like school shooting, the late Roger Ebert was already expressing his disgust with the way CNN, NBC News, and the rest of the media cover school shootings:
“[School shootings] like this,” I said, “if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”
In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them.
Sadly, 16 years later, this is even more true than it was before, unless, of course, such an approach is politically inconvenient.