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Sunday, December 16, 2012

 

The Death Porn Media

Smitty at The Other McCain writes Death Porn Media Victim Unexpectedly Negative About The Encounter

I could not agree more.  The wall-to-wall coverage of the latest mass murder, filled with incorrect information, pictures of crying children and parents, stand-ups of so-called "reporters" but in actual fact ghouls, purveyors of violence porn, made me turn off the set and refuse to read the stories.  You can get all the facts from DRUDGE. 

Think about what you have seen and read and let me summarize it for you: a kid went onto a school and killed 26 people, mostly young children.  Everything else, literally everything else, and there is very little else, is either wrong or irrelevant. 

Here is what one woman had to say about her experience when she was a 14 year-old and a friend, a fellow student, was killed in school.

I can’t remember if she told us then that Mike had died. I can’t remember how I found my best friend Tori, but I know that I did. I can’t remember how I ended up on the front lawn of the school, surrounded by friends who were crying into their hands, their backpacks strewn across the sidewalk, the swirl of police lights shining down on us like sunshine.

But you know what I do remember?

YOU were there. YOU, with your enormous video cameras. YOU, with your microphones poking into the bubble of grief that grew bigger as we waited for our parents to find us. YOU, with your horrible questions about what had happened, had we known Mike, had we seen anything? No parents there yet, just children. No teachers, just children. And you.

Some of us screamed at you to leave us alone. Some of us answered your sick questions, because you were the grown-ups, and we were the kids. I don’t even know how you got there so fast, before our parents, before anyone else could swoop us back inside and ask you to leave. But there you were, with your vans and your lights, asking us how it felt to know that another child had been killed. How it felt to be scared. How it felt to wonder about the names of everyone else, to be desperately hoping for more information, while feeling terrified about what the truth would really be.

I remember you. I remember your names. I remember what channel you were from. I remember that you filled the parking lot at Mike’s funeral. You stood in a line outside of the door, devouring the footage of crying football players running away from the service, like rabid hungry wolves. You replayed the video of Mike being loaded into the ambulance, over and over and over again, even when people wrote to you and asked you to stop.

And you were there today, in Newtown. Asking children who can barely spell their names what it felt like to have the trajectory of their life changed in a single morning.

How the fuck do you think it feels?

They will remember you. They will remember feeling violated by you. Their parents will regret that the veil of shock blurred their vision enough to allow you to interview their children.

Our country is struggling with finding the answers we need to keep our babies safe. We are struggling with how we feel about guns, and how we feel about mental health care. Report on that.

But the 14 year old child in me begs you, begs you, to not ask children to report on what it felt like. What it sounded like. How scary it was.

These ghouls with microphones and cameras are not looking for information, they're not "reporting." They are collecting people's grief, shock and fear and distilling it to feed out in little five and ten second snippets so that they can attract eyeballs of the rubberneckers and sell those eyeballs to car dealers, furniture stores and soft drink bottlers hawking their wares. They are using your emotion to make money and don't give a damn about how you really feel. In fact they worse you feel, the more you cry, the more grief you exhibit, the better for them because that makes for better theater.  

Glenn Reynolds: 
They’re just Big Evil Corporations who don’t care what happens to children as they pursue profit without end.
Helen Smith points out that
Seeing other shooters showered with media coverage leads to a possible copycat effect, as outlined in the book The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow’s Headlines.

There are many areas of blame that can be explored in a mass killing. I think that much of it has to do first with the perpetrator and also with deinstitutionalization, but others think differently. If some idiots want to blame the Second Amendment for the recent killings, go ahead. But if you do, you will also have to blame the First Amendment, which allows freedom of the press and which has just as much to do with these events. If citizens’ rights to bear arms is in question here, then so is the right to a free press. Are we really willing to give up our freedoms that easily? Wouldn’t it make more sense to figure out how and when to treat the mentally ill so that murder isn’t an option?
And you know, it takes a certain kind of person who lacks the empathy to shove a microphone in some scared child's face.  It's a man or woman without a soul.  Without a shred of human decency.  It takes a death porn pimp.

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