FEAR MONGERS – The Commercialization of Tragedy

Fear, Fear, Fear, that is the message our media panders; and it does sell well. A recent event involved a shooting of many at a movie theatre in Colorado. How horrific! A report that this tragedy occurred is valid, and later that the victims who died have been laid to rest. Also, legitimately reported is the perpetrators arrest. THAT IS ALL THAT SHOULD BE REPORTED! Nothing more is needed. In fact, anything more is just exploitation of the tragedy and the promoting of fear. And that is exactly what the fear mongers of the media did. All they created other than advertisement revenue is to increase societies levels of fear and paranoia, while giving the accused their so desired time in the spotlight. Shame on those that would prostitute themselves to sell airtime, our media has become nothing but tabloid whores!

Worse still, the many continuous days of almost exclusive attention given events like this play right into the hands of the perpetrator(s). They want to feel important, want their fifteen-minutes of fame. It matters not if they are Al Qaeda, or just some local, social misfits. And what do you think other groups of misfits are thinking? “Let’s get some guns and shoot innocent people for the attention we will get!” The media has created, legitimized, and encouraged these actions as an outlet for these misfit’s feelings of impotence and unimportance. We have placed them on a pedestal. I believe the identity and photos of the perpetrator should be withheld from all media coverage even after conviction. Why do we need to know this information anyway, to satisfy our prurient interests?  These discontents should only be referred to as “the accused” and, after conviction, as the convicted. Their names should only be released after their execution, not their pictures. All limelight should be withheld permanently. Then, how would it serve them to act out in such horrible ways? But no, the media dancing on the platform of free speech, will say anything- disclose names that endanger people like covert operatives, even “adjust the truth”- all for sake of ratings and advertising revenue. It is time the media itself is held accountable for their complete lack of moral and ethical reporting. Free speech doesn’t mean you can say anything. Yet that is exactly what the media does. It yells “fire” in a theatre and records the panic, so it can profit from it.

I was asked, but refused, seven interviews the day after the shooting. I already had become disgusted by what I had seen on the TV news tabloids that masquerade as legitimate news organization. That the Rupert Murdock style has infected commercial news is clear. I would not insult the victims, nor legitimize the accused. The “dead horse” did not need further beatings, as it was dead. The media obviously missed this memo, or they did not care is probably more like it, as it saw revenue generating news. I personally find little of value on these “entertainment” news broadcasts and refuse to be further inundated by their fear mongering. The honor and integrity once a part of broadcast news needs reawakening.



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  1. Marlon C. Medina

    This show how we are increasingly living in fear of gun violence but still we dont do anything about it. The gun advocates still keep saying more people with gun will bring in safety. Time to think about this senseless conclusion. God Bless America.

  2. Michael

    Superbly well said! While each media outlet has their own political agenda, all are guilty here. And as your narrative is nether conservative, nor liberal, it betrays a nonpartisan and poignant summation.

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