The Media Loves School Shootings

Filed in National by on February 15, 2018

Here’s a dirty little secret: The media loves school shootings. It’s part of a bigger dirty secret: The media loves mayhem and tragedy of all sorts, because those things bring eyeballs to the page or screen.

Why do we have Trump as president? Because the media wanted him. If they didn’t want him, they wouldn’t have given him $2 billion in free airtime. He’s a vile intestinal parasite for whom death is too good at this point, but he’s right about one thing: The media can’t quit him.

The same is true of school shootings. Granted, we don’t hear about most of them anymore (there’s been one per day so far this year, but this is the first one to make major news) because only the ones with high kill tallies break through the dross. Just look at yesterday and today’s saturation coverage of this Florida shooting — live helicopter footage, constant death-toll updates. For the media, this was a day of excitement and high ratings. Today the news is full of stories about the shooter’s strategy for boosting his body count, a handy how-to for the next killer. They. Love. This.

And let’s not overlook today’s garment-rending reactions, which are just as much a part of this Kabuki cycle as conservative politicians’ useless prayers (there is no evidence that any of them has ever had an actual “thought” as we understand the term). Why do they bother? They can roll out exactly what they said at the last shooting, and the one before that, etc. ad nauseum.

They bother because getting people emotionally worked up is what the media is all about. People feel a lot more than they think, and the media prizes emotion because emotions are easier to manipulate, and manipulating its viewers is what TV is all about, the better to soften you up for the advertising.

There is nothing to be done about this country’s gun violence. Nothing. It will never end, not in the lifetimes of Baby Boomers at least, because the country is populated by hundreds of millions of not-very-bright people, and they elect not-very-bright people to represent them. You can’t reason with them; the exercise of intellect is beyond them. That idiot from Louisiana, Steve Scalise, was nearly killed by a crazed gunman and he still embraces our gun culture wholeheartedly.

With all that, why blame the media? Because they could operate differently. During sporting events, particularly football, drunken fans occasionally run out on the field and have to be chased and corralled by security guards. The networkds used to show these diversions on-screen until somebody figured out that THIS WAS ONLY ENCOURAGING THE BEHAVIOR. They stopped showing the chase scenes, and while the stupidy hasn’t stopped, it’s nowhere near as frequent as it was when the bad behavior was televised.

The news media is entirely capable of reporting this without sensationalizing it. They just don’t think safe schools are as important as uninterrupted football games.

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  1. jason330 says:

    You make some excellent points. I disagree, however, with the assertion that there is nothing to be done about this country’s gun violence.

    Intellects aside, decent people outnumber the awful people. We’ve given the awful people far to much consideration.

  2. Alby says:

    But the decent people haven’t gathered en masse to do something about it. Calls and letters have done no more on this issue than thoughts and prayers.

    You want to get Congress to do something? Get 2 million people out there on a work day and occupy the Halls of Congress. Anything less will have no effect.

  3. Nemesis says:

    The media elected trump? The media demonized Trump all throughout the election, you fool.

  4. Alby says:

    No such thing as bad publicity, you fool.

  5. RE Vanella says:

    Do you think this Nemmy really doesn’t understand that for Trump’s America the media demonization was to Trump’s great benefit?

    Rubes struggle to recognize a rube mentality, I suppose.

    Possibly a bot?

  6. Jason330 says:

    Just as you can still find some sad, confused people who still think the Bible is the literal word of God, you can find people who think the media favored Clinton.