Mar. 20, 2015

NEWS OUTLETS ARE THE CAUSE OF MASS SHOOTINGS

Of course they’re not.  As they say in statistical analysis, correlation does not imply causation, but what are the implications of propagation via intentional exacerbation?

Park Dietz, MD, PhD, MPH, is a forensic psychiatrist and criminologist and has consulted or testified in a score  of US criminal cases including that of Jeffrey Dahmer, the Unabomber, the Beltway sniper attacks, Jared Lee Loughner, and the Aurora and Columbine mass murders. 

Here is what he has to say we should do:

In the last 20 years of mass murderers, I have repeatedly told CNN and other media, if you don’t want to propagate more mass murders:

  • DON’T start the story with sirens blaring.
  • DON’T have photographs of the killer.
  • DON’T make this 24/7 coverage.
  • Do everything you can NOT to make the body count the lead story, NOT to make the killer some kind of anti-hero.
  • DO localize this story to the affected community and make it as boring as possible in every other market.
  • Because every time we have intense saturation coverage of a mass murder, we expect to see one or two more within a week.

 

Here is what we do - daily

  • Gunmen Kill 11 at Paris Satirical Magazine
  • Gunman Kills Doctor, Self at VA Hospital
  • Gunman, 2 Others Dead in UPS Shooting: 
  • Gunman Dead in NYC Firefight, 3 Officers Shot
  • Gunman Dead in NYC Firefight, 3 Officers Shot
  • Gunman in Custody in Bronx NYPD Shootings:
  • Gunman Ambushes, Kills Pennsylvania State Trooper
  • Cops: Son Shot Hedge-Fund Dad Over Allowance Cut
  • Cops: Man Drove 1K Miles to Shoot Girlfriend's Family
  • Cops: Man Kills 4 Kids
  • Cops: Man Murders Ex, New Boyfriend at Class Reunion
  • Cops: Gunman Who Killed 3 Mounties Captured
  • Cops: Man Kills 6 Grandkids, Daughter
  • 3 Die in 'Random' Shootings; Suspect Held
  • 3 Suspects in Custody for Shooting of NYPD Officers During Robbery Call
  • 21 People Shot Last Night in Chicago
  • 3 Shot After Nas Concert at Red Rocks
  • 1 Dead, 1 Wounded in Department Store Shooting
  • 15 Shot in Dance Club
  • 4 Killed in PA Shooting Spree
  • 2 men arrested in shooting of NYPD officers, police say 
  • European Student Opens Fire in Classroom
  • Elderly 'Nice Guy' Shot 4 Times Answering Door
  • Texas Man Shot Kids Execution-Style
  • Man Doesn't Get Job, Shoots Up Shop
  • Journalists might protest that tailoring their stories is nothing more than censorship of the worst kind.

That would be true if they weren’t already tailoring their stories to exploit the most salacious and gruesome aspects of the ‘News,’ for the purpose of selling their product.  In this, the product is fear.