Archives

Getting Away With Murder

Overwhelming evidence shows that the worldwide publicizing and outright glorification mass media does on behalf of mass murderers, perpetuates and guarantees more mass murders. Like the willful spreading of a lethal contagion, mass media continues to uphold their end of the pact with the killers. Mass media will continue to do this because broadcasting mass murder is very profitable. Also, mass media currently bears no responsibility or liability for the mass murders they cause. The question is not, “Why do people commit mass murder?” The question is not, “Why does mass media willingly cause mass murder?” The questions are, “Why does the public allow the media to get away with murder?” and, “What will stop them?” Mass media has had years to do the right thing and has failed miserably. Clearly mass media’s profits are more important to them than the loss of life and sorrow they willingly and knowingly help create. To reduce mass murders the killers reward, massive free publicity for themselves and their message, needs to be removed. To stop mass media from helping mass murderers with free publicity, the media’s reward, profit, needs to be removed. Mass media’s profit needs to be removed in a way that is just as sensational as the horrible and tragic events they crave.

Mass media really has a great thing going. The more they broadcast and sensationalize the mass murderers and the killer’s message, the more mass murders occur. The more mass murders occur, the more they get to broadcast, and the more they profit, and the vicious cycle or profit from tragedy continues. Like a perpetual money machine that runs on public sorrow. In a riot, the mob mentality rules, individuals are emboldened by the anonymity of being “lost in a crowd”. The same goes for the media companies and reporters for their part in mass murders. Once a few members of the media are singled out and held accountable and liable in the legal sense for their actions, the others will fall in line. A few mass media outlets need to be held accountable for their willful participation in mass murders and a new precedent set. There is an anonymous saying, “With great power goes great responsibility”. It should say, “With great power should go great responsibility, or wicked things will follow.”  Without question, mass media has “great power” to influence the public, but they currently have no responsibility. Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton said, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” With regards to mass media’s participation in mass murders, this saying was never truer. The media and their sword has killed hundreds of people by proxy and produced millions in profit.

Is the public really aware of the connection mass media has with mass murders? Does the public know most mass murderers put together what could be called a mass murderer’s “press release package” well in advance of the massacres? Some press release packages contain written manifestos, pictures and often self-videos. According to (Powell, Self, 2011, p.1) One killer spent weeks before the killings making his press release pack of 27 QuickTime videos, a 1,800-word manifesto, and 43 photographs. On that fateful day, this killer warmed up by killing two people, then went back to his room and finished his press release package. Next, he took his mass murderers press release package to the post office and mailed it overnight to NBC News in New York. Finally, he went back to the school and killed 30 more people. The mass media plays a large role in perpetuating the image of the mass murderer as a pseudo-celebrity. This glorifies and glamorizes mass murder for those disempowered individuals who feel angry and vengeful, and could even provide potential mass murderers with tips on how to carry out a ‘successful’ mass murder (as is evident in copycat killings)” (Aitken, Oosthuizen, Emsley, Seedat, 2008).  Another researcher believes the national broadcast of a mass murder not only “helped the murderer achieve his goals of broadcasting his views, possibly achieving ‘martyrdom’, and it may inadvertently encourage copycat murderers, as if a race were on to increase the body count” (Lee, Lee 2007 p.36). One killer compared himself to the two Columbine High student killers, calling them martyrs, apparently hoping others would describe him similarly. That image became his reward (Powell, Self, 2011 p. 29). “Part of this calculus of evil is competition. Dr. Mullen spoke to a perpetrator who “gleefully admitted that he was “going for the record.” “Investigators found that the Newtown shooter kept a “score sheet” of previous mass shootings. He may have deliberately calculated how to maximize the grotesqueness of his act” (Schulman 2013). I believe if the general public truly understood the cause and effect mass media has on mass murders, action would be taken.

Many believe that nothing can be done about mass murder except ban all guns. This is false; the public had easier access to guns in the past, and mass murders did not happen like they do today. More importantly, merely banning guns will not address the root of the problem. It is the people that have changed. People are becoming more narcissistic to the point some have called it, “The narcissism epidemic” (Twenge, Miller, Campbell 2014). In 2012, a study at the University of California, Los Angeles found that a desire for fame solely for the sake of being famous was the most popular future goal among a group of 10-12-year-olds, overshadowing hopes for financial success, achievement, and a sense of community (Uhls, Greenfield, 2012). Guns are the current tool to achieve the needed body count to satisfy mass media. Mass media is also anti-gun so the use of a firearms in mass murders seems to offer bonus points in the amount of coverage given as well.

None of these mass murders happened because the killer just “snapped” one day. Many killers put months of planning into their project. These killers were narcissistic, felt entitled, very patient, not stupid, very creative and they knew they had to kill a large number of people to get their message into the mass media. Removing one form of killing from an individual with this level of determination will not stop them. In fact, the new form of killing they would find, would probably increase the number of causalities dramatically.

The media knows all the above information and has chosen to ignore it completely. The media is completely unwilling to act responsibly or self-regulate. They hide behind statements like, “It’s the public’s right to know,” and “freedom of the press,” “free speech” and so on. In reality, none of that really protects them. Only our apathy and inaction protects them. Nobody can say whatever they want; there are limits. If someone yelled fire in a crowded theater when there was no fire and people died, that person would go to prison. People can not print stories calling for the killing of a known individual or the President. If it is true that the public has a right to know, then they also have a right not to know. What will stop mass media from helping cause mass murder and get them to act responsibly? The answer to; what will reduce mass murderer’s motivation to kill is the same, remove their rewards. For mass media, that would be profits. If the entire cigarette industry, asbestos industry and others as a whole can be taken to court, so can mass media. A class action lawsuit involving all the victim’s families, survivors and other traumatized individuals from every mass murder in recent history would prevail. Especially if the jury heard a quote like this from one mass murderer talking about another mass murderer that was in the media, “On an interesting note, I have noticed that so many people like him (the other killer) are all alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are,” the post reads. “A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone. His face splashed across every screen, his name across the lips of every person on the planet, all in the course of one day. Seems the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.” Mass media willingly causes mass murders and should be held accountable.

 

References

Aitken, L., Oosthuizen, P., Emsley, R., & Seedat, S. (2008). Mass murders: Implications for mental health professionals. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 38(3), 261-269

Iyengar, R., & Luckerson, V. (2015, October 2). What We Know So Far About the Oregon Shooter. Retrieved November 28, 2015, from http://time.com/4059136/oregon-shooter-ucc-chris-harper-mercer

Lee J, Lee TS, Ng BY. Reflections on a mass homicide. Annals of the Academy of Medicine 2007;36 (6): 444-447.

Powell, L., Self, W. R. (2011). The rhetoric of sacrifice in the “Rantings” of the   Virginia Tech killer. Journal of Communication & Religion, 34(1), 24-36.

Schulman, A. N. (2013, November 8). What Mass Killers Wan And How to Stop Them. Retrieved November 28, 2015, from The Wall Street Journal website: http://www.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303309504579181702252120052

Twenge, J. M., Miller, J. D., & Campbell, W. K. (2014). The narcissism epidemic: Commentary on Modernity and narcissistic personality disorder. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, And Treatment, 5(2), 227-229.

Uhls, Y. T., & Greenfield, P. M. (2012). The value of fame: Preadolescent perceptions of popular media and their relationship to future aspirations. Developmental Psychology, 48(2), 315-326. doi:10.1037/a0026369

 

 

 

Do you have freedom of speech?

Today there was a story on the Huffington post web site about the shootings at the Muhammad Art Exhibit in Garland, Texas. They say the Muhammad Art Exhibit was intended to stand against violent intimidation. The story was not the interesting part, the comments many of the readers had are what was interesting.

It was fascinating how many people, went to such lengths to nearly excuse the shooters because they believe the exhibit and its premotor, (someone they clearly did not like), featuring cartoons about Muhammad, was the problem, not the terrorists. Comments like…

 

“The shooting shouldn’t have happened, but it was deliberately provoked”…”Don’t scream fire in a crowded theatre”
~
“This was done solely to incite violence…this is not like Southpark (whom I support in this situation) …this was done in order to cause violence”.
~
“This is not free speech it’s taunting and two people are dead because a promoter has a defective moral compass, SHAME”
~
Gellar should be ashamed of herself for promoting such hate and demonizing a whole religion. This is an example of hate hidden behind free speech.”
~
“Pamela Geller is nothing more than a professional right wing troll whose actions have caused so much damage. In the name of “freedom” of course.”
~
Pam Geller should be arrested for incitement. This whole thing is manufactured by this whack job.”
~
…” this is not a free speech case. All rights come with exceptions and responsibilities.”
~
“What these shooters did was wrong, but pardon me if my sympathy is lacking.”
~
“Pamela Geller, you are a hater. We need people to respond to differences with respect. Haters like you, prompt those on the edge to respond with violence. Consider your personal responsibility in this.
~
“Pamela Geller” I might have known. Has anyone charged her with accessory to murder yet? She caused those deaths and the injuries, as surely as if she bought the gun there herself.
~
“…inappropriate actions by these goat humping rednecks.”
~
“…But frankly it’s on her, these shootings, now.”
~
“This is pure bigotry masked as free speech….inciting this hatred is disgusting. She should be prosecuted.”
~

Sadly, ignorant comments like those above go on and on, hundreds and hundreds of them. They fail to realize, they are actually justifying that having the “stand against violent intimidation” exhibit was needed, obviously! They also seem to believe if you agree with what is being said, it’s “Freedom of Speech” if you don’t agree or don’t like who’s saying it, it’s “Hate Speech”. Apparently the logic is needed to justify the violent reaction by classifying the exhibit as hate speech, case closed. Sooooo it can’t be the terrorists fault then!

Have you ever seen one of those police sting operations for free shoes on the news? The police have a long list of people with warrants that they have had a difficult time apprehending. So they stage a fake “FREE shoes” event featuring whatever flavor of the month shoe is popular at the time. Then they send advertisements to all the wanted people, the people show up for free shoes and get arrested instead. Now, did the police make these people wanted criminals? No. Did the act of the suspects showing up at the police event make them wanted? No, they were ALL wanted BEFORE they showed up. By the same token, this exhibit at the Muhammad Art Exhibit in Garland, Texas did not create the beliefs or the fanatical hatred these two terrorists had, did it? They obviously already had these beliefs and this intense deep seated hate in their hearts before the Muhammad Art Exhibit, correct?

The same for the Charlie Hebdo incident, cartoons and drawings answered with violence and bullets, again. Cartoons that intentionally painted Muhammad in a humorous and often degrading light. The more death threats they received, the more the cartoons where negative of Muhammad. After the Charlie Hebdo shootngs, brave papers and media all across the world ran the cartoons to blatantly stand against violent intimidation. A brave statement like at Muhammad Art Exhibit in Garland, Texas right? Wrong! Remember, we liked Charlie Hebdo (Bonus for being a newspaper too) we don’t like Pamela Geller, or standing up against violent intimidation in the USA, we prefer appeasement over backbone apparently.

What do we tell our children about bullies? If the bully says, “Don’t walk down my street to school punk, go around” you do go around, right? If you don’t, and you walk down what is clearly the bully’s street, and get beat up, well according to the people above, it’s not right, but you kind of deserved it. What’s the bully campaign all about again?
So, according to the people above, apparently the victim is part of the (or THE) problem right? Let me change a few posts, to get a new view…

 

FROM; “The shooting shouldn’t have happened, but it was deliberately provoked”…””Don’t scream fire in a crowded theatre”

To; “The rape shouldn’t have happened, but it was deliberately provoked”…””Don’t where such short skirts!”

_______________________________

FROM; “This is pure bigotry masked as free speech….inciting this hatred is disgusting. She (Pamela Gellar) should be prosecuted.”
~
TO: “This is pure bitching masked as free speech….inciting this wife beating is disgusting.  The wife should be prosecuted.”
_______________________________

FROM: “The shooting shouldn’t have happened, but it was deliberately provoked”…””Don’t scream fire in a crowded theatre”
~
TO: “The beating shouldn’t have happened, but it was deliberately provoked”…””Don’t be so gay in public”
But wait! There’s more! Now how much would you pay? Believe it or not, the ignorance goes even deeper, so deep you can only hope that these people are not this stupid and it’s really a failed attempt at sarcasm. As sad as the comments are though, it also starts to get funny. I guess they think they are on the side of Islam and condemning the exhibit with brilliant 2+2=5 comments like…
~~
“There is a reason you keep your fingers away from the cage at a zoo. There is a reason we teach children not to stick a fork in an outlet. There is a reason we all learn to look both ways before crossing even on a one way street. And of course the golden rule – do unto others as you would have done unto you. The whackos who organized the “cartoon” contest must not have been raised right.”
~
“I may have a constitutional right to say anything I wish, but, if I scream “BOMB” in a packed lecture hall, I have a hand in the carnage that ensues. I know that my actions will result in panic and bloodshed, even death. In fact, that’s my purpose. Thus, I have a hand in the consequences. “
~
“lol. “Free Speech.” Right. Let me jab this needle in your eye and call it free speech.”
~
“Next week they’re holding their meeting at a local farm, where they’ll wave red flags in front of bulls, shoot whichever ones charge them, then congratulate each other.”
~
“Pamela Geller and the AFDI were looking for a homemade terror attack by antagonizing an entire religious group via ‘art’ and so called “free speech.”
~
These kind of statements carry on and on.

They are basically saying, if you criticize Islam, its dangerous animals, and raging bulls, a violent reaction will happen, everybody should know this and anybody that does this is risking a panic, bloodshed, even death and it’s their own fault! It seems that have already surrendered some of their freedom of speech to Islam and if you haven’t you’re and idiot.

Really? The KKK rides again? “Don’t sit in the front of the buss, you might get your ass beat” Really? What if Rosa Parks did not take the risk that day? (May not look like as big of a deal today, but she was taking a huge risk!) Or what if the bus driver that told brave Rosa Parks to move to the back of the bus, grabbed her and dragged her to the back of the buss, or tossed her off the bus? I think many ignorant people of the day, people that hated blacks and the message of equality would have said things like what you see above. Things like, “What these shooters the bus driver did was wrong, but pardon me if my sympathy is lacking.”

Remember! If you agree with what is being said, it’s “Freedom of Speech” if you don’t agree or don’t like who’s saying it, it’s “Hate Speech” got it? Seriously people? The world is turning upside down more and more, as expected, right on schedule.