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Media Promote Spree-Murder Contagion Again

Senseless breathless reports contain little news

This is the right time to remember the “Don't Inspire Evil” Initiative

CNN and MSNBC are running non-stop newsless murderer promos

News outlets that feature and name mass murderers border on criminality. They don’t advance news—they encourage copycats. Reporters, editors and producers know this, they’ve seen it, they’ve been warned by police, doctors and their own watchdog agencies—plus the criminals themselves tell them so. “But it increases our audience and revenues!” they cry (or silently admit). It could hardly be more despicable or corrupt.

“In the first 90 seconds on any news channel you’ll get all the news you’re going to get,” said Alan Korwin, the publisher at Bloomfield Press. “Where it happened, how many dead and injured, what was used, and pointless speculation on why, which is unknown. After that it’s just lurid and morbid repetition, endless background “B-roll” image loops and talking heads, with armored police and hypnotic flashing lights,” Korwin notes. “The media knows it, viewers know it, and crazed criminals waiting to act know it. It encourages them and they tell us so, but media continues the cycle of blood and headlines anyway.”

Images of victims, families, crying, and especially politicians using it to campaign violate news-media ethics codes. Demands to disarm the public that did nothing are detestable and abrogate basic human rights. Failure to examine the deterioration of society's fabric, the family unit, the education system and basic morality that breeds these monsters is a breech of the public trust. Chris Cuomo of CNN was seen on air wearing a T-shirt instantly made to profit from a recent tragedy in El Paso (which now has a new twisted pronunciation), and instead of a well-deserved scold, his partner Don Lemon chimed in, "Get me one!"

“Refrain from gratuitous or repetitious portrayal of mass murderers’ names and images,” is the theme of a campaign at Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, http://www.jpfo.org, a civil-rights group celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The media has ignored this year after year.

"But news outlets relish the chance to sink to the lowest sensational interest," the group insists. Displaying names and images of the most heinous mass murderers on page one motivates those psychopaths. Conferring fame on murderers is not “news,” it is a corrupt financial misuse of the public trust and exactly what the murderers seek. Mass-media outlets profiting from mass murder deserve scorn, boycotts and open recognition for incentivizing copycat murder and societal decay. Promoting murder products should get them fired instantly. What sort of producer allows that to air.

Police know the media encourage criminals and police vehemently oppose this. Medical and psychological authorities recognize the effects and publish professional papers denouncing the practice. The public sees it, has abandoned the so-called “news” in droves and lost faith in legacy media. Meanwhile, mass-media personnel laugh it off, vilify the right to arms, conflate murder with shooting—a righteous tradition and fine American sport that’s bigger than golf—then drink at their elite award dinners, rake in cash from useful idiots, and feign ignorance as audiences shrink, credibility evaporates and the public is revulsed.

We call upon the Fourth Estate to wake up to their self-evident complicity in mass murder. Stop publicizing the names, faces and spiels of heinous criminals. Ask political candidates if they have any programs for teaching the public about their right to arms, the proper use of firearms, or the role guns play and have always played in the preservation of peace and freedom. How is it this never gets ink? It's blatantly obvious you do not cover the subject, as if it was a new electrified third rail in politics. What are you afraid of—have you been told to censor yourselves?

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About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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