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View Diary: Mainstream media's culpability in tragedies like the Boston Marathon Bombing (22 comments)

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  •  reporting on topics the public is (2+ / 0-)
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    FG, ggrzw

    interested in?  for shame.

    •  Don't we expect more from our reporters? (1+ / 0-)
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      At this moment, there is a DKos diary taking the media to task for underreporting on the regulatory failings leading to the fertilizer explosion. There is a diary rebutting the myth of a liberal media bias. There is also a lot of outrage over the media's lack of coverage of the Keystone XL.

      Don't these diaries also presume that reporting on more topics than the public is interested in is an obligation of the media?

      Actually, isn't there a significant number of diaries taking the media to task for what they choose or choose not to report to the public?

      There is a reason freedom of the press was established in the very first amendment; the press have an incredible amount of influence over what society chooses to focus on.

      If there is reason to believe the way the media covers these mass killings actually leads to more mass killings, is the media not obligated to acknowledge this?

      •  Not really. Media needs to make money. That means (0+ / 0-)

        reporting that will attract eyeballs. Your theory that coverage of mass killings leads to more mass killings is just a theory.

        •  Um, would you listen to yourself (0+ / 0-)

          That's the same rhetoric creationists use to attack evolution. "Just a theory" is not a valid criticism.

          Also, if you go to Mano's blog post, it also includes a clip from a forensic psychologist.

          •  "Just a theory" isn't a valid criticism (0+ / 0-)

            When it depends on a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means for something to be a theory.

            If evolution were just an untested hypothesis, as your "theory" appears to be, Creationists would have a completely valid criticism.

            •  In either case, it is still not a valid criticism (0+ / 0-)

              Take away all the evidence for evolution; if your only criticism of evolution is that it is just a theory, you are not at all invalidating it. The burden of proof is still on providing evidence that evolution is incorrect, just like the case of evolution rests not on its status as a theory or law or what have you, but on the evidence that it is correct.

              Besides, there is evidence. Again, the blog points to a video of a forensic psychiatrist's perspective; in the court of law, the testimony of an expert is considered admissible evidence.

              As for more concrete evidence, that's a bit harder to come by, but one needs only look at the testimony of mass killers on their motives, or the writings they leave behind. One can't read or hear their crazed rantings without getting a sense that they are at least somewhat partly motivated by the excessive attention and media coverage they'll get as a result. How many of us knew how to properly pronounce Tsarnaev before last week? How many know now?

              Again, dismissing a thought as an "untested hypothesis" without actually addressing the evidence is the same type of tactic that creationists employ.

              •  Actually, in both science and law, the proponent (1+ / 0-)
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                of a theory bears the burden of proving it. That's why evolution doesn't need to disprove creation science--indeed it's impossible to disprove creationism, as it is inherently non-falsifiable--it's only evolution has made its case that creationism needs to show evidence in its support.

                But please--as someone who used to live in Boston; who has family there; who lives in a major city; who is an attorney with considerable interest in criminal procedure; and who is very interested in what happened to these two people, one of whom, by all accounts, appears to have a normal, assimilated American, that caused them to commit these horrible acts--I'd love for you to get back to how I have blood on my hands for watching CNN's coverage of this story.

                •  Where do I ever claim that the viewers (0+ / 0-)

                  have blood on their hands? You are attacking a straw man.

                  The premise here is that the ones with blood on their hands are the mainstream news media who choose to cover these killings in a way as to lionize and pseudo-worship the killers. There is a difference between what the news networks choose to report and what viewers choose to pay attention to. As an analogy, we can ask who is more to blame for the drug addiction epidemic in this country; the drug users, or the drug dealers?

                  Finally, you are again making a straw man about my example of evolution and creationism. Whether or not the evidence supports evolution or creationism is exactly what is used to support or refute their validity. Evolution proponents do not simply dismiss creationism because "it is simply a theory," they argue on the lack of evidence, or they criticize what evidence does get put forward. It is only creation proponents who try to do so; they dismiss evolution as just a theory because they do not want to get into a more complex argument about what exactly is wrong with the evidence.

                  Your whole argument is that as long as something is "just a theory," you do not need to even get to the point of whether or not there is any evidence, or any weaknesses in the evidence.

                  If you were to argue that there is no evidence that the way the media covers these mass killings motivates these killers, then we could discuss whether or not that is true. However, just like creationists, you dismiss the idea without going into the merits of the evidence. This is what creationists do because they would rather cut the debate off before it even begins.

                •  Let me ask you, ggrzw (0+ / 0-)

                  You say you want to know what happened to these two people.

                  What is that worth to you?

                  Is it worth forcing the victims to relive those events every night? To relive all the emotions they felt, the panic and fear and pain? To relive those moments through video, and photos, and audio, and recreations, and press conferences and interview after interview?

                  Is it worth forcing the people who lost loved ones to see their loved ones faces and names on the news every night? To be reminded of their loss, to be reminded of their faces, and their funerals, and their potential?

                  What do you gain by learning more about what motivated these two? Would it really change what we know about what motivates criminals in general? Will you gain some insight to better understand these people, to predict when they will strike and perhaps prevent them from striking?

                  Personally, I remember in the aftermath of Newtown, all I could think was, "Enough photos, enough video, enough interviews, enough press hounding eye witnesses. Just let the town mourn. privately."

        •  So you don't take issue with Fox News? (0+ / 0-)

          You don't care about the what and how Fox News chooses to report the news, so long as they make the most money?

    •  but thanks for the dismissive attitude anyways (0+ / 0-)
    •  The issue isn't that they are reporting on it (2+ / 0-)
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      pierre9045, worldlotus

      it's the WAY they are reporting on it.

      It's not a yes/no black/white kind of question, it's a context question.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:19:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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