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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions February 05, 2016

12/31/2012 9:59:00 PM
Letter: Media shares blame in tragic shootings


The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School was horrid and despicable. And the media, which proclaimed the horror far and wide, is at least partially to blame. CBS, for example, broadcast hour after hour of live TV coverage with endless commentary and close-up interviews with distraught parents, shocked teachers, and frightened and confused little children. Every detail was described over and over again on TV, the Internet, and the front pages of newspapers across the nation.

Is there no limit to sensational journalism? Doesn't the media realize that all this attention and publicity fosters copy-cat actions? The same day we even experienced two Prescott schools shut down because of fear of a shooter. Thank God, it was a hoax.

When the next tormented misguided soul shoots school children, the media will share responsibility for his crime.

Victor Pappas


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Article comment by: LIBERAL Media Is The Worst

I agree, the media bends, distorts, and exaggerates it's news, like it's coverage of the campaign. Always favoring Obama and finding faults with the Republicans. If only they could have been balanced and fair!

Posted: Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Article comment by: Arizona Center for Violence Addictions

There is a time in the future where people who are attracted by and spout extremist rhetoric about gun and politics will be looked upon as mentally ill. Not unlike the social stigma we have with alcohol and tobacco additions. This an adrenaline addiction to their own internal violence and pursuit of that addiction in choice of movies, games and obsessive desire for high capacity military grade weapons.

Thought experiment: Handle a shot gun or high power rifle w/scope and what thoughts do you have? Quail, Deer, Elk?

Handle a high capacity military grade hand gun or rifle and what thoughts do you have? Makes your heart rate climb with those thoughts. That's adrenaline stimulated by nothing more than mental images. It's a health problem as well as practicing bad mental health.

Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Article comment by: Stealth Bummer

I think the media know exactly what it is they are doing. They choose specific crimes to move and support specific agendas.

They don't cover the many black kids shot and killed routinely in the ghettos. If they were serious about ending crime, they would be focused on the deaths of those innocents. They would cover the funerals of those little black and hispanic kids.

The bells would be tolling every hour on the news and we would know the names of those children and what their favorite color was. But we don't know them, and their numbers are massive. Letting us grieve for them is not the agenda for the media.

Out of control crime is not as important a problem in the eyes of the media. Disarming the gangs and drug lords using REAL war weaponry is not the agenda.

What is their agenda?

Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Article comment by: Lena Sanchez

Yes, the media spurs on these sick individuals by covering the mass destructive killings for so long sensationalizing the incidents. That gives a mentally ill person the idea that they can “become someone” and even gain notoriety. We are therefore more apt to see such horrendous things increase. But we have to get back to treating mental illness. I watched them flow out of mental hospitals and into the streets in the S. CA town that I worked in the mid 1980's when mental health coverage was taken from so many. Downtown Riverside became a mecca of homeless people sleeping in parks, on streets and doorways… Mentally ill do not usually have the ability to hold a job so end up in hopeless and mostly homeless situations that further the progress of mental illness. True that was not any one of those who committed these mass killings but street crimes have run rampant ever since the turning out of mentally ill people from hospitals. If mental health coverage included more than 1 or 2 mental health visits per year we would see more mental illness treated and hopefully reversed…The new HealthCare Law has mental coverage written into it but we won’t see it taking effect for another year so these things can continue… Arming people on campus is not the answer since Columbine had 2 armed guards on campus and could do nothing to stop the massacre… In the meantime get semi automatic and automatic assault weapons out of the hands of people who get access to them…

Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Article comment by: Give'm Hell Harry

I'm sure Victor and the commenters here all watched every minute of this "sensational journalism". Hypocrites! Just because you have to watch the reults of what the massive proliferation of the weapons of war that you love will do in a violent society with easy access to them by the deranged and mentally ill upsets you doesn't change the problem. So you would rather this unspeakable horror we continually witness not be reported widely and be swept under the rug so you can go on loving your weapons without remorse? If you want no restrictions on guns, expect much more violence and death. Live by the gun, die by the gun!

Yes, journalism is biased and sensational by its very nature and always has been. Don't you remember William Randolph Hearst? He was the founding father of yellow journalism. He quite frankly, was the main contributing factor or force that perpetuated the Spanish-American war. His tainted journalism tactics (for nothing more than greed and recognition) falsely accused others of the explosion on the U.S.S. Maine. Years, later it was found out the U.S.S. Maine exploded due to faulty boilers. Didn't you all believe in the claims that Iraq possessed "weapons of mass destruction" by the media (which was fed to them by Bush administration) and happily clamor for an unnecessary trillion dollar war with Iraq which delivered the country into the hands of Iran? Wasn't your "fair and balanced" network FOX News fully supporting this along with the rest of the media lackeys? Didn't your favorite media FOX News have you totally convinced that Mitt Romney was going to win by a landslide? The point is that if you believe any one source of information, you are a fool. And no, emails that get passed around here are NOT a source to be believed. You are even a bigger FOOL if you believe them.

Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Article comment by: Ben There

Today's "journalism" is all heat and no light.

Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Article comment by: DragonMaster 6

The Oxymoron of, "Un-Biased Journalism" [is a pretentious role playing, fabrication provided to you by THE JOURNALIST'S] as well as the supreme dollars create the occupational title of, "Biased Journalism and Journalist's!" These people are worse than ambulance chasing lawer's who are simply trying to seek a personal gain from these tragedies! The Sunday morining "David Show of Meet the Press" with Wayne LaPeirrer was an excellent example of incredibility biased attack programming! We would have never imagined such an incredibility horrendous question in this last violent attack of an insane person who would have used any other tool to kill with, by the journalist's of, "What do you think your childerns last thoughts were just before they were shot to death!!!" To continue to sensationalize such tragedies for personal gain is as hideous as anything we could imagine. We don't believe any quasi-journalist's of any news organization until we find the information from other sources.

Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Steele

The expression "if it bleeds it leads" is pretty common in journalism. And with 7/24 news cycles, this cannot be denied. The disturbing issue with me is the news being written as an opinion piece of the author. News is all the facts not that we must ban guns and large magazines. New York senior senator Charles Shummer I recall belittled the Branch Dividians of Waco Texas for their part in the disaster while totally ignoring the ATF and FBI for their causal actions. The trial of the survivors of the government provoked attack were all found innocent of all charges. Again, government and the dominant media is not the friend of "We the People".

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