Why It’s Time To Stop Media Coverage of Mass Shootings
Only ratings and increased numbness win
Since 2018 became a reality — the disturbing trend of weekly reports of high school shootings has been consistent with graphic detail — including images from real-time video — that used to induce pangs of distress — but now only serve as a conduit between the witnesses on the ground and news stations who are giddy for the footage.
The latest national tragedy took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High — located in Parkland, Florida. As usual the chaos is a heartbreaking reality of students barricaded in classrooms as gun shots tear through the shrieks of terror. Those hiding for their lives send text messages to distraught loved ones — while social media works overtime to upload fragments of updated information.
Cablers like CNN — which is the standard default in my household — are immersed in the task of keeping viewers riveted with split screens of various activities while experts are thrown into the circus of breaking down a situation that is pretty self-explanatory.
President Trump tweets his recognition of a an ongoing emergency that he has no desire to confront for obvious reasons. His reaction is generically-inclined compared to the way he passionately honors men in uniform who pay the ultimate price as a sacrifice to the country they love.
It’s as though the students and school officials who are pummeled with bullets — courtesy of the White male prototype(or whatever we’re cursed with)— didn’t sacrifice their own lives as evidence of how the country they love is unable to return that level of devotion.
The tradition of covering mass hysteria from every imaginable angle needs to stop because the mission is tainted by the transparency of heightened engagement — that turns into a goldmine for institutions that depend heavily on the necessity of impressively high ratings and increased traffic.
CNN’s valued staple — Jake Tapper mentioned during his broadcast that these cases of school shootings “happens every few weeks” — and his summation shocked me to the core. It proves how far removed prominent anchors have become — due to the abominably high occurrences of these types of crimes.
Tapper is providing wrong information either on purpose or perhaps his hectic schedule is finally interfering with his capacity to decipher the facts — either way the truth is that there is a school shooting pretty much every other week.
The fact that this wasn’t conveyed with a sense of urgency by someone with an authoritative voice — who has the assignment of keeping his viewers well-informed of sobering shit that is supposed to hit where it hurts — is proof that the media’s involvement is no longer effective.
Of course covering “breaking news” is what is required by those who are paid to do just that — but the point is that the salaciousness of it permeates through the screen with the god-awful realization that the line that keeps outlets like TMZ at a safe distance is becoming blurry at a rapid rate.
We see the firemen, ambulances, stretchers, the physically wounded — sprawled on the ground, the emotionally-scarred — running out of buildings — and the constant streaming evokes the scene of an afternoon shoot for a still-untitled disaster film.
Days later — we will back to 24/7 coverage of the human ticking bomb in The White House and this time next week — there will be more lives wasted — at the hands of gun men who aren’t Muslim or exported from “shithole” countries.
And when it happens — it will have to be massive enough to warrant the attention it should automatically garner — but unfortunately if it’s just a handful of lives affected — you will have to search your ass off for the pertinent details.
American families are dying faster than any of us want to admit — and it’s just a matter of time before the hell of our own making becomes the fire that we will never be able to extinguish — for tragically personal reasons.
Showcasing the horror movie of our time as if it will somehow make all the difference due to the bloodier shots, insane body count or extra-special circumstances isn’t appetizing or even remotely comforting. It just serves as the searing reminder of how all our days are numbered due to the stubbornness and inefficiency of law makers — who were able to stomach Sandy Hook with robotic flair.
There is a numbness that settles in when you’re at the gym and the screens project yet another homage to gun violence — as your headphones blast your latest download — and all the bodies around you are committed to anything but what we’re not trying hard to avoid.
Not sure what it is — but I’m positive that the age of clicking dangerously has left us immune to what opens up when the staggering numbers embedded in jarring headlines hit us with soft punches.
Its all so dramatic and yet we multi-task with ease — as the voices spew out what we’ve heard before and will surely ignore again.
The gun laws won’t change and careers will remain secure with the reliance of more bullet-ridden bodies at the hands of domestic terrorism — the virus that won’t be conquered because only people of color pose a serious threat.
And White males are the real Americans.