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Why The Media Should Maybe Not Cover Mass Shootings Anymore

Okay, so that will never happen, and it shouldn’t.

Any event of that magnitude needs national exposure because it warrants that level of attention. But so does what happens in-between these tragedies, that come and go without concrete evidence of progress beyond the dramatics of teary testimonies of eyewitnesses, and the moving collages of smiling faces that have been silenced by the brutality of gun violence.

And then you have the battleground of social media platforms; as mounting anger on all sides leads to pointing the finger at the identities of unveiled perpetrators, and aligning those discoveries with agendas that are always immersed in proving why and how your brand of politics is the only endorsable force.

Lord knows I’m guilty of expectantly receiving the breaking news of yet another White male terrorist, each time a school shooting or any other event involving the itinerary of high power rifles and high number of casualties, hits the web. It provides another opportunity to redistribute tweets that send the reminder of why domestic terrorism can’t just be assigned to Muslim-Americans.

And while that’s a worthwhile endeavor, it’s starting to resemble the same robotic moves that news organizations exhibit when these terrible tragedies occur.

Take the recent awfulness of the mass shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach that killed 12 people and injured 4, and how the initial coverage seemed to indicate that it was a “disgruntled employee,” who was seeking revenge after being “laid off.”

Eventually it was established that the shooter, who was later shot dead by police, was actually a current employee, who sent a brief resignation letter via email to his bosses, where he officially gave his two weeks’ notice, and explained his departure as “personal.”

Despite the media’s relentless efforts to wrongly categorize the unfathomable reasons why an unremarkable employee with a steady work history, devoid of serious offenses, would barge into his workplace and spray the space with bullets, it all boiled down to the inconceivable actions of someone who did a great job masking his demons until it was too late to predict deadly tendencies.

It seems that the dramatics of the Trump administration has seeped into the regulations of journalism. This horrendously torrid climate of extremes isn’t being handled with acute professionalism by an industry that can’t seem to agree on how to juggle the responsibilities of holding a rogue presidency accountable, while also relentlessly highlighting the casualties of a woefully dysfunctional government.

But there are a handful of truth-tellers like former CNN anchor, Soledad O’Brien, who never misses a chance to share her thoughts about the dire state of affairs when it comes to the unhealthy imbalance of mostly White talents in media, and how the art of reportage has been hijacked by the ratings fixation on Donald Trump.

Fox News will undoubtedly spend all day and night touting the achievements of its supreme leader, but why are CNN, MSNBC, and other reputable mainstream outlets mimicking this offensive form of worship?

Why can’t we have the mandated updates about the impossible toddler in The White House without being avalanched with 24/7 coverage that keeps informing us of what we already know.

It’s safe to assume that pretty much everyone in the universe is up to speed about the nefariousness of Trump and his criminal enterprise. And so, the notion that over-wrought panel discussions and over-paid pundits that repeatedly deliver recycled goods, somehow covers the gamut for daily reports, is beyond infuriating and wholly reprehensible.

Trump and his henchmen have succeeded in personalizing the new cycle to fit their agendas, and while Fox News has dutifully surrendered to that reality, CNN and others in that realm are still swimming in denial.

You can’t stoically cover mass shootings in America only when those horrific events occur, while ignoring the fact that these aren’t just sporadic episodes of terror.

Gun violence is a full-blown national crisis that places the United States in the unenviably unique position of being the only country in the Western world to accommodate the normalcy of domestic terrorism at the hands of citizens who are able to access a range of weaponry without background checks.

Since the year began, we’ve been privy to breaking news about mass shootings almost every week, and each time it happens, we are feted to the career-making moves of high-profile media stars, who can’t wait to arrive at the bloody scene, so they can lavishly dive into the theatrics of interviewing grief-stricken survivors against the backdrop of yards of police tape.

And literally hours later, it’s back to the business of analyzing Trump and Trumpsters, and boring us with futile jargon that’s repackaged for next day’s viewing.

When did it become acceptable to abandon the pledge to heroically expose the exploiters of society as opposed to becoming the very subject that needs to be thoroughly investigated?

The media-at-large is in a dire quandary, and the symptoms need to be extensively examined before the 2020 elections hit with a vengeance.

The uneven deliveries are that much more glaring when you observe the news cycle and realize how nothing matters unless it can be traced to Trump’s erratic mood swings and late night tweetfests.

There’s no attempt to unleash a bombardment of damning data and imagery that details how the present administration has played a vital role in the increasing deaths of Americans through the traditions of hate crimes, systemic abandonment after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, and the epidemic of gun violence that stems from archaic gun laws.

You head over to CNN and the gang of Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper, and the rest are basically devoted to spending their expensive segments verbally tousling with idiotic talking heads, who are paid to be soldiers for Trump on television to the delight of producers and media moguls, who are hoping to hold onto that momentum for the the 2020 election season..

If TV journalists aren’t committed to finding solutions to active issues that are a matter of life and death, and would rather just arrive at ground zero, and then jet back to glitzy studios to continue the love affair with a man that they aggressively helped to get elected — then we need to collectively accept the epic downfall of an industry that’s blindingly unrecognizable.

It’s only going to get worse, so I guess it’s about that time to brace ourselves!

Juggling Wordsmith. I have a lot to say!

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