stated my girlfriend as we watched the orgy of news coverage when the alleged shooter of the Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina was put into a patrol car. The first thought that came to my mind was, ‘He got what he wanted, he got the attention he never received before he committed this evil act.’
As a result of the omnipresent and daily social media circus that we have found ourselves in, we have also found that because of the overwhelming ability to ‘interact’ on a global basis, that the isolation one finds themselves in is now equally global. You’re not shit in your own hometown unless you do something to stand out. Now you’re not shit to the entire world unless you perform some act that catapults your name into notoriety. Even the trading of one’s freedom or even one’s own life seems irrationally worth that much.
The statement of ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ coined by Andy Warhol is too short by today’s standards. Knowing that the never ending hunger of the media (and of the public) for any facts surrounding a killer’s life promises, whether they are true or not, the repeated announcing of a their name and the plastering their picture on every electronic media venue that fifteen minutes turns into days and assures their place in history. There was a similar smirk found on the shooter who assassinated President Kennedy:
You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned any of these two killers by name, as it should be. They are or were mentally disturbed and this modern era, mostly young, white and this is a defining fact, on behavioral medication, Drugged Killers. They have been left to feel alone or ostracized and picked on, combined with the resulting need to be noticed by doing something ‘great’.
I challenge anyone to name the past five mass killers and then name any of the past victims. We have a journalistic problem where it lost all integrity years ago and became ‘entertainment’. I remember Walter Cronkite during the assassination of President Kennedy waiting for confirmation of his death before broadcasting it on air. Several other news agencies had already announce it but he waited until he could verify the news before reporting it. Now a days, conjecture and false reporting is taken in stride, because we like to be the first to hear ‘what is going on’. We have become gossipers rather than citizens. We don’t demand truth, we demand information no matter how erroneous it may turn out to be.
Below is an opinion piece which represents our given status as people and the role we have allowed the media to dictate what we know.
I hope that somehow we demand that the media not print any identifying information on someone who becomes responsible for such a tragedy. I don’t want to see another news report, see that person and notice that…