Does The Media Still Want to Argue Infamy Doesn’t Play a Role?

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No doubt as soon as the murderer’s name was known, his face was plastered all over the news. It was disappointing to even see people on our side doing it. Now it has come to light that the UCC murderer may have had the attention on his mind. Notice what the killer said about the Roanoke TV murderer:

On an interesting note, I have noticed that so many people like him are all alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are. A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone. His face splashed across every screen, his name across the lips of every person on the planet, all in the course of one day. Seems the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.

And thus the seed was planted in the mind of the next whack job. I feel a bad for quoting his writing here, but I want people to see, and see clearly, that when people on our side suggest the infamy the media offers these losers is a big part of what drives them to do these horrible things, we’re not blowing smoke. Here it is, plain as day for anyone to see.

Last night I was introduced to this effort by the family members of one of the Aurora victims. I’ve had a policy for a while now that I won’t mention the mass killer’s name. I won’t print their pictures or publish their manifestos. I won’t help them find what they seek. If only the media would do the same.

14 thoughts on “Does The Media Still Want to Argue Infamy Doesn’t Play a Role?”

  1. It’s a good idea … don’t know how to enforce it except voluntarily — and since shooter’s name and info and details in the limelight serves Democratic party purposes it’ll never happen (what’s another mass murder of disarmed little people if it pushes gun control and in someway can be turned around to hurt Republicans?).

    Back when I studied journalism one thing we were taught is that it’s standard policy for newspapers to never report on suicides unless it is someone well known. The reason being is that giving a suicide notoriety is known to push more people over the edge to do the same.

    And since all of these shooters basically are planning on a grandiose suicide to kill others and get a lot of coverage … how could this coverage not encourage others?

  2. It should definitely be a voluntary effort, but this would be huge in reducing these events. These guys want to do something to make people pay attention to them and they know this works. If we want it happen less frequently, it needs to stop working.

  3. I agree about not publishing the the names. Further, I think if we referred to them as the Aurora Theater Loser or the Charlotte Church Psycho or the Newtown Nancy-boy it would help.

    Ridicule them and their their last deed. Shame them and they might stop.

    I think we do need to hear about the why of their madness. It might help us in the public spot someone who is off-kilter, and hopefully get them and their family some help before they commit an evil act. We in the public are going to have to do it, because the highly paid professionals are failing at spotting and stopping both the crazies and the islamic terrorists.

    1. Actually, I suspect the names you’re suggesting would be counterproductive. The kinds of people were talking about would view them as outlaw names and would romanticize them instead of seeing them as insults. I think the best approach is just be as impersonal and emotionally neutral as possible. So, instead of using a name or a tagline just described him as the 26 year old male suspect.

      They’re looking for notoriety they because they’re ignored in their day-to-day lives, and since they can’t get any positive attention so they’re lashing out to get negative attention posthumously. By being clinical and distant in reference to the suspect, you reduce his importance in the event. There’s nothing interesting about him, we don’t care about him in particular. He was a guy who did a bad thing, but he’s even less significant in death than he was in life. Who was he? The 26-year-old male suspect, now deceased.

      1. Either way, we both agree. Rob them of their notoriety by denying them their name in print and in video.

  4. And the place I first heard that statement was in an ABC News broadcast this evening by Neal Karlinsky. He quoted it, named the killer, and had no sense just how ironic it was.

  5. Yep. The killer needs to NOT be the focus — there are heroes and victims to cover. Bury their names. “Whatever you reward, you get more of.”

  6. OT: I want to re-post this comment of mine here because some of you might miss out on it due to the fact that I posted it late on a comment thread that was started two days ago.

    And note folks, when he (President Obama) throws out “Great Britain” and “Australia” as examples of “doing something” he’s talking about mass confiscation.

    Australia did a mass confiscation scheme on all of said country’s legally owned semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, and pistols about 20 years ago.

    Nowadays, this is what a serious TV news reader lady in Australia said just two years ago on a major Australian TV news broadcast:

    “There’s alarm in police ranks over the number of machine guns being uncovered on Perth streets. Three of the fully automatic weapons have been seized in the past week. No one knows where they’re coming from, or how many more are out there.”

    Watch this Australian TV news report here:

    So, there you have it: The Australian government systematically confiscated all of the legal semi-automatic guns from all of the good people in Australia, all because the police in Australia knew the who and where about all of the legal semi-automatic guns, and less than 20 years later, the police in Australia have no idea how many illegal fully automatic guns there are in the hands of all the bad people in Australia.

  7. As much as I agree with you on an ethical level, importance of the freedom of speech and ideas would trump that. Lots of people read about Harper–perhaps even the majority–and feel deeply saddened for such a meaningful life. Should we silence the names for the sake of not inspiring “infamy”? Moreover, the victims and the victims’ family have a right to the many form of justice, at least one of which is the revealing of the identity of the perpetrator (although I can say that if I was one of those persons, I would not want to hear that name again).

    1. Freedom of the press applies to government. I would never under any circumstances suggest government have the power to censor the media. But if it becomes apparent infamy seeking drives a lot of these nut cases, I would certainly wish the media would voluntarily restrain itself from making the shooter famous, and focus instead on the victims and the shooter’s crime.

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