Giving Him What He Wants

There’s an article running in USA Today that is offering the mass killer exactly what he wants. I was reluctant to link to it, but people should see. “Who is [murdering loser]? Accused Pittsburgh synagogue shooter left anti-semitic trail.”. USA Today is hardly alone, though.

CNN: “Here’s what we know so far about [murdering loser], the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect.”

New York Times: “Who Is [murdering loser], the Suspect in the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting?

ABC: “Pittsburgh synagogue shooting: What we know about alleged mass shooter [murdering loser].”

Fox News: “Who is [murdering loser]? Pittsburgh synagogue suspect posted views online.”

Oh yeah, go read his manifesto and everything. From everything I’m seeing the guy was a loser. That fits the profile of most mass killers. For all the whack jobs in the tin-foil hat part of the gun community, saying this is a “false flag” because of the timing, it’s not. It all makes sense if you understand the motivation. We’ve unfortunately reached the point where in order to get the infamy you seek, you need to be politically useful to a narrative, or you need to kill a lot of people. Otherwise you’re act is going to get memory holed in a few days. If you want weeks of seeing your name in lights, you need to work for the media. This is not some crackpot theory. It’s also known that mass killers extensively plan their rampages:

Extensive planning indicates that rampage attacks serve purposes. These also fall into clear repeated patterns, including vengeance, infamy seeking, and a need for a sense of macho power, often with a background of long-term internal discord and interpersonal defeats.

We can’t do much about the other factors, but we can do someone about infamy seeking. I’m not asking the media to not cover news, and I would never suggest the government ought to restrict freedom of the press. But we can voluntarily take action. We can drive a culture that doesn’t offer infamy to those who seek it.

Don’t make the killer famous. I won’t even mention their names. I’m not going to quote the killer, but he has a quote which indicates he understood the timing of this. I believe he realized hitting this close to an election would make him useful and would drive heavy media coverage. The media fell right into place, on cue. “Who is <asshole murderer>?” Way to go guys. Out there, somewhere, the next murdering loser is taking notes.




16 thoughts on “Giving Him What He Wants”

  1. My first thought was that why did they not have armed security? My second was the kill # was higher in Texas. However that happened under Obama so the gun issue made it news. They know that under Trump that will not fly so it will be tar and feather Trump to and make it his fault That will not work but democrats are desperate to win the midterms so they will try

    1. I agree that the media coverage is less on this. I first learned about it when I heard that PayPal and Joyent were cutting ties with Gab; and the reason cited was the “Jewish Synagogue Shooting”.

      BTW, since then other companies have followed suit. And Gab is shut down for the near-term, foreseeable future. I predict it will last until sometime after November 6th. As it gives Big Tech the ability to interfere with the Mid-term Elections.

  2. I think that like every other excuse, the “seeking infamy” explanation has its limits. Sometimes it really does come down to, participants in a de facto cult becoming convinced that everyone who is important in the universe really does agree with them, and someone (them) needs to act heroically. A common delusion among Bower’s ilk appears to be that by taking an extreme action, they will initiate a badly needed civil or race war.

  3. The only reason to publish their names or pictures is to allow the public to assist in a police manhunt. After the suspect is in custody he should be unpersoned.

    Study of such individuals should be limited to the development of tactics and to identify and intervene before the incident and to develop tactics to neutralize the threat during the incident.

    There is ample precedent for this. A long time ago all the major media outlets decided that the world would be a better place if they protected the privacy of alleged rape victims. When someone rushes a soccer field with placard promoting their politics the cameras all cut away. Unfortunately, the media is less concerned with saving lives than they are with increasing their ratings and pushing their political agenda.

    1. Absolutely agree. Its time to stop making their name famous. Sure, it might not stop all of them. But it might stop a few.

      1. ESPECIALLY when the killer is a guy who wants more people to tune into his “political cause”. The more media focus he gets put on himself the more he and his cause wins.

  4. Probably make,s sense in this case but if the killer had been Muslim ( and there are a helluva a lot more violent anti-Semites of that stripe than there are Nazis) the only way we would know is by his name. The media sure as hell wouldn’t tell us. The manifesto is another story but for those who take the time to read it, I am sure it will just provide evidence for how evil and crazy the guy is.

    1. I think they have similar motivations. If they knew they wouldn’t be spread all over the news and viewed as martyrs the impetus to do it would be less. Terrorism is also a media driven phenomena.

      1. “Modern” terrorism theory was pretty much in place before the vast proliferation of the media we have seen in recent decades. The idea is to create enough random violence to make everybody insecure, make the government crack down in its normal ham-handed fashion and thus radicalize a bigger portion of the population than could be done by persuasion alone. 24-7 media hysteria is undoubtedly of large benefit to the terrorists especially at s Step One but in some senses it is an accident because the terrorists couldn’t have foreseen this when they developed their theory. Unless, of course the media is deliberately fomenting things for ideological or economic reasons. Personally, I don’t think they are that smart. There are exceptions like Bezos whose WaPo is stirring up hate while Amazon is selling everything you need for street fighting except firearms.

  5. FWIW, Wikipedia did *not* give him his own page (though they name him on the page for the incident). This appears to be their “new” policy, though a spot check of older incidents still shows that killers have their own pages.

    And I’m seeing pushback against notoriety for mass killers from all sides in FB now…

  6. How telling is the News Media attitude about censorship? At the same time they megaphone infamy for the murdering loser, they murmur approval (or even cheer!) the deplatforming of

    So the News Media employs self-censorship in the most irresponsible way, while they also applaud compelled censorship in the most irresponsible way. Ugh. No wonder people hate the News Media.

  7. I’m sorry, but that Psychology Today story you linked to is garbage. This statement first tripped my alarm, “Eric Madfis points out that mass murder is the only form of homicide in the U.S. that is committed by non-Hispanic whites in numbers disproportionately high relative to their share of the population.”

    I already know that Madfis claim is a sloppy exaggeration at best, or a calculated deception at worst.

    And then Madfis goes on to spin even nuttier claims…

    “Eric Madfis also points out that school rampages also reveal a clear pattern in terms of the types of communities and schools which suffer from them most frequently.

    While the majority of American school gun violence generally occurs in urban areas, rampage school shootings are much more likely to occur at suburban and rural schools in less populated, less diverse communities, located in more socially and politically conservative neighborhoods.

    International school rampages also follow this pattern, occurring more often in small towns or villages with tight knit communities.

    The humiliating closeness and pressure to conform in small towns might therefore be implicated, particularly as attacks tend to take place where the school staff and student body are intolerant of differences, when issues of bullying and marginalization are not addressed by the school culture.”

    … yeah it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the agenda being pushed by Madfis.

    1. Yes. But it’s not just “right wing cranks like John Lott” espousing some of these ideas. It’s accepted across the spectrum.

Comments are closed.