December 14, 2012

It isn't news, "it's just rubbernecking," turning "this murdering little twat into a a sort of nihilistic pinup boy."



(Via Reddit, where there are nearly 2,000 comments.)

79 comments:

rhhardin said...

That's all very good, but how do you keep women from tuning away.

m stone said...

Dietz is right. Coverage may never change until we get news directors and producers who will only post followup coverage when there actually is new information. That probably includes eliminating the first news conferences usually staged by press-mongering elected officials.

Replays and speculation produce nothing but misinformation. Any attention to the killers plays to their fantasies.

Coketown said...

Isn't all news rubbernecking? Inquisitive fascination with stories that aren't really any of our business. But it is our business. Mankiiiiind is our business, sayeth Marley.

That last bit was interesting. Sensationalizing the rampage might compel others to copy. Should we have a national press control policy? There must be limits to the sec...first amendment. Journalists cannot be trusted to act in a socially responsible way. We should have a national notepad buy-back program. Turn out the lights; the free speech party is over. Lives are at stake.

Pogo said...

@rhhardin
Make it a soap opera about the families affected.

rhhardin said...

A wave of revulsion at the news media would of course fix it.

Audience is their goal, not news.

News is just what they call it.

Michael K said...

The only good thing that could come out of something like this would be a change in the understanding of mental illness.

It won't. There is too much money in writing books and convincing people that mental illness does not exist.

DADvocate said...

CNN and Fox are certainly dramatizing it to the max. Ratings, ratings, ratings.

I admit I'm curious about the state of mind and psychology of the perpetrator. Guess that's why I was a psych major.

Coketown said...

I was at work all day and am just now catching up. This story broke for me when my boss's wife called him crying. She's 2000 miles away but spent all day glued to the TV. Ratings! Let's not be too hasty to judge the media's handling of tragedy. Because, you know...ratings.

I'm reading now that the shooter was probably mental. Is autism still a mental disorder? Or did they PC that one out of the DSM, too? I can't keep up. In any case, even if he were he wouldn't have been committed. We have nowhere to store our fruitcakes so they end up in public. Will the left now re-evaluate their crusade against institutionalization? Haha. No. That was a Good Thing--beyond reproach. Guns are Very Bad Things. Gun ownership should be a mental disorder. It may in fact be the only entry in the pamphlet titled DSM-6.

J Motes said...

When was it decided that "shooter" is the preferred term? It's so neutral and benign.

I guess words like "murderer" and "killer" are just too judgemental for a society shaped by prissy pants progressives.

Congrats to commenter m stone (#2 above) for using the correct word.

YoungHegelian said...

How about before we talk about "moral" journalism we talk about "professionally-done" journalism?

Have you had the misfortune to try and read the coverage of this horrible event at CNN? It was for most of the day an absolute mess of a blog.

The NYT reported the older brother as the murderer. Where was the mother shot -- at the school or at her house? Is there a "missing" girlfriend in NJ? First the shooter had a kid at the school, then it's his mom's a teacher there. Who are they interviewing -- the second graders?

This happened in Connecticut, for God's sake! Connecticut, not fucking Ulan Bator, and they can't get the details straight!

After this, I'm starting to come up with my own conspiracy theory re Benghazi -- the Obama admin told the press everything, but they're too stupid to know how to write it up as a story.

And, yes, I'm joking about the Benghazi stuff.

Methadras said...

If it bleeds it leads. Everything else is icing on the cake. The world is broken and we have people in power who think they are going to solve the problem that are going to break it more.

DADvocate said...

Because, you know...ratings.

I keep thinking back to 15 years ago when the small town newspaper I worked at published the picture of the body of suicide victim floating face down in a creek. We got lots of complaints about the picture being gory, in poor taste, etc. But, the news editor smiled and told me we sold more newspapers that day than any other day that year.

Coketown said...

This happened in Connecticut, for God's sake! Connecticut, not fucking Ulan Bator, and they can't get the details straight!

Scoop first, ask questions later.

Hagar said...

It is now reported that

1. Adam Lanza definitely was a "disturbed youth." Whether this went beyond "autism" and "Asperger's syndrome" may yet be uncertain.

2. The guns were bought for him by his mother and registered to her.

Who was the craziest in that family?

Lem said...

That's all very good, but how do you keep women from tuning away.

Funny toy should say that..

Pelosi, just yesterday, said the budget cliff talks were boring her.

Nobody is bored now.

edutcher said...

I agree with everyone else. Give this scum no more notoriety than a quick mention.

And Methedras is right. The Gospel According to Mike Malice - forget there are people involved, you're a journolist.

J Motes said...

When was it decided that "shooter" is the preferred term? It's so neutral and benign.

A military term for soldiers in a firefight (if I'm wrong, I'be happy to stand corrected by one of our vets). In this context, it's almost sympathetic.

ricpic said...

Why the throbbing driven "music" pollution in the video? If the point of it is to irritate the viewer to the edge of anger...it succeeds.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I just unfriended a guy I've known since fifth grade, a University of Minnesota poetry professor. I was growing pretty tired of his liberal twaddle anyway, but the last straw was a post blaming people who hate teacher's unions for making K-12 teachers convenient targets, and enabling the people who kill them. Crack went the camel's back.

YoungHegelian said...

@hagar,

And the older brother seems to be a piece of work, too. His response to the tragedy on his Facebook page: "Shut the fuck up. It wasn't me!"

Is this how a 24 --- not 14! -- year old man behaves in a public forum? How about "I'm shocked and saddened by this tragedy that has affected my family & my city. My heart goes out to the families for their terrible loss. I will be cooperating fully with the authorities to do all that I can to help."

The inevitable question arises: where's Dad?

leslyn said...

I believe it's "shooter" as distinguished from others involved, such as conspirators (who would also be murderers), accessories to the crime, etc. I think news agencies are aware of the legal niceties, saying "alleged killer," for instance.

Hagar said...

Young H.
That's uncalled for. The parents were divorced and Ryan lives with his dad. His outburst is very understandable in light of the intial MSM reporting that Ryan was the shooter, and everybody jumping on it. How would you, as a 24 year old, like to cope with that?

chuck said...

Personally, I'd like to see more of the 'differently sane' institutionalized. Once upon a time crazy people were recognized as crazy, but about the time of 'One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest' that changed. And now there are hardly any institutions to put them in.

YoungHegelian said...

@Hagar,

I'd cope with it like I wrote. Some men at age 24 lead other young men into battle. 24 is a man, not a boy, so act like it, and don't say "shut the fuck up" in the middle of a tragedy.

My point about "Where's dad?" is that, as often as banning guns is discussed, maybe we'd be better of talking about what it takes to keep families together as a way of heading this stuff off at the pass.

Revenant said...

Yeah, YH -- the guy was falsely accused of the mass murder of children.

"Shut the fuck up" seems like a relatively *mild* response to that accusation, don't you think?

creeley23 said...

"Rubbernecking." Agreed.

I don't think we can wean the media from it -- there are too many tentacles to that squid and too much juice for it to savor, but I would really like to start penalizing politicians from horning in.

If a media creature, inevitably, sticks a camera and microphone into a pol's face, that pol should just say, "It's sad and horrible and it's not about me. Let's have a moment of silence for the victims and those grieving," then quickly exit stage left or right as appropriate.

I don't want their tears, their insights or anything else. I want them offstage. It's one place to start to take away the unholy attention these events generate and I believe, with Ann, help inspire the next mass murder.

YoungHegelian said...

@Revenant,

"Shut the fuck up" seems like a relatively *mild* response to that accusation, don't you think?

No. Why are you making excuses for a 24 yr old man? When tragedy strikes, we all must step up to the plate, and deal with it as courageously as we can. All that was required here were words of comfort & compassion. I'm sorry, that Facebook post wasn't it. It may be a human response, but it wasn't admirable.

Hagar said...

Well, YH, I take it that you mmust be a lawyer then; your "coping" statement sounds just like the claptrap issued by the corporate legal counsel when the company is caught up short, and generally makes me, and I think most people, want to throw up!

Revenant said...

No. Why are you making excuses for a 24 yr old man?

I'm not; I'm criticizing you for making idiotic remarks.

YoungHegelian said...

@Hagar,

And I'm sure "Shut the fuck up" was helpful to the families.

I'm on to other things so I'll read any responses later.

creeley23 said...

I'm with YH to a point. STFU wasn't admirable. I agree that 24 is old enough to be an adult and it would be nice if we could expect a higher standard from adults.

OTOH, I've seen even worse responses from people in their fifties and sixties to tragic circumstances involving death.

I would say that humans are over-rated as adults.

leslyn said...

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing there are still so many helpers--so many caring people in this world.
Mr. Rogers

Revenant said...

And I'm sure "Shut the fuck up" was helpful to the families.

He IS "the families", little brain. Or did you forget that the killer murdered Ryan Lanza's mother, too? :)

You're kind of pathetic, aren't you? Tsk.

madAsHell said...

Sure, we can minimize the coverage, but we're going to need a subsidy to cover all the lost revenues.

JAL said...

I don't know about this particular murderous twat but it is 10 PM where I live and every single major broadcast network has cancelled their 10 PM shows and replaced it with wall to wall coverage of the Newtown shooting.

I do not want to watch or hear about the Newtown shootings.

These people are in excruciating pain. I do not need to have that showcased into my sitting room, and hazarding a guess, neither do they much.

I am not for pretending it didn't happen (a la 9/11 and the Twin Towers) but so much of what is [probably] being said is already known, and many of these people have other things they need to be doing rather than facing microphones and cameras.

Good heavens people!

(And considering the CNN+ screw up with the identity of the shooter, it might be good to SHUT UP far a while. Fact checkers and all that.)

Pray for them, send good vibes, whatever you want. But give them space and privacy.

Phil 3:14 said...

. Will the left now re-evaluate their crusade against institutionalization?

Do you or anyone have evidence that 1) he was in regular psychological care 2) that said psychologists expressed concern about danger to others 3) that we had any legal standing to "pre-emptively incarcerate him.

I'm amazed at conservatives who declare we should fear our government who eagerly advocate for such pre-emptive incarceration after such episodes. Its as disturbing as those liberals who reflexively call for tighter gun control after such tragedies.

PS These were not the sort of folks de-institutionalized in the 60's and 70's. Those were the chronic schizophrenics who you now see pushing shopping carts, talking to themselves and panhandling on the corner.

JAL said...

Every single person in that town of 27,000 knows someone personally who has been immediately affected by this.

Leave them alone if you aren't offering specific needed help.

Cedarford said...

YoungHegelian said...
@Hagar,

I'd cope with it like I wrote. Some men at age 24 lead other young men into battle. 24 is a man, not a boy, so act like it, and don't say "shut the fuck up" in the middle of a tragedy.


=================
Tell you what - the young men leading other men in battle have been known to tell the same young men to shut the fuck up if the situation demands.

And his reaction to social media chatter that he was arrested, in police custody and was the shooter is no different than any other falsely accused guy the media wants to drag through the slime for ratings.
If he did not deny it all upfront and quash the garbage, the garbage spoken would be considered true. And his name even more besmearched than it is now.

And don't lord "THE VICTIMS FAMILY'S FEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLINGS" over any fucking one , Young Hegelian. About the last thing I think any of them were doing was tracking comments on social media today.
Also -Sick -To - Death of people spouting opinions then hiding behind Victim's Families as their purported Champion. Lefties were wallowing in that shit nearly immediately when challenged on their Ban All Guns squeals with the predictable:

"Oh yeah, if you disagree, then have the guts to tell a mother of a dead child today that evil guns do not belong with anyone but trained people in uniform that are there to protect us all!"


JAL said...

Where's dad?

The news (online, written) earlier today had him murdered also, in NJ.

So much for news.

Who knows ... just babble and run with it.

leslyn said...

It's an odd thing, but when I was a reporter for a small newspaper in one of my other lives, I was dumbfounded by how people seemed to want to talk about their tragedies. Sometimes immediate family, sometimes people in the community. I think people need an outlet for their fears, shock, bewilderment, etc., and want to think that people hear them.

I say "odd" because I'm more the "shut the fuck up!" type. But it wasn't odd to them.

leslyn said...

Will the left now re-evaluate their crusade against institutionalization?

Is the right willing to pay for it?

Lydia said...

leslyn said...
I think people need an outlet for their fears, shock, bewilderment, etc., and want to think that people hear them.

True, and I wonder if it's a bit more so in these Oprahfied times, in that people also have a need for media validation?

DADvocate said...


Is the right willing to pay for it?


We paid for it before.

alamogordo said...

Some of you commenters are vile.
The young man had a right to say F*ck you It's not me"
It WAS NOT HIM!

Pogo said...

"Is the right willing to pay for it?"

Hell, we invented it.

sonetka said...

From what I've read, I think the "Shut the fuck up" Ryan Lanza was another Ryan Lanza who was unconnected to the family, and suddenly started getting deluged on Facebook and having his photo broadcast worldwide as a mass murderer of children. I don't think anyone sane could blame him for his reaction to that.

Jane said...

Rubbernecking is probably an appropriate term for the wall-to-wall coverage of the families who lost children. But I've been looking to the various news and aggregator sites fairly often this afternoon and evening for these little details about who the shooter is, which in the end still don't tell us anything.

I'd also lay off the older brother. His brother just killed his mom.

alamogordo said...

Leslyn,

I believe there should be a place for deranged people. That is one of the things that the STATES were supposed to take care of.


A place for the mentally deranged.

Yes, I would pay for it FOR MY STATE.

DADvocate said...

The mother buying the guns raises a lot of questions in my mind. If she had a single gun, you could easily say she's a single woman wanting self protection. But, two pistols and a Bushmaster .223 goes beyond that.

Given that Adam Lanza was familiar enough with the pistols to use them quite effectively in the shootings, did his mother buy them for him to use? He's used them before, if only for target shooting.

DADvocate said...

The young man had a right to say F*ck you It's not me"

Just because you have a right to do something doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.

DADvocate said...

Let the young man have a few days before you go criticizing his immediate response to today's tragedy?

Where did I criticze anyone but alamogordo? Work on your reading comprehension before you criticize.

alamogordo said...

DADvocate,

Where do you live that owining guns is a sin? I don't believe the mother purchased the guns, whatever the time line on the purchase, to allow her son to shoot people.

Have you never owned a gun?

Or you NOT allowed to own a gun?

If so, I am sorry for you.

Pogo said...

Things will be better once TV news refers to these murderers as assholes, dipshits and dumbfucks.

Mock them and laugh at them.

sonetka said...

Sorry, turns out I delurked pointlessly -- looks like that Ryan Lanza is actually the killer's brother. I still don't understand criticizing his reaction, though -- his family has been destroyed, his brother has committed a mass murder of children, and through a mistake everyone thinks he's the one who did it? He's got to be in shock. Blaming him for not issuing a celebrity-style "statement" at this point is beyond ridiculous.

William said...

I watch as little news about this as possible. It's upsetting and you learn nothing. I don't understand these monsters, but it does seem that intensive press coverage does in some way nurture their pathology. Perhaps the First Amendment absolutists have as much to answer for as the the Second Amendments followers.....It does seem that America leads the world in these kinds of shootings. I'm sure that the availability of guns has something to do with it, but so does the endless coverage. They demonize the shooters, but to the evil demonization is like canonization to the good......I saw pictures of the stricken faces of some of those kids. It's awful. The shooter saw those faces and reloaded. This talk of gun control and press freedom is perhaps a way of making sense out of an incomprehensible experience. There are griefs beyond condolence, and evils beyond comprehension.

n.n said...

I think the psychiatrist offers insight we would do well to consider. We should not underestimate the consequences of unrealized self-esteem and an unfulfilled ego. While we may not prevent psychopathic behavior, we should take reasonable steps to mitigate its expression.

Lydia said...

Pogo said...
Things will be better once TV news refers to these murderers as assholes, dipshits and dumbfucks.

Mock them and laugh at them.


Or we could do as the Romans did and declare them damnatio memoriae, meaning condeming any memory of them.

Pogo said...

"damnatio memoriae"

Perfect.

alamogordo said...

Yes, Pogo. perfect.

Revenant said...

Just because you have a right to do something doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.

When someone falsely accuses you of mass child murder, telling them "fuck you" is always the right thing to do.

Lyle said...

If this young man had autism or a personality disorder, who the heck knows if TV programming influenced him?

Mentally ill people can act out in horrible ways. There's not much to be done about it.

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
creeley23 said...

As others have pointed out, mass school killings are not a recent invention. But the current tempo we are seeing is new.

I don't know what we do about the latter. Total gun control is a pipe dream; so is some massive upgrade of mental health practices. I doubt either would solve the problem even if they could be implemented.

I have a terrible feeling this is all a symptom of the ongoing decline of America, that we don't know what we are doing or where we are going, we are angry about it and with each other, and we are in despair that we can change things.

Lem said...

The press needs to come together and set some guidelines... or at least update whatever it is they got.

BTW, its encouraging to see the restraint observed here tonight.

Kudos.

leslyn said...

@creely23:

Missouri senator's bill requires all first graders to take NRA gun safety course.

Not my kid.

RCCA said...

What makes an unhappy guy want to inflict unhappiness, pain, death on other people? People don't go from happy and content one minute to homicidal mass murderers the next. Why not seek out some help instead?

I have a nephew who has mental problems/drug problems. At one point he felt like hurting someone and went to a police station and "turned himself in." At first the police didn't know how to react since he hadn't done anything wrong or committed any crime. But eventually he convinced them to take him to a mental health facility and he started getting some help.

What's the difference between him and the mass murderers we've been seeing lately? He grew up in a family where mental illness was acknowledged as a real medical condition, not just a personality flaw. Maybe that's the difference?

Craig said...

Most of the state owned and operated mental asylums were built more than a century ago. Some have been demolished, some are still in use and some have been abandoned to deteriorate. The movement to deinstitutionalize did not necessarily entail dispensing with the asylums which already existed. It involved creating a viable alternative called community mental health, so that asylums were no longer a static, permanent solution, but one of a range of options allowing for a dynamic of treatment that did not rule out the possibility of recovery from mental illness.

Chip Ahoy said...

In Clan of the Cave Bear, a book based on tru fax, a woman named Ayla invented everything prehistoric like the needle and the secret to tanning leather white by using wee, and the spear chucking enhancer similar the modern day tennis ball thrower, everything invented prehistorically is embodied in the character Ayla, eventually she had a satellite dish outside her cave.

She was Cro-magnon babe picked up by Neanderthals and things didn't work out and eventually her protagonist had her condemned to die by ignoring her. To the tribe she was dead and her body they saw around the camp was a ghost. Being ignored completely by the whole tribe was tantamount to being actually dead. It was so sad. Jean Auel takes a good deal of care having the reader understand how utterly dependent each member of the tribe is on each other.

It was for the best that she go. She didn't share their ancestral memories and had to be shown every little thing. And it allowed Auel to embody more prehistoric developments like animal husbandry. Presaging Republican War on Women™ it was Broud who raped Ayla who drove Ayla away and who also father Ayla's child, in which she rejoiced and dutifully raised, so a mixed-race child.

It was an early case of damnatio memoriae but it was not called that, the term damnatio memoriae would have to await Ayla inventing Rome.

Smilin' Jack said...

Good grief. Even gay nihilists must have better-looking pinup boys than that.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

I suggest grassroots pressure for a voluntary moratorium by movie
theaters, broadcast and cable TV and radio, etc. of any depiction
of firearms.

Only exception would be recorded-as-they-happen actual events,
i.e. news footage, combat photography, .

Not allowed would be any movie scenes - new or re-runs, fiction
or 'non-fiction' - with firearms. Show the movie, but with the gun
scenes cut out.

Hunting and fishing outdoor shows would be OK. Target shooting
competitions (as interesting as golf or bowling) likewise.

I think we've got this backwards. What we see on TV and movies
is a lot of guns used as they never actually were. What we don't
see - what the media seems to intentionally exclude - is guns being
used as they actually are.

MayBee said...

Has everybody seen "We Need to Talk About Kevin"?

Moose said...

Fantastic Ann. Thank you...

rhhardin said...

This is going to cast a pall over the holidays, unless another news event comes up.

Sabinal said...

I don't think it will cast a pall to anyone except in the immediate area. My family looked on it on the internet, then made spaghetti. And we have lost family members to violence and lived in an area where there's a person shot to death everyday.

Sabinal said...

I can guarantee that H-wood will not give up on its moneymaking violent movies. The people who complain about guns the most are the first in line to watch those movies.

To me the Kevin movie is just as exploitative as the school violence itself. And take a listen out on the radio - betcha "Pumped Up Kicks" will not play until the New Year. And you will never hear "Blaze of Glory" by Bon Jovi (at least in my neck of the woods, but I think people find that song cheesy)

Craig Landon said...

This comports with my view:

You cannot make sense of what happened today, you cannot create a massive conspiracy theory that this was a result of some government plot, or some massive scheme. This was one man and his horrific act. That is what is hard to grasp most. The simplicity that it came down to him, and him alone while so many have to suffer pointlessly. There is no higher meaning, no deeper truth, no divine will. You cannot say that there was a reason for this. I think that is why it’s so hard to accept it, because all we know is that this darkness is always there. It has to take something this vile as always for us to see that.

saith Julia, my daughter

leslyn said...

There is no higher meaning, no deeper truth, no divine will. You cannot say that there was a reason for this. I think that is why it’s so hard to accept it, because all we know is that this darkness is always there.

I agree entirely with this. "Mental illness" as we understand it doesn't explain this. The press officer for the police used the word "evil." It fits.

EMD said...

"“The whole community getting together, working toward a common goal. It felt really, really good.”

Craig said...

During the Reagan era it was fashionable for schizophrenics to receive their command hallucinations through the Letterman Show.

Revenant said...

Not my kid.

Yes, you wouldn't want your kid to understand gun safety. He might NOT accidentally shoot himself the first time he encounters a gun.