There's an interesting post at Ace's by @rdbrewer4 about the culpability of the media in not only sensationalizing mass murder, but in fomenting further such acts:
Should there be some rough ethical/professional guideline for the coverage of mass murders? Of course CNN and other news outlets are aware that panic and infamy are what many of these mass murderers want and that there is a good chance the next killer is making a mental note right now, "Here is how I can get on TV." But it appears the immediate opportunity to score political points outweighs the risk they might be encouraging another mass killing--an act they would undoubtedly view as causally remote anyway.
Very interesting. I've been mulling this myself. I obviously believe in a free, vibrant press. It is the most important right we have. Followed only by the right to bear arms, I might add. I didn't enumerate them, I just happen to agree with the numbering system. But does a corporatist media that no longer operates as a check on government, but more as a cabal of unofficial Democratic Party organs deserve such protections? A fascinating question. And before you go all goatse on me, remember what Angel Eyes told that whore Maria in The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: I'm asking the questions here.
And they are questions. Just as I respect your need to be a questioning bisexual, you should respect my need to question exactly what function the modern media is performing these days. Are they honest purveyors, seeking to enlighten us, speaking truth to power, afflicting the comfortable? Or are they organs of the state? Izvestia, Pravda, Granma? They are certainly righteous burrowers when the wrong party is in power. Otherwise they are compliant little Bolsheviks, I think. Labeling everyone they find distasteful a kulak.
Jumping the rails a bit there, but to the meat of the matter: I'm thinking of Oliver Wendell Holmes' classic opinion for a unanimous Court in Schenck v. United States in 1919. I'm not a big fan of Holmes' for many reasons ("three generations of imbeciles are enough!"), but on second thought perhaps the Kennedys should, after all, be sterilized.
Anywhats, Holmes, in decrying anti-war leaflets, of all things, felt that certain speech, when pushing false claims in times of national emergency, created a "clear and present danger," and were thus not protected under the First Amendment. His criterion was rather strict: the speech must be patently false. This opinion was of course modified in 1969 in Brandenburg v. Ohio, which stipulated the speech must be likely to invite imminent lawless action. You know, like when union thugs beat up peaceful demonstrators.
My point, should I ever meander to it, is that the "free press" are no longer that thing, that entity, exposing the powerful as they exploit they helpless. Rather, they are the critical component in a fascist, corporatist criminal syndicate, allied with but one political entity, and use the power of their supposed neutrality to wage war upon those not of a like political bent.
One might posit that it's all just news, and blood leads, and they are merely performing their capitalist fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders. And this is true to a point. But the wicket gets sticky here. The bias is palpable. One could suck it like a juicy peach. I won't bother with small examples, because the enterprise is too huge. But for a small example: Tim Scott, a black Republican, has been appointed by Nikki Haley, an Indian female GOP governor, to be the only black Senator. And the first from the south since Reconstruction. Now the GOP has more minorities in the Senate than the Democrats. Does this uplifting story get any traction in the media? No. He is called an Uncle Tom on MSNBC. And worse. Fact: there are more minority GOP governors than Democrat governors. Republicans look at African-Americans like Tim Scott and see a future leader. Democrats merely see another nigra vote, lost.
This is all by way of setting up the gist: the exploitation of mass murders by the media to lie, and falsely cry "Fire!" in a crowded theater, to forward their politcal agenda. When you call semi-automatic weapons, a mainstay of civilian hunting and sports activities, "automatic weapons," you are engaging in a knowing lie. When you call them "assault weapons" you are engaging in a knowing lie. You are attempting to whip the populace into a frenzy, you are fomenting hysteria amongst the people, you are creating the next wave of copycat killers, you are knowingly engaging in creating a "clear and present danger." It is your only goal. Your only desire.
When you lie about the name of the killer, and lie about the fact that he used pistols, not an "assault weapon," are you not engaging in treasonous activity? Even by Brandenburg standards you are fomenting a mob.
Again, I'm just throwing this out there. I don't know the legal answers. And it's a damned shame Bob Bork just died. I would like to know his take. He being another innocent civilian rough-housed by the stiff-arm political vanguard of the Party of Power. And most especially by corrupt plagiarists like Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy, neither of whom could carry Robert Bork's briefcase in an arena of honor.
In the olden days tribes would send a single warrior out to do combat, and decide a battle without extreme loss of life. I submit we send Soledad O'Brien to the Taliban. She exemplifies our liberal mindset, after all. She, after all, would posit anything a man can do she can do better. And she don't like guns, so she can use her powerful moral suasion. Then, and only then, will I feel the media follows the diktats they erect for the rest of us. Then, will I capitulate. You say you want a revolution? Don't you know that you can count me in.
Update: Lest anyone think I am seriously calling for treason trials for our less-than-honorable media types, replete with guillotines erected in, say, Dupont Circle, don't be an ass. I would, however, like to try them for fraud in civil court. And bleed them dry monetarily. What little cash they have left. I might give it to the Girl Scouts, but I'd probably give it to the Koch brothers.