They don’t name rape victims, do they?

The media’s having a field day with NRA’s assertion that armed citizens can stop armed criminals and the assertion that the media has a vested interest in exploiting and even encouraging the fringe. “Who, us?”, they ask? “Perish the thought!”

Leave aside the possible link between violent video games and movies causing mayhem for a minute and ponder this thought experiment: assuming many of these evil people are spurred to act from a desire to achieve national, even world-wide fame (and the flurry of shootings that follow a notorious massacre seem to suggest they are), what if the press imposed a voluntary moratorium on disclosing the murderers’ names and photographs? Those identities would still be revealed on the Internet – everything is – but the fierce urge to go out with a bang, so to speak, might be dissipated if the madman knew he wasn’t going to make it onto the national news.

I’m not suggesting we enact a law forcing this change – I’m as much in favor of the First Amendment as I am of the Second, but the press could do this on its own, just as it voluntarily shields the identities of rape victims and, often, victims of domestic violence. The New York Times could lead the way, perhaps, and CBS and the Washington Post could follow its example. If a new reporting ethic were established, smaller media outlets might follow suit.

Would this work? Depriving a fire of oxygen usually does, but it costs nothing to try and if it were effective, we’d learn of its success far sooner than the culmination of the decades-long battle gun ownership foes are facing to confiscate 300 million weapons. What’s the downside?

UPDATE: taking time from their sincere efforts to avert financial disaster, the Senate has just passed a resolution calling for The Village Voice to stop publishing sex classifieds. So why not a similar resolution addressed to The New York Times?

18 Comments

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18 responses to “They don’t name rape victims, do they?

  1. Walt

    Dude –
    Let’s just blame the Jews. OK? They control the MSM, and the banks.

    Now don’t get me wrong. I like bagels, although you can’t find a good one in Greenwich. Maybe when Cos Cob gets the synagogue, we will be able to get a good bagel and a schmeer? It’s about time Cos Cob contributes something.

    And Jewish women are hot!! Bar what’s her name is a Jew.

    How do you stop a Jewish girl from having sex? MARRY HER!!
    Your Pal,
    Walt

  2. Decent thought, CF. Workable, who knows? In this internet age, information (and misinformation) is transmitted faster than you can blink an eye.

    Look at the Huffington Post headline today, with all the murders listed. Very sobering. That clown LaPierre should look at it. BTW, was his brain taken away yesterday, or what?

  3. Balzac

    In the perverse world of the mass killer, publicity is the reward sought. Eliminating or reducing the publicity certainly ought to reduce the violence. But the media doesn’t understand that they are being played – exploited – by these homicidal twerps.

    The Newtown incident was caused 50% by the liberal tearing-down of our culture, 30% by parenting failure by the Lanzas, and 20% by permissive gun laws. Our government will act only on the latter.

  4. Inagua

    “The Newtown incident was caused… 20% by permissive gun laws.”

    Balzac – Connecticut has some of the most restrictive guns laws in the nation. What more do you think the Connecticut law can do?

    FWIW, I think another possible contributing factor is that almost all of these mass murders occur in “gun free zones,” which these deranged psychopathic murderers treat essentially as hunting preserves for innocent, unarmed people.

  5. Anonymous2

    Inagua, they’re not “gun free zones”. They’re “self-defense free zones”. Just what the liberals want!

  6. AJ

    I disagree, mass murderers should be posthumously ridiculded, humiliated, and embarrased in the extreme. Let it be known to all would be shooters, that we will find your deepest, darkest, most embarrassing secrets and show everyone who knew you, the entire world in fact, that you are even more pathetic than the loser everyone thought you were. Put their bodies on display like Moussolini, only stuff their mouths with feces. This is the exact kind of attention such people would very likely go to extremes to avoid.

    But please whatever you do, do not call these psychos lunatics or retards.

    • AJ, that’s the approach used up to now and it doesn’t seem to work – the killers seeking attention don’t seem to care what kind of attention they get so long as they get it. Mark Chapman comes to mind.

    • Libertarian Advocate

      @AJ: Have to agree with CF here. Based on info that comes out in the aftermath of all these atrocities, the perps are almost invariably diminished low self-esteem outliers from society. They believe they are worthless, and seek to prove they are worthless to the power of 100. Then the Press happily gives them all the posthumous glory they wanted. Ultimately they are consummate malignant narcissists.

  7. Babylon Sister

    Along those lines… Hollywood supports taxing the rich. Hollywood supports gun control. Don’t you think it would be a meaningful gesture if Hollywood decided to institute an impropriety tax on its violent movies?

    Or, we could just ban violent movies altogether, kind of like how Mayor Bloomberg did away with 16 oz sodas. (I wonder how the obesity epedemic in NYC is coming along these days?)

    AJ – I get what you’re saying. The media has been dedicating tremendous attention to trying to *understand* these cowardly losers, which to some twisted minds, is indeed a form of glorification.

    It’s socially acceptable for “artists” in this country to submerge renditions of Christ in urine and excrement (see “Piss Christ”, 1987, subsidized by the National Endowment for the Arts). And yet the real turds, like the CT shooter, get handled with compassionate kit gloves, protected with sympathetic excuses of victimization and external loci of control.

  8. Anom

    From his review of Gus Van Sant’s Elephant, a fictionalized account of a Columbine-like school shooting, here’s Roger Ebert on the media’s behavior while reporting these kinds of events.

    Let me tell you a story. The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. “Wouldn’t you say,” she asked, “that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?” No, I said, I wouldn’t say that. “But what about ‘Basketball Diaries’?” she asked. “Doesn’t that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?” The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it’s unlikely the Columbine killers saw it.

    The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. “Events like this,” I said, “if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”

    In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.

  9. What a brilliant idea. Some Fox news folks stopped using the killer’s name and referred to him as the shooter instead.

  10. Artie

    Do you really think that they are looking for fame if they kill themselves afterwards, or are you talking about copycat-type shooters?

    • Artie, what do I know about people as deranged as I? But the copycats do seem to be flushed out of the woodwork by these massive media circuses and it seems – it seems – that the nuts are inspired by the idea of fame, posthumous or otherwise. Again, who knows if knowledge that they wouldn’t get their school yearbook picture emblazoned on the news would deter them, but why not try? U.S. papers, for instance, won’t run pictures of bare breasts, more’s the pity – why not add mass murderers to the proscribed list and see if it helps? Not, I emphasize again, by any law dictating content but just a moral decision made by the publishers themselves.
      If they need to fill some now-unoccupied space, I suggest they bring on the naked ladies.

      • AJ

        Let’s not forget the Werther effect.
        [had to Google that one, AJ - for other readers, "The Werther effect not only predicts an increase in suicide, but the majority of the suicides will take place in the same or a similar way as the one publicized" - ED]

  11. AJ

    I agree with Peter J., and try to never (other than perhaps to identify one incident from another) call these guys by their names. I believe the subject at hand is shooters who go to some unprotected place and take as many lives, as many with them as they can, before being committing suicide. Whereas Chapman was a celebrity infatuated putz who found inspiration in a movie “Ordinary People” — gratuitary violence? I don’t think so — and the novel “Catcher in the Rye”. He waited at the scene of the crime to be taken into custody after having made his “statement” by act to the world. Oh, and he was a defender of Jesus. I don’t think anyone has tried to emulate him since. Jeffrey Dahmer? I don’t think there’s been anyone who’s tried to go him one better or is vying for his crown. The underwear bomber or shoe bomber? Does anyone look up to or want to imitate those two dweebs? Does anyone remember the names of the Columbine shooters? I certainly don’t. And does anyone remember how upset the press was to find the shooters weren’t high on pot, but for a while babbled on as if that were the case?

    I think that anyone who is so self-centered and egoic that upon contemplating suicide they decide to take as many people with them as they can, to go out in a blaze of glory; I think that someone like that would be affected by knowing that their heroic exit would be ridiculed, instead of being held in awe, as something to be examined and understood — oh, you’re so complex and fascinating in the way you commit evil, please do, tell us more about yourself. What’s your favorite color, and what makes you tick?

    As far as video games and movies go, I find more cause and effect in the cycles of the moon. Isn’t theater supposed to be some sort of catharsis where you go to purge your angst? Just about everybody has seen violent movies, or typed the blood code into their game of “Mortal Combat” — it’s just not the same without the blood — yet they don’t go around killing people.

    What I think these mass shootings in schools, shopping malls, and theaters really are is terrorism, and it’s odd that none of the media or even Homeland Security is viewing it as so. This is real terrorism, not the towel headed, bogey man has infiltrated society and is plotting your demise kind of terrorism, but the in your face, in your town, you’ve got something real to fear kind. I’ll bet a lot of kids are frightened to death to go to school, and I’m sure there are a lot of parents not too happy that they have to pack the kids off to school each morning: no one has given
    them reason to be confident — just anti-gun rhetoric in its place. If this isn’t terrorism, then what is? Could they have a different agenda this time like destroying the second ammendment?

    Where’s Janet Napolitano on this one? Where’s all the talk about soft targets? Remember soft targets: power plants, train stations — you could get arrested for taking pictures of a building; life imprisonment for taking pictures of a cop (google it). We have the TSA, is it groping or fondling, peoples genitals, or in some cases painfully squeezing and molesting people’s private parts for not being compliant or suppliant enough. And to make us even safer they have extended such practices to train stations, bus depots and highways. In Austin they’ve even been pulling over buses to thoroughly search, or is it shake down and intimidate, everyone on board. And they’ve also set up random highway roadblocks to do the same in ever expanding measures to keep us safe, and to all extent and purposes, the fourth amendment is gone. Yet shopping malls, theaters and schools remain ultra soft targets that can be hit for maximum effect, and they were created and promoted, even publicized as such by government mandate. You don’t hear much about hardening (with armed protection) targets, just a lot of fervor about stripping another Article from the Bill of Rights, and how gleeful Piers Morgan is that people died so that he can rant about how we all need to be put under control. What’s next? Will the TSA be in schools groping every child every day to keep them safe from one another? Will they be pulling down peoples pants in movie theaters to make sure their underpants won’t explode, and could you be arrested, charged on assault, for farting during such procedures?

    In this video two woman travelers are stopped cavity searched to help keep the state of Texas safe from the evils of marijuana. Notice how she saves taxpayer money by not using a fresh pair of gloves for her second victim.

    I think that it’s very likely that some of these shootings were staged events meant to bring about change (the shock doctrine) much as the Patriot Act, the TSA and the NDAA were made possible by 9-11 and the renewal of Patriot Act by the underwear bomber. In a number of these events, including the one at Newtown, second or multiple shooters were reported by local news outlets. In the old days these reports would have simply disappeared as if they’d never happened, and would have been relegated to shear rumor; but now with people downloading,saving, and re-uploading videos these stories are harder to make disappear, and
    questions should be raised.

    If you have a hard time believing the government would kill children to fulfill someagenda, just keep in mind that they killed two dozen kids at Waco and nearly two-hundred children in drone raids, and, of course, let’s not forget Fast and Furious. If you have trouble believing that the government would stage events that would kill their own citizens, then ask yourself why the FBI gave the “terrorist” group that they had “infiltrated” live explosives in the ‘93 World Trade Center bombing? Ask yourself how Building Number Seven, a modern 47 story concrete and steel building can collapse as if brought down by a demolition type implosion from a few minor trash fires burning inside the building? The whole thing is about taking total control much like that episode of Star Trek where they steal Spock’sbrain, and Kirk and rescue team find themselves taken prisoner and placed in obedience collars where they are shocked into submission for even the slightest transgression. But it’s even more like the Reichstag fire. It’s all about problem,reaction, solution, also known as the Hegelian Dialectic, or Diocletian’s Theory.

    As far as the Village Voice: I think it’s nice that someone can buy a paper that attracts no suspicion and figure out how he’s going to get laid without having to go to the more obvious Screw Magazine. Somebody should have given that kid in Newtown a copy of the Voice along with twenty bucks to go get laid, and perhaps this tragedy could have been averted.

  12. coronel de beers

    mind control aj, mind control

  13. Libertarian Advocate

    Artie: what they want is glory in death, even if that glory is negative, and they are vilified in death. Its about leaving a lasting mark, a legacy.In life, they are miserable and mostly unremarkable losers, by murdering many, they seek both to extinguish the happy, and render unbearable psychic pain on survivors. It’s why I earlier called them consummate malignant narcissists.