Time now for a commercial sponsored by American Media Whores:
"Terrorists... Mass murderers... Tired of feeling isolated? Sick of being unknown? Not wanting to commit that massacre for fear no one will know? Well your dreams of martyrdom have finally been answered. COMMIT YOUR CRIME IN AMERICA, where American Media Whores promise you'll NEVER be forgotten. They'll broadcast your every move. For weeks. Months. Even years. Your universal martyrdom will exceed your wildest dreams!"
Virginia Tech University. Bluffton University. Duke University. Rutgers University. Columbine High. Visual suffering and televised tears. Sensational. Salacious. Dramatic. Delights for pernicious predators like self-serving media whores.
American media are parasites. Tragedy and mayhem are their hosts. They prey on sorrow, incite fear, and ignite rage. They even start wars. They anoint 'the evil', and savage 'the good.' They swift-boat honor and uplift lies. They make idols of murderers and glorify their crimes. They cater to sorrow-seekers and thrill-mongers. They encourage voyeurs. They create addicts who worship the offender and worship the offense.
Media sequester what they choose and feature what they want. They magnify what should be ignored and ignore what should be known. Truth is inconsequential.
Ratings are what rule. And ratings set the rules:
Create "breaking news." Avoid the unappealing, like war, the poor, and the unattractive. Focus on wealth, beautiful women and handsome men. Stories of adorable Anglo children are sure to sell. Rehearse phrases like "tragedy of unimaginable proportions," "overwhelming pain and suffering" and "sadly no one survived." Pay little mind to the "good stuff."
American media suck blood from stone. And life from death. They are our principal source of deception. They gave us George W. Bush and "shock and awe." As Danny Schechter would say, they are "weapons of mass deception," http://www.wmdthefilm.com/mambo/index.php. They are not Democracy's protectors. They are corporate America's spawn.
Look at the bulk of MSNBC's lineup. Hours and hours of "Lock Up:" life behind prisons' walls. That's prisons with an "s." A nation-wide tour of America's penitentiaries. The deconstruction of incarceration as a recognizable way of life. The legitimization of the prison industrial complex.
Then more hours devoted to deviant crimes and exploring the minds of criminals. MSNBC isn't a news stop. It's a crime stop.
On April 15th, one day BEFORE the mayhem at Virginia Tech, I wrote an article titled "Conflated Tragedies: Bluffton U., Duke U. and Iraq, Too," (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-milazzo/conflated-tragedies-bluf_b_45911.html) which considered the massive media coverage of University tragedies over the minimal coverage of our military at war. It recalled the Bluffton University bus crash that filled America's airwaves for many a night. And the three Duke LaCrosse players who spent a full year in the media light.
Now the media barrage centers on the campus of Virginia Tech. Thirty-three dead. We "know" the victims. And the perpetrator. We recall their faces, their names, and their lives. They suffered horrific unnecessary deaths, played out again and again on TV. The media milking the mayhem for all that it's worth and setting the bait for more.
Virginia Tech, now four days post-massacre, remains inundated by press. Satellites are everywhere. Victims and their families are paraded before cameras. Sympathetic characters exploited for profit. A gruesome teleplay with all the elements of high drama:
An idyllic community shattered by violence. Thirty-three young people horribly slain. Lives ended and shattered forever.
And the villain. OH, THE VILLAIN!