I can understand that the news media may be on the horns of a dilemma in reporting on acts of violence – such as we have again seen in the killing of eight women at three Asian massage spas in Georgia.
Certainly, the press has an obligation to cover the story. But at the same time, giving these nutcase killers publicity serves to stimulate more of the same kind of activity. Responsible media has agonized over this conundrum in the past.
Many of these lone-wolf shooters crave the public notoriety – even if it is their last act on earth. That realization has led a number of news outlets to describe the events without naming the perpetrators. It is a small gesture, but it does show that those media folks well understand the negative consequences of their publicity.
The Georgia shooter killed eight women – six of whom were Asian. That is a fact.
Why he killed them and whether the ethnicity was a motivating factor is still under investigation. The officials have not yet called it a hate crime. Early reports have stated that a sex addiction is what motivated him. He apparently saw those women and those places – rightly or wrongly – as provoking his weakness.
What has not been reported as of this writing is whether the targets of his madness were places of prostitution – and whether he was a patron against his own willpower.
What makes the media reports more problematic is that they ignore the negative aspect of legitimate reporting. Lots of questions to be answered. But that has not stopped the left-wing media from beginning to spin and speculate to drive the story into one of their preconceived narratives.
In this case, it is another example of white supremacy and terrorism. But not limited to the shooter or even a fringe element of bad actors. In the reports of the propaganda press, this horrific act is somehow the result of pandemic racism on the part of white Republican conservatives.
Though the experts are yet to determine if this is a hate crime, there is no hesitation by the press. “Of course, this is a hate crime” even if it does not officially fit the legal statutes. “Why shouldn’t this be called a hate crime?” an Asian reporter rhetorically asks.
That then leads to the full court press about the rise in violence against Asians – promoted, in their spin, by former President Trump referring to Covid-19 as the “Chinese virus.”
The problem with any rise in violence against Asians, we cannot be sure how much of it is organic and how much of it spreads because of the publicity – and the spin – given by the east coast media. We have seen this phenomenon in the past.
Years ago, a disgruntled post office employee shot up the workplace and killed fellow workers. It got lots of publicity. In the wake of the coverage another post office employee shot up his workplace. The more the media reported these shootings, they became iconic. In fact, the term “going postal” was coined to cover all sorts of workplace shootings.
The period between 1963 and 1983 was an era of assassinations and attempted assassinations against political leaders — the assassinations of President Kennedy, Senator Robert Kennedy and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, among others. It resulted in the wounding and crippling of presidential candidate George Wallace, two attempts on the life of President Ford and the wounding of President Reagan. For the next 38 years, not a single attempt on a public official.
We went through an era of bombings – one copycat after another.
More recently we entered a period in which school shootings became the next national tragedy. Something that almost never happened for generations was suddenly an all-too-common event.
Many psychologists, psychiatrists and sociologists have opined that the reason for these copycat trends is the influence and motivation of publicity – the press reports.
That is a problem even if the media attempts to be responsible and careful. But it is dangerously irresponsible when the media spins the reports to create stereotypical situations between one class of Americans against another for partisan political purposes.
The motivation of the left-wing press is obvious. They see the Georgia shooting as another way to align more Asians with the Democratic Party.
As a person who has a great admiration and affection for Asian people – as I do for Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and all in between – it pains me to see the left shattering our national unity with strident identity politics. We all can agree that what happened in Georgia is awful. But we must not let it result in an epidemic of racial hostilities that the media is so willfully promoting.
So, there ‘tis.