Author Topic: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting  (Read 9875 times)

Seriati

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Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
« Reply #100 on: March 22, 2018, 09:26:02 PM »
The bottom line, though, is that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to assign the differences in coverage to the idea that the mainstream media is specifically trying to suppress the coverage of shooters who weren't taken out by other armed people.  I would find it very hard to reach that conclusion without a good running jump. :)

Why would you reach that conclusion?  There suppressing that story, they just have no interest in repeating it, it doesn't confirm their bias.

There influence is felt by increasing the push behind the first story.

It's also felt when they characterize as crazy the idea that arming responsible adults in a school can have a positive effect on turning a mass shooting into 'not a mass shooting' or 'a common occurrence that's not newsworthy.'  When the media sold an idea as crazy last week, and it literally happens the next, it should be part of the debate.

Fenring

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Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
« Reply #101 on: March 22, 2018, 10:21:01 PM »
The bottom line, though, is that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to assign the differences in coverage to the idea that the mainstream media is specifically trying to suppress the coverage of shooters who weren't taken out by other armed people.  I would find it very hard to reach that conclusion without a good running jump. :)

Is this a response to me? I didn't say anything about a conspiracy to suppress facts. I said that SINCE the media only cares about scary and shocking news (5 AMAZING FACTS ABOUT PARKLAND...YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT COMES NEXT!!!) that they are going to over-report things that are either horrendous things, general failures, or else, as you said, basically regurgitate memes. But the fact that media companies jump on meme bandwagons doesn't also mean that they play no part in generating the buzz in the first place. It's like birds going after a downed hot dog. Sure, most of them are chasing because they see other birds chasing, but some of them actually saw the hot dog and went for it too. And some of the birds knew it was a hot dog but reported that is might be Italian sausage, and isn't the SPICY NEWS, and...ok sorry, this analogy derailed.

My point is that the media isn't going to go bananas over a situation that was readily controlled with minimal damage, because it's not CRAZY enough. Local news might cover a prevented shooting greatly, but on the national level it will come and go quickly. The result is that only the terrible cases resound in the minds of the public and the conversation becomes "but what can we do about these horrible tragedies?" since the cluster fallacy of thinking that all shooting scenarios ends in carnage. They think that because they only remember the loud stories that gave them that impression. The lack of mentioning something is as powerful on the mind as mentioning something loudly. It's not because of a conspiracy (probably), but because of prosaic dollars and cents. The balance of the discussion ends up thrown off by lack of media buzz around 'non-starter' disasters. How many times have you heard of local flood stories, where the story is that the special new flood barriers...held? No, you'll only hear when they fail, and then people are left wondering why mankind is so helpless against floods.

Seriati

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Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
« Reply #102 on: March 23, 2018, 09:57:35 AM »
Is this a response to me? I didn't say anything about a conspiracy to suppress facts. I said that SINCE the media only cares about scary and shocking news (5 AMAZING FACTS ABOUT PARKLAND...YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT COMES NEXT!!!) that they are going to over-report things that are either horrendous things, general failures, or else, as you said, basically regurgitate memes.

Except that isn't the case.  There a plenty of gruesome events that they don't cover because it doesn't fit their meme.  More gun deaths everyday from inner city crime that they ignore because it doesn't sell the right message (and if you want to argue they are "too common" to cover, maybe you could explain why the 6 news covers a car crash every day).

The media is only interested in narratives.  That hasn't historically been quite as graphic, but the 24 hour news cycle has massively increased the push to sell a story rather than report an event.  The bias comes in from journalists being overwhelming from the left. 

An even more recent change is that journalism schools have started to push the idea that reporting the news is doing a doing a disservice, that it's part of the ethical responsibility to make sure the person consuming the news is "correctly" interpreting it and not just forming their own "wrong" conclusions from the facts.  There's all kinds of pieces by the media chastising the media for not doing more to support candidates on the left.

I mean heck, there's a front page article on Fox today about Time putting the Parkland kids who are anti-gun activists on its cover while ignoring the equally activist kids who are pro gun.  That's nothing but a choice as the two sides have the same back story and relevance.

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But the fact that media companies jump on meme bandwagons doesn't also mean that they play no part in generating the buzz in the first place. It's like birds going after a downed hot dog. Sure, most of them are chasing because they see other birds chasing, but some of them actually saw the hot dog and went for it too. And some of the birds knew it was a hot dog but reported that is might be Italian sausage, and isn't the SPICY NEWS, and...ok sorry, this analogy derailed.

It's more like the way duck hunters use decoys in a pond to attract real ducks.  They're exploiting the instinct of the duck to assume there is safety where there's already another duck. 

If the media were neutral in what they chose to cover it'd be a hot dog, but they only want the ducks in the ponds they choose, regardless of what's best for the ducks, so it's a decoy.

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It's not because of a conspiracy (probably), but because of prosaic dollars and cents.

Then why is Fox the most watched?  Do you think the "Fox strategy" is a mystery that's uncrackable by the other networks?  If it was really about dollars and cents they would have copied and cloned the strategy (the networks do it all the time when another network comes up with a hit concept).  If were really dollars and cents, we'd have more Fox clones, instead we got MSNBC - which stayed on the air through truly dismal ratings (ie dollars and cents) years.

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The balance of the discussion ends up thrown off by lack of media buzz around 'non-starter' disasters. How many times have you heard of local flood stories, where the story is that the special new flood barriers...held? No, you'll only hear when they fail, and then people are left wondering why mankind is so helpless against floods.

Just so it's clear, I'm not discounting your point.  You're absolutely correct that these kinds of events bring extra coverage.  But when the chance to mix in political points is available is when the issue gets the wall to wall treatment over equally "juicy" stories.

D.W.

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Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
« Reply #103 on: March 23, 2018, 10:17:24 AM »
We really need better terms for these prominent stories.  While I instantly know what people mean when they call stories of violence and tragedies "juicy" or worse, "sexy" it still makes me a bit queasy.  And it's not even as if those are the first descriptors that pop to mind when I'm discussing them either. 

Even the way we talk about coverage of these incidents is *censored*ed up.

Fenring

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Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
« Reply #104 on: March 23, 2018, 11:09:36 AM »
Seriati, I agree with you that it isn't just enough to say that the media carries stories that sound exciting. They have other agendas, and some of them come right down from the top. But it's no surprise to me that certain kinds of stories are carried rather than others, and it's because of perceived ratings. And when parsing what ratings means, you have to remember that it's not just about viewers/clicks for a given story, but also about winning the overall market from your competitors. And part of that is hooking your viewers with narratives that appeal to them - or sometimes that you tell them appeals to them, which can result in the same. You're right that there are unreported horror stories, but it still doesn't require a conspiracy theory to suppose that they avoid focusing on those because it doesn't help them promote their company's brand. I mean, it's a conspiracy insofar as it's an agreed upon strategy, but it's not conspiracy to commit a crime, which is to say, to lie to people in order to further some third party's agenda. That might happen (I think it does), but we don't need to suppose it does to explain what these companies do.

DW, I agree that these terms are lewd to an extent. I was being sardonic when I used the word 'sexy' in reference to horror stories, but I'm sorry regardless that it caused you discomfort.

D.W.

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Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
« Reply #105 on: March 23, 2018, 11:20:45 AM »
I'm confident I'm sometimes (and have been) guilty of the same in the past.  One of those things that is fine when you don't devote any processing power to.  Sorta like large swaths of my profanity vocabulary.  :P

Wayward Son

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Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
« Reply #106 on: March 23, 2018, 01:55:56 PM »

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Quote from: Wayward Son on March 22, 2018, 06:45:56 PM
The bottom line, though, is that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to assign the differences in coverage to the idea that the mainstream media is specifically trying to suppress the coverage of shooters who weren't taken out by other armed people.  I would find it very hard to reach that conclusion without a good running jump. :)

Is this a response to me?

No.

It's a response to the original claim I was responding to.

Excellent points Wayward.  I think it's safe if we just assume everyone is lying to us or misinformed or has an agenda and is telling only part of the story.  Or all 3 at once!

Well, it helps keep you on your toes. :)

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Why would you reach that conclusion?  [They're not] suppressing that story, they just have no interest in repeating it, it doesn't confirm their bias.

There influence is felt by increasing the push behind the first story.

It's also felt when they characterize as crazy the idea that arming responsible adults in a school can have a positive effect on turning a mass shooting into 'not a mass shooting' or 'a common occurrence that's not newsworthy.'  When the media sold an idea as crazy last week, and it literally happens the next, it should be part of the debate.

You can't eliminate bias from the media.  I won't deny there is some liberal bias in the mainstream media, and that some stories don't get as much emphasis and screen time as they might if the bias was more conservative.

And the idea of arming responsible adults was reported and is part of the debate.  You know about it; I know about it; we're debating it.  QED. :)  (And to clarify, "arming responsible adults" was not what was called "crazy."  As one news outlet said yesterday, having armed, trained security in schools has been around for years and no one is objecting to it.  What was characterized as "crazy" was the simplified idea that teachers should be armed.  As one very liberal teacher put it, Do you really want to give me a gun? :) )

What I stridently object to is the idea that the Texas Church shooting and this latest school shooting weren't reported as HUGELY and PROMINENTLY as the Parkland shooting only because it doesn't fit in with liberal bias.  Basically, that the mainstream liberal media is trying to suppress conservative memes purely because it disagrees with them.

What I'm trying to point out is that there are plenty of other reasons that these stories did not get the same prominence.  Objective reasons like the fact that there are many, many other small shooting that happen every day.  ("If we fill our report with this shooting where a single person was killed, what about the seventeen others today, and the twenty others tomorrow?  What makes this one so newsworthy?")  That there were more ancillary stories related to the shooting.  ("Students are protesting at the Florida legislature and meeting with the President.  We need to mention this was because of the Parkland shooting.)  Or mere logistics.  ("I know you want to follow up on this aspect of the church shooting, but there is an equally important story 50 miles away, and you're the only crew available.  You'll have to drop it and go.")  Or just the normal problems of choosing which stories to report.  ("First principles, people:  if it bleeds, it leads.")

To blame it all on liberal bias is to feed the paranoia that the NRA and others are trying to instill in this country.  "The media is against us!  Liberals are against us!  They want to take away all your guns!  For proof, look at how the media tried to squash the Texas Church shooting and this latest school shooting!  If they weren't against us, they'd report it just like the Parkland shooting!  QED!!"  (OK, maybe they don't say "QED." :) )  And this paranoia is one reason why we can't talk about reasonable gun control, like mandating background checks for all gun sales or blocking sales to people with a history of mental illness.  "Those new laws are a slippery slope to taking all your guns away!"

Only a tiny percentage of Americans want to outlaw all guns.  And I understand the frustration of having your point-of-view not represented by the media as much as one thinks it should.  I'm frustrated that the gun problem we have in the United States, which are used to murder about 170 people each week, has been overshadowed by a shooting that killed a "mere" 17 people (as horrific as that is).  It feels like this tip of the iceberg has become the entire problem, and that if we somehow took off this tip, the iceberg would no longer be a problem. :(  But the media has its own problems, and just because it doesn't address our point-of-views doesn't mean it completely against them or actively trying to suppress them.  We can't expect them to jump when we want them do.  Nor can we believe that it is because they don't like us.

Wayward Son

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Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
« Reply #107 on: March 23, 2018, 04:08:44 PM »

TheDrake

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Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
« Reply #108 on: April 12, 2018, 02:31:41 PM »
And here's another reason why arming teachers might not go so well.

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A teacher from the Florida high school where 17 people were shot dead two months ago has been arrested after leaving his gun in a public toilet.

Sean Simpson, 43, absentmindedly left the loaded weapon inside a cubicle, says Broward County Sheriff's Office.

It was found by a homeless man who fired a bullet into the wall before Mr Simpson snatched it from his hands.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School teacher previously said he was open to the idea of arming teachers.

Mr Simpson told police on Sunday he realised he had left the legally registered pistol in the toilet at the Deerfield Beach Pier after hearing a single gunshot.

After running back to the bathroom, the science teacher encountered a homeless man holding the gun, who, he added, appeared drunk.


bbc

Seriati

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Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
« Reply #109 on: April 12, 2018, 02:59:48 PM »
It's a funny anecdote, but there are millions of concealed carriers everyday who use the bathroom and manage not to leave a gun laying around.