I have had this jumbling around in my mind for a while now, the horrid mess that society here in the U.S. has become. It is as if some people have lost compassion, morals, and are on an ego trip.
One area in which I think the media services the perpetrator rather than the victims is mass shootings. A “nobody” who wants recognition for whatever reason loads themselves up with firepower and ammunition, then goes into some location where they are likely to find a large portion of unarmed victims and opens fire. The victims have had their lives changed forever, if they are still alive.
A prime target has become schools, where firearms are not allowed. By an act of violence upon the innocent the “nobody” — a coward in my eyes because of the venue and victim type he/she chooses — has now become a celebrity. Thanks to mass media the shooter’s photo is displayed on TV and in newspapers across the country repeatedly, video clips of the shooting and aftermath are played again and again. Whether captured or killed, the shooter’s name will go down in history of having done something that made them headline news…a celebrity of sorts, even if for the negative they created.
It makes me wonder, would people be so inclined to perform such heinous acts of violence if the perpetrator was only mentioned once, or their photograph shown for a very short, limited period of time and only in passing? What if the person who committed the act was “brushed under the rug” so to speak and the news only focused on the victims from the beginning? Would this decrease the desire to do something considered breaking news, something that the media follows for days or weeks? It is certainly something to consider.
Another thing that bothers me is the influx of adults who are being found to have sexually abused large amounts of minors or adults in vulnerable positions. Larry Nassar and Bill Cosby are two recent examples. While Bill Cosby was already a household name for positive reasons and his name now tainted, Larry Nassar was not widely known until the large sex abuse scandal became national news. Once again the news media turned a pedophile into a glorified celebrity. There aren’t many people who hear the name “Nassar” and don’t know who is being referred to. I have mixed feelings about this.
I think there is a fine line between “the right to know” for both the benefit of news and our own personal protection and the ego trip these people get in obtaining celebrity status, even if in a negative manner. People such as the mass shooter or sexual abuser, in my opinion, are lacking in self-esteem and/or are so self-absorbed and egotistical that they are unwilling or unable to put the feelings of others before their own personal desires. This leads them to harm or abuse those around them and in doing so they gain a feeling of power and control. It would be interesting to see if horrors such as these would be reduced if there were no recognition for such dastardly deeds. We will probably never know the answer.