At what point does the deification of criminals itself become a criminal act?
With each new shocking mass murder, a story is created by mainstream media and unleashed on public consciousness. The ‘official’ narrative of the event never ends up jibing with actual facts revealed by subsequent and independent investigation, and the force-fed version is never retracted or corrected to match any new or uncomfortable findings. Instead, the narrative invariably devolves into an exposé of the private life of the killer, aiming to create a believable character, to suggest his motive, and to develop enough plausibility in the story to make the truth seem uninteresting.
Within hours of each mass-murder, the supposed killer’s name is revealed, sending mainstream journalists into a sensational frenzy of internet surfing for any and all morsels of gossip they can find. Social media accounts are ravaged for photos, quotes and conversations that support the official narrative and add clickable drama to front pages. Personal manifestos and haunting comments are put out on display for all to contemplate, then shared to exhaustion. Homes are besieged for clues, and friends, family, neighbors and former employers are coaxed into speaking out about their associations with the maniacs, all helping to construct a seductive cloud of infamy on which our collective imagination can freely project our darkest fantasies.
Within a short time, we learn exactly everything we’re supposed to believe about the killer, and key images are circulated and re-cycled ad nauseam, so that we quickly learn their faces, never to be forgotten, as we will be evermore able to identify them automatically, subconsciously associating them with their crimes, always refreshing our worst nightmares.
The business model here is unashamedly formulaic and easier than ever to spot. Create an idol on an altar for which the public to direct their fury, outrage and sorrow, so that the emotions and tensions are relieved and the need for truth dissipated. The idea is to make the simplest and most politically useful version of the story so alluring that consideration of the role of other actors and factors is just plain dull. Who cares if any evidence may point to a cover up when such personal intrigue is available?
This voyeuristic approach to covering mass tragedies has now made any need of a contrived boogeyman like ISIS or Al Qaeda operationally unnecessary. Mass killers no longer need to have any prior affiliation or identification at all with an organized group, as this connection will be made post-mortem for them by the mainline media.
In this way, any unsatisfied loser who wishes for their life to be relevant can instantly become ISIS just by committing suicide-by-terror. Once made famous by the media, their names and faces are commandeered to be transformed into martyrs for a cause, and their hitherto unimpressive lives are instantly made legend and they achieve immortality, posthumously rising above any of their prior forgettable deeds in life. Hopeless people know this to be true.
The media, which has long since mastered the science of creating celebrities, has created a new avenue in which to pursue fame, and since our society has been trained to so revere fame, the psychopaths among us are able to inadvertently achieve it.
Can you recall a time in recent history when the mainstream news was concertedly interested in a human being of good character for any mentionable length of time? When was the last a true leader or statesman was elevated to the status of a mass murderer?
At best, this is dangerously irresponsible journalism. At worst it’s mind control a la the shock doctrine. Nothing tantalizes the senses, or sells newspapers like a thumping good tale of murder and intrigue, and nothing serves our well-being and potential like the truth.
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