Early Thoughts on the Media’s Coverage of the Colorado Theater Shooting

The killer who went on a shooting spree inside of a Colorado theater during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises has been caught, and his name is James Eagan Holmes. Got that? James Eagan Holmes. Not James Holmes, not Jim or Jimmy Holmes. James Eagan Holmes. You will never be able to forget that, what, with our media placing special emphasis on his middle name every time they mention him. A tragedy and disaster has once again turned into a media spectacle, where the breaking news is little about reporting, and much about reporters trying to ram their inflated egos down your throats every step of the way. Every network has the best coverage. Every network has the latest information. Every network is the one you should glue your eyes to as this normally dismal Friday morning just saw certain networks’ stocks rise as people absorb their commercials every five minutes. Don’t watch that network, watch this one! We have all the exclusives! It’s nothing new. It happens every single time there is a tragedy.

I am not surprised. No, not at all. I certainly felt no shock when watching ABC for a few minutes, as we were all eagerly awaiting the first press conference, hearing from local police officers and those in charge of this grotesque situation. I knew we were in for a treat when I saw Diane Sawyer’s arrogant mug filling the screen. Sure enough, the little box appeared on-screen with live coverage of the press conference and she announced that finally, we would hear some news. But what did she do? She just kept right on rolling, continuing to yap as the press conference started, to further sear her journalistic pompousness into our minds. Who cares about the families when you can watch Diane Sawyer drooling on-screen? As of right now, CNN seems like the only network that actually knows what they are doing, even with many faults, by allowing witnesses to call in and talk, and playing local news footage. They then ruin themselves, because every minute the hosts have to use words such as “slaying”, “massacre” and “slaughter”. No kidding? It is as if we need help digesting the fact that 12 innocent people were murdered, and another 70 or so injured, by a psychopath.

Part of me is actually looking forward to learning more information about the killer, who, though probably known as Jim Holmes to his friends, if he had any, has now been elevated to James Eagan Holmes. Say it with me, again: James Eagan Holmes. He probably lived alone and kept to himself, and though he slowly but surely gathered an arsenal full of guns, grenades, and who knows what else, never told a single soul about it. It’s like that for all of the lone-nut, three-named killers. I knew this would happen, because it always does. No killer or psycho can ever just be called by the media what they were known as to other people. John Booth, Lee Oswald, and James Ray never existed either. This is a Facebook status I posted several hours prior to learning the perpetrator’s name, before, of course, he was transformed by the media :

This just in: as I sit here and write this, watching CNN as I mentioned earlier, the lovely reporter just asked a witness, who was inside the actual theater, the following question: “If you close your eyes, what would you see played over and over again in your mind?” My God, what a question to ask someone! Does this incident need any more shock value? Are we so desensitized by violence that we need to have the picture emblazoned in our minds? The recipient of the Pulitzer-like question was taken aback, before responding in a choked up voice, something along the lines of, “Seeing all those people get killed, and hearing the screams.”  Fantastic. Just traumatize the guy even more.

Before I sum this up, I just want to take note of all the people on social media, namely the conservative gun crazy wackos, who are quick to say that this event was not caused by our infallible, age-old, God-given right to bear arms as Americans. They are quick to cite the following well-known phrase, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” That is correct, but if guns were not available, those people wouldn’t be able to kill people. That’s all I have to add in regards to personal politics. This killing spree was not disgusting enough. Now we have members of the lovely media to sweeten it up for us, oh, and their egos too.

P.S: In the 30 minutes it took me to write and edit this article, I heard James Eagan Holmes’ full name mentioned six times. You know how many times I heard on-air sympathy or anything related to thoughts and prayers being sent out to the victims’ families? Once.

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