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Old 07-21-2012, 07:01 PM
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lisarea lisarea is offline
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Default Re: What's the frequency, Colorado?

Originally Posted by davidm View Post
In this case, it appears that the news media is simply reporting what federal law enforcement officials told reporters: that the killer modeled himself after the Joker. Reporting on facts as best can be ascertained at the moment, from sources ostensibly in the know, is a proper and unavoidable function of the news media.

Draping it all in lurid sensationalism, as both New York tabs will do on Saturday morning, to take one example, is an entirely different matter. But then, of course, if we suspect that such luridness might influence other manchildren to act out murderously to get the attention that they crave, then we are saying straightforwardly that the media does influence people, and so it is not unreasonable to suppose that this person did what he did because he was influenced by a fictional portrayal of the Joker.
Mass murders like this are not common. This is not a trend. We're still all probably going to die from heart disease or cancer. As far as we know at this point, nobody here was personally affected by this shooting. Twelve people died. You're more likely to know someone who died in a car accident that day, and you're also more likely to know someone who dies in a car accident in the future. Sensationalizing and dragging out coverage of incidents like this is nothing but pure, unadulterated tragiporn.

On its own, an incident like this is statistically insignificant. Shit like this has happened every now and again since forever. It's always been rare, but it's also always existed. Sometimes, for whatever stupid reason, some loose nut flips out and kills people.

Whether or not some outlier takes some inspiration for their manner of killing from popular fictional media is not a huge issue that the public needs to address or discuss, particularly not in the immediate aftermath of a mass killing. In fact, it's fucking gross. The victims haven't even all been identified yet, and a lot of families are waiting; and people are already engaging in sick speculative fan fic or some shit about who this mysterious and fascinating killer was and what motivated him.

If there is one clear and well-recognized trend that can be squeezed out from the rare cases like this, it's that killers are primarily motivated by the excitement and the expectation of attention just like this. Whether or not pop culture plays some role or not, we already know that sensationalistic media coverage is a huge motivating factor in copycat crimes.

Here's a pretty concise video where an actual, well respected criminal profiler briefly explains that in the aftermath of a well-publicized mass killing like this, we can expect to see copycats within a week or two:

From here, with more links.

Duck and coverage Mind Hacks
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LadyShea (07-21-2012), The Man (07-22-2012), viscousmemories (07-22-2012)
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