Saturday, July 14, 2012

Demonizing the News: A Tale of Murder

by Meg Curtis, PhD

Demonizing the news isn’t hard. In fact, it’s easier than researching an event and presenting facts. The latter takes considerable time, and the digital market rushes onward.

One case in point: This morning, 071412, Fox News offered this report: Dad accused of killing 3 daughters called mom and said, ‘You can come home now because I killed the kids,’ she says.”

Read more:

The date on this report, however, is Published July 12, 2012
Associated Press

So, this tale of murder has been circulating for three days now. What’s it doing on the front page of Fox News? With a bow to the family involved, it’s still critical to acknowledge that this event, horrific as it is, will not start WW III.

Neither does it lead to world peace, comprehending international relations, learning a new language, solving inner-city gang violence, or improving the quality of education.

Instead, it takes an event and turns it into a study in demonology. For what human being could commit such a crime? We don’t receive enough information to link this catastrophe to the families we know or want to know.

We get a dose of horror, and then it’s off to the digital races, producing more stories without supporting details, proper development, or authoritative information.

For those who wonder, the entire story consists of that headline. The remaining words cover what the police can’t explain, what the lawyers can’t explain, and what relatives can’t explain, either. Oh, the plotline is clear: He called to say he’d offed the kids.

Among the missing: the motive, the mother, and why any man with this crime alleged against him would be eligible for bail at all—even $2,000,000 bail. (par. 3)

So, from this story, what are we to conclude about life as we know it? It doesn’t make sense. Demons play hit-and-run with people’s lives, and then judges set bail for them. Finally, readers gulp down this bit of news, apparently, and wonder what’s going on.

But two murders occur here—although with three young victims, this additional crime makes four for those who track mathematics and accuracy, along with responsibility.

Scientists are now pursuing the nature of anti-matter. Global weather has dumped floods on Russia and drought in the United States. A heat wave has shattered temperature records across America. But the people who read this story only learn about demons.

And this is the story which needs to terrify conscientious citizens. Every minute we spend on TomKat and demons creates another big black hole in our minds.  

We can rationalize that consequence any way we like. We can say that readers prefer demons to reality. We can claim that sponsors won’t buy responsible material. The bottom line remains: Black holes exist, and the biggest ones may begin with us. 

1 comment:

  1. This is a local story for me. It's my understanding that the parents were estranged and had had an acrimonious divorce. It is a very tragic story but yes, it really doesn't call for national coverage.