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Evelyn Karppinen, Moorhead, Published December 21 2012

Letter: Morgan Freeman has it right: Media make the problem worse

I am a complete supporter of the statement made by Morgan Freeman. The news media has contributed greatly to what our society has become today. It’s time for the media to go back to reporting the news, not creating it.

I am not trying to belittle any of the mass murders that have taken place over the past few years, but why should these shooters become famous and associated forever with their sick actions. Follow through with Freeman’s thoughts and see if you agree: Turn off the news.

Freeman’s brilliant take on what happened:

“You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why. It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single victim of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

“CNN’s article says that if the body count ‘holds up,’ this will rank as the second- deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell.

“So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next. You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”