Subject: The Media At Work
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Kirk Hays)
Date: Apr 15 1996
Well, just last night we had an excellent example of The Media At Work.
Seems there was a domestic dispute over on the East side of Portland.
One spouse mortally wounds another in the parking lot, then flees
inside their appartment, and attempts suicide using the murder weapon.
Of the five local radio stations that I heard reporting on this
tragic incident, only one had the actual facts, and reported it
in a factual, non-sensationalist fashion.
The script on the other 4 was essentially identical, and consisted
of "file" quotes from representatives of the local Women's shelter
condeming violence against women, and the local anti-gun group,
condeming handgun violence.
The murderer and (so far) unsuccessful suicide was the *woman*!
That's right, she stabbed her husband three times in the back, ran
inside, and stabbed herself in the heart.
Now, how hard could it have been to get the actual facts,
rather than trotting out the "standard" story for these
murder-suicide incidents - after all, *one* of the local
stations got it right.
There were, of course, no retractions, and one of the stations
continues to run the original bogus story, even after
several phone calls pointing out their errors.
Is it a conspiracy? I think not, just journalistic laziness,
and a pre-concieved world view.
That doesn't mean it's not dangerous, and those of you who
are "benefited" by this entertainment journalism would do
well to be cautious - it can turn in a heartbeat, and victimize
your causes, too.
[I don't speak for Sequent.]
NRA Life, GOA, OSSA, OGO, CORE, JFPO