Massacre at Virginia Tech: Let the Media Exploitation Begin


Massacre at Virginia Tech: Let the Media Exploitation Begin


Posted Tuesday, April 17th, 2007 at 1:43 AM by Justin

I hate it how, whenever we have a national tragedy, journos just eat it up. The TV stations make logos for it, and slogans like "Massacre at Virginia Tech" that become ominous jingles as the anchors and announcers repeat them as a story unfolds.

We're watching Dateline NBC now (for the first time ever), and the exploitation of the V Tech tragedy is enraging. Matt Lauer is just getting too much mileage out of it.

They take every aspect of the story and make it into an entertainment event. They interview grief counselors and find out how that works. They pull out footage of previous shootings. They interview paramedics and enlighten us about their work. It's all for entertainment and to create viewership for the network.

The other people who infuriate me when we have a tragedy is the "expert" morons who get on the tube saying how this could have easily been prevented. Their hindsight is perfect, and they get to promote themselves as experts every time an unpreventable tragedy happens. There's a guy on Dateline now talking about how they should have sent in a massive anti-terrorism response team after the first two people were shot. Come on. We're going to send in the ATF or the army or whomever every time there's a shooting? Ten thousand people are shot to death each year in this country. We can't treat each incident like an act of terrorism as this guy is suggesting.

The other thing I hate about the "if only" experts is that they implicitly blame everyone involved. If only the campus police had done something different. If only the email had gone out sooner warning people to stay in lockdown. None of this was foreseeable - who could have known a campus shooting (like the one that happened in Seattle a few weeks ago) would turn into a massacre?

I say, mourn with those who mourn, and stop exploiting them for publicity and our need to know.

If that weren't enough, they're now doing a story about a guy who survived the Columbine massacre but lost his sister, Rachel Scott. Emotional aftermath and all that. Ugh. "Soon, even prayer was no match for the terror..."


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Justin Baeder




Brent Jesiek


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Justin Baeder, “Massacre at Virginia Tech: Let the Media Exploitation Begin,” The April 16 Archive, accessed April 16, 2024,