The media should show some restraint in terror coverage

In a society where the most dysfunctional behavior and/or sheer nastiness can get people (or entire families) reality shows and “celebrity status,” if the channel is changed to avoid the constant images of terrorists and suspected terrorists and their evil deeds, it is likely to be to look for a better angle–a close-up of the blood and gore, preferably in HD and slow-motion. The media panders to the lowest common denominator and, in turn, helps to bring the bar of what passes for news reporting ever lower. There is no sense of propriety, of editorial restraint, or of simple common decency evident in news reporting of tragedies.

Satiating the voyeuristic taste of the viewing public is not a journalist’s reason for being. Nor is desensitizing the masses from the horrific acts of misguided, demented, or evil people. Showing a burning building is news. Showing people throwing themselves from the rooftop in act of desperation driven by the simple desire to avoid burning to death is unnecessary and cruel. Following the bodies down with a camera until they hit the ground and the aftereffects in glorious 3D would be inexcusable (but such video would be shown were it available with an appropriate disclaimer that viewer discretion is advised). Continually showing the faces of the men responsible for the act for more than a decade at the drop of a hat is free advertising for terror groups, promotes terrorism, and is criminal behavior masquerading as news and hiding behind the 1st Amendment protection.

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