Colorado theater shooting, TV media news porn and us
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Colorado theater shooting, TV media news porn and us

San Diego : CA : USA | Jul 20, 2012 at 6:42 PM PDT
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James Holmes

Colorado theater shooting, TV media news porn and us

Curiously in an abstract sense, not so in the actuality of today's despicable cable and TV news porn cycles, this media continues to pile on today's outrage, treating it like a 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina. This is today's major story, but not all that different from tomorrow's or the one the following day except for the shrillness and wall-to-wall nature of the coverage.

One take-away from the Colorado theater shooting's cable TV media coverage is the utter lack of morality and classic journalism values that plagues us as a society. This partially accounts for the inability of this nation, and the world, to deal effectively with catastrophic issues such as climate change, economic depression, politics and war, to name but a ghastly few.

As we are wont to do in this ever-moving age of communications advancement, I've addressed a few other issues related to the theater shooting on my Twitter feed and Facebook page.

For example at my site, https://twitter.com/AhHa_RSF :

Ah-Ha Ranch Santa Fe ‏@AhHa_RSF

#theatershooting #aurora #breakingnews @cnn We say APPROPRIATE COVERAGE ONLY. This is major story among MANY. DON'T NEWS PORN FOR RATINGS.

Ah-Ha Ranch Santa Fe ‏@AhHa_RSF

#theatershooting #aurora HEY @CNN AND ALL NEWS PORN: You're so media concerned with victims? How many people died in Syria or Congo today?

Ah-Ha Ranch Santa Fe ‏@AhHa_RSF

#theaterkilling #aurora Dark Knight mass murder horrible, but TV, cable covering it wall-to-wall like 9/11 amounts to news porn for ratings.

Ah-Ha Ranch Santa Fe ‏@AhHa_RSF

#theaterkilling #aurora Easy to cover, everything blown out of proportion. As sad in its media way as the killings. Ratings glee for TV.

As well, I took to Facebook and received affirmative responses. However, these are my friends after all for a reason. I suspect though many others share their thoughts, and mine.

  • Portia Caroline Jacobs So hard on news junkies like us! It'll be like this for a week at least. What are we going to do? News starvation.5 hours ago · Like
    Cara Davis Completely agree.
  • Rachel Davis Actually, I have to hear about as much about Syria every day as we are about this. But Mark would say that all we are hearing about Syria is lies anyway, so maybe that doesn't count.

This all addresses the larger issue that we will stuff into the back story pack for future reference; how our society is poorly served by many areas of the media and how a site like Allvoices can cut through the official garbage of advertising-based greed-driven new coverage of events that greatly harm our society.

Ed Murrow and company in the 1950s would not have had, for example, negative political ads, entertainment and drug commercials regularly interrupt the breaking news. However, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, local TV stations et al were doing it with the theater shooting ad nauseam.

A disgrace to be sure, but we all will move on and the media certainly will as this becomes that. For all the breathless ah-ha news porn coverage of the moment, the media will move on as fast as a squirrel with a nut.

Not to pile on, but I do have a personal eye for details pertaining to this story. As a matter of fact, I edited several newspapers in the Torrey Highlands area of San Diego where alleged (we have to say that, but...) gunman James Holmes lived until college.

In fact, I regularly drove by his house, a detail I only know now because dozens of news porn media reps are camped outside that house. It's in a very upper middle-class suburb inhabited by extremely well educated and upwardly mobile San Diego residents.

As depressingly usual in today's America where very few people talk, or act, straight, the developers and real estate people dubbed the neighborhood Torrey Highlands, to associate the area with the tony Pacific Coast neighborhoods. However, the area is set in rolling hills about 20 miles from the La Jolla coast. It does, however, have beautiful scenery, easy living and a legitimate calling card as part of the Poway Unified School District, one of the best public school districts in California.

What immediately struck me about Holmes, the neighborhood and the incident, was the apple pie upscale suburban sprawl that framed each component. Let me digress briefly and then explain.

Firstly, I've spent a great deal of time in Denver as well and also recognized that Aurora area for what it is, a gritty, working class area about as far from Denver's downtown core as Torrey Highlands is from downtown San Diego. However, that's not the connection that came to mind.

No, I immediately thought about Denver's other mass shooting: Columbine. That took place in a Denver suburb exactly like Torrey Highlands; the same houses, the same economic class, same everything pretty much except for scenery and maybe rooting for the Broncos instead of the Chargers. Holmes is only a few years older than the Columbine shooters. The victims at the midnight Batman showing were predominantly young as well.

Just as I drove around Torrey Highlands all the time, I drove around unincorporated Jefferson County where Columbine was located a lot. There is a spiritual and intellectual blandness in these places. The kids are from great families. They go to great schools. Yet, something is missing.

There's not a lot to do. It's stifling. They hang out at shopping malls and skateparks. They're bright. They're bored. They're missing a certain something just as our society, as a whole, is missing something. Heart, soul, something.

These places feature vast spaces between veneer and truth. There is an emptiness of spirit, at least in my mind, that mirrors an emptiness in America, as greedy plutocratic pigs and political charlatans attempt to steal this nation, destroy the world for money or power or whatever drives evil people to do evil things. (Right now, they're winning as most of us are losing)

Everybody will draw their own conclusions about this event and pretty much everybody has an opinion about something like this. We could go on and on, but it's time to move on for me.

My final takeaway: Cable and TV news as well as many types of corporate greed-driven media have displayed their despicable 'porning' down of the news again at the very time our society more than ever needs a strong, just, credible journalism to help citizens create context and work towards better solutions to urgent problems.

It's a shame. It's our shame. Unless we are able to correct this corrupt media and cultural environment, the future appears gray, even grim.

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Torrey Highlands
Torrey Highlands, Calif. home of James Holmes (Photo: North County Times)
dweisman is based in Rancho Santa Fe, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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  • Torrey Highlands, Calif. home of James Holmes (Photo: North County Times)

    Torrey Highlands

  • James Holmes (University of Colorado courtesy photo)

    James Holmes

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