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Comparing the coverage of the massacre and coverage of attacks on western forces


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Has anyone else noticed the somewhat startling way in which the two seem to be reported entirely differently? The man sends crazed videos to NBC and they don't publish it outright, but rather hold it back for "fear of creating copycats". They sure don't seem to be scared of creating copycat Bin Ladens! They use the words "evil" and "disturbing" to describe what they see in Cho's tapes, but not for recordings of those who would murder millions more. Why do they not abhor the works of terrorists as much as this nut? What's the difference between what he did and what a terrorist does?

Politics. For politics most journalists worldwide have completely lost their credibility, world view and ability to think independently. I was listening to a radio show this morning that prompted this (along with all of the news media this week), and every critique he made of the massacre it made me more and more mad. Why is this not applied to when our troops get killed? Or when other people get hit by terrorist attacks? I think the more we sacrifice in this war the more pissed off we should get, rather than more apathetic. In my head a guy like Cho and a terrorist is in the same category. Get them before they get you. In Cho's head he was a freedom fighter too, a martyr. The exact same mentality that it's them against the world and anything is permissible to fight it. The media, of course, in their frenzy do not see this, but instead are eager to have someone they're allowed to demonize.
2 Quick Points:
1. Consider that armed forces are not the same as civilians. What is the job of armed forces?
2. Consider that the victims in this case are Americans rather than for lack of a better word "foreigners". There was plenty of coverage for 9/11.
The spin I'm getting a little tired about is the fact that his unconscionable actions were motivated by the fact that he had previously been ostracized because of his race.  Helloooooo?????  The guy had already been singled out as having behavioral issues, who would want to hang around with him?  Most of his his rant on the DVD "was aimed against hedonism and Christianity".   And one of his assumed names was Ismael Ax.  And WE have "blood on our hands that will never wash off" ... my a**

(I'm out of the lane, I know)
AJFitzpatrick said:
2 Quick Points:
1. Consider that armed forces are not the same as civilians. What is the job of armed forces?
2. Consider that the victims in this case are Americans rather than for lack of a better word "foreigners". There was plenty of coverage for 9/11.

1) I also mentioned attacks on civilians.
2) American civilians have also been killed by terrorists since 9/11 without the same coverage.

EDIT: Clarification. I did not mention attacks on civilians specifically, but covered it generally in "terrorist attacks"
I had a three hour layover in Salt Lake City the day after. Every monitor in the terminal was tuned to CNN.  I must have heard the term "worst massacre in US history" (other than those pesky natives a century or so ago) about 100 times.  I'm sure a few dozen nuts out there are thinking to themselves "until I get rolling, that is", or "I can top that easily".  I understand the need to report these things, but look at all the attention they give to these nutters....the very attention they lacked in the first place that put them on this path.
KS you're totally right IMO.  I think it Cho was given way too much coverage.  You couldn't turn on a TV for a week after it happened without hearing something about it.  I have to admit I did get sucked into the story a bit as I was interested in what could possibly spark a person to murder 30 innocent civillians.  And that was the question on everybodies minds I think.
The truth of the matter is it doesn't matter what his reasoning was in those videos or in his sick little brain, bottom line  was he was a sick individual and no explanation can satisfactorily explain the slayings that took place.
We as humans (the curious creatures we are) have a strange gravity towards the macabre because we have a desire to know what's behind the forces of evil (possibly to predict future events and avoid them, or just out of a strange curiosity).  However I believe a man as sick as Cho cannot possibly be understood by a rational person because the lines separating our differing realities are so dissimilar.  It's like watching a movie in Chinese.  We may get a good picture of what is going on, but the details and intricasies are lost in the translation, and so the story will never be fully understood.
Anyway to get back to the point...I agree with you, these people should get no coverage at all, the story behind the massacre should be the one of the victims/families and how they and the university are, and will be recovering.
my $0.02
This is fascinating:

At the start of the intervention in Iraq 81% of Americans believed what they were hearing from the Press.  Now that number has declined to 38%.  Interestingly 85% of the Americans trusted the Military at the beginning compared to 46% now.

While it is noteworthy that trust in the military message has fallen off the military as an institution can withstand that.  I don't think anyone believes that the military is going to be completely forthcoming with fair and impartial information when operations are being conducted so all information from that source can and probably should be taken with a grain of salt.

What is more noteworthy though is that fewer Americans trusted the Press than the Military at the beginning of the exercise (85-81%) and they still trust the Military more than the Press (46-38%).  In fact they have fallen farther (39-43%) than the Press Edit:Military.

Now, as noted, the Military can probably withstand a loss of confidence in messaging but what is the Press supposed to do when only 38% of the population trusts them to be giving them the straight goods ( and that probably includes a fair number of "like-minded" individuals that are hearing what they want to hear).

The Press has got a MASSIVE problem if it is no longer seen to be a credible source for information.

51% of Democrats trust the Press
34% of Independents trust the Press
29% of Republicans trust the Press

While it might be easy for the Press to slough off the Republicans as being excessively partisan it will be harder for them to deal with the loss of confidence in them by the "neutral" Independents and their own "target market" the Democrats.

This is not good for them, or their corporations.

And unfortunately, in the long run, it is not good for us and our governance.

How I long for the days of boring, expressionless newsreaders and Government departments being represented by "A. Spokesman".  In the immortal words of Joe Friday: "Jus' gimme the facts Ma'am".


Who Do You Trust for War News?
The Public Now Puts Little Confidence in the Descriptions of Iraq Provided by Either the Military or the Press
by Michael Dimock, Associate Director, Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
April 5, 2007

Four years into the Iraq war, most Americans say they have little or no confidence in the information they receive - from either the military or the media - about how things are going on the ground. Fewer than half (46%) say they have a great deal or fair amount of confidence that the U.S. military is giving the public an accurate picture of the situation, and even fewer (38%) are confident in the press's portrayal of the war.

Public confidence in both institutions is much lower now than at the outset of the war. In March 2003 - in the first week of U.S. troop deployment in Iraq - fully 85% said they had at least a fair amount of confidence in military information, and nearly as many, 81%, were confident that the press was giving an accurate picture of the war. The public's response to both military and press coverage of the first Gulf War in 1991 was similarly favorable.

On the negative side, 21% now say they have no confidence in military reports, while 27% have no confidence in press reports on the war. At the start of the war, virtually nobody expressed this view.

Opinion about how these institutions portray the war has mirrored the public's perception of how well the war is going overall. Fully 90% of the public said that the war effort was going "very well" or "fairly well" in the early days of the invasion compared with 40% who express this view today.

While Democrats, Republicans and independents all express less confidence in the information they are receiving about Iraq today, there is now a substantial partisan divide in how these two institutions are viewed. The vast majority of Republicans (73%) remain at least somewhat confident in the military's portrayal of how the war is going, compared with just 32% of Democrats. At the outset of the war, the partisan gap was far less pronounced.

Conversely, Republican confidence in the accuracy of media reports on the war has declined more sharply. In March 2003, eight-in-ten Americans generally trusted press reports and opinions did not differ across party lines. Today, fewer than a third of Republicans (29%) feel confident in what they are hearing from the press, while about half of Democrats (51%) remain confident in the news from Iraq.

Independents have become skeptical of the information they are getting from both institutions. The share of independents who express at least a fair amount of confidence in military portrayals of the war is down from 83% to 39% since the start of the war, and their confidence in the accuracy of press reports has declined from 81% to 34%.
- "I must have heard the term "worst massacre in US history" (other than those pesky natives a century or so ago) about 100 times.  I'm sure a few dozen nuts out there are thinking to themselves "until I get rolling, that is", or "I can top that easily"

Unfortunately, it wasn't the worst school mass murder in US History. In the 1920's, a disgruntled school board official killed his wife and then blew up an elementary school killing 45 and injuring over 50: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster
But that wasn't an angst ridden, hormonally fuelled and ritalin snorting student, hardly the same thing, media wise......Vampires.