Media Promiscuity and Idiocy: Making the Massacre Maker a Celebrity
MM may have been desperately evil, but he could read the media culture. He remembered Columbine, the endless depictions of the killers, their afterlife celebrity. He knew how to cash that deadly check. Send them a video. It would be irresistible. Now those who watch television (I not among them) are inflicted with the venomous and homicidal ravings of a mass murder. The trauma is pointlessly exacerbated. To what end?
Laura Ingram, to her credit, refused to air the audio from MM on her talk radio program. She showed a sense of decency in this. Apparently, she is alone. Other programs are giving MM plenty of airplay. When Dennis Miller talked about it, he had the perpetual snicker in his voice, despite the gravity, the insanity, the terror of it all. I turned him off. This is no comedy; it is a tragedy.
One cannot possibly come to terms with an evil of this severity through the medium of television. It can only make matters worse. The talking heads have nothing to say. (If, perchance, a wise person were interviewed, she would not be given enough time to develop any cogent comments.) But the violence is rehearsed. MM is celebrated and made yet another celebrity--there for all his imitators to see.
The media culture of the United States rarely has the courage to say, No. No, to obscene scenes of mass murderers. No, to sticking microphones in the faces of shocked students. (They did it after Columbine, too.) No, to instant reporting with nothing to report. No, they cannot say, No.
Horrendous evils call for strong measures: for deep introspection; for serious prayer; for meditation on the shortness and fragility of life, the culture of death that stalks the United States, for lament; for action that might prevent further atrocities in the midst of what is supposed to be a hallowed institution meant to ready young people for responsible adulthood--the University. Yet much of the secular university is teaching nihilism: nothing is sacred, nothing is true, nothing is worth living for. And some act it out, amazingly enough.
Nihilism is a lie; but don't expect the television networks to explain this to you. They cannot; it would be death for their ratings. But Christianity explains the origin and meaning of good and evil; it gives hope based on objective realities. It promotes courage and offers the knowledge of God, the human soul, and much more. Let this be a call to redouble our efforts to bring this liberating truth to the university, to the media, and to the world at large. Time is running out, and things are getting worse...
Addendum (4-20-07): Hugh Hewett has also refused to run any audio of MM and even refrains from using his name unless necessary.