You Can Help by Forgetting You Ever Read This Man’s Name

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This is en editorial on the horrific events that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Newtown, Connecticut. This quaint little New England town will forever be remembered as the site of a horrific act. Morgan Freeman speaks on the undeserved celebrity status bestowed on people who commit the most heinous acts and asks us to take a different approach…

From elitedaily.com:

“You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.

It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine?

Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours.

Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”
-Morgan Freeman

Preston Waters | Elite.

6 Comments

  1. I believe, anyone can have a point of view on media, but of all he said, one thing is absolutely true: “You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem”.

    Mental health is the main problem here. Banning guns and weapons, will be turning them in the next cocaine… is banned! That doesn’t stop people from using it.

    If we do not concentrate in creating generations of confident, kind people, that trust their neighbors, instead of arming themselves to the teeth cause of the paranoia of “someone can come and harm us”, if we take time to ask someone “Are you ok?”, if parents are not afraid to put limits (Columbine guns were bought to a 14 year old.. by dad??), and actually see the signals (This guy kills his mom and then run to an elementary school to shoot 6 year old… out of nowhere??? SIGNS had to be EVERYWHERE!!! but who was there to see them?… ) If we all take a second to stop looking at our computers (ironic, I know), our phones and screens… and look at our eyes, may be, we can stop the next shooting, by stopping the feelings inside of many, many people that is lost, mentally unbalanced, sad and angry…

    Just a humble opinion, in a matter that as Jamie said, is so delicate and sensitive, that we are all still trying to understand where we are…

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    1. Hello Maya,

      I so agree with your sentiment about putting our efforts into creating “generations of confident, kind people.” We do seem to abdicate our responsibility in this area – hiding behind the badness of others as an excuse for retaliation or acting with less kindness.

      I appreciate that you took time to comment. Thank you.
      Susan

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  2. I love when a blog post elicits such great conversation! This is a very difficult and sensitive issue and I am still pondering my viewpoint. Your post and the comments are helping.

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  3. I love Morgan Freeman. I disagree with this statement. I am all for Responsible Reporting. This is the third place I’ve seen this in the past 3 hours. For him to bash the Media about the killers name is probably one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard him say.

    12 girls, 8 boys, all First Graders, 7 women. All with multiple gun shot wounds.
    Over 20 families burying their children & loved ones less than a week before Christmas. Extended family, friends and community forever changed.
    As for the Media coverage; Anderson Cooper REFUSES to speak the killers name, just FYI. The Media has it’s twists and turns, but it if weren’t for the Media no one would know anything about the victims, their lives while they were here. No one would know about the Support that is coming in, the donations being raised to help this Community begin to confront and deal and process and heal. Money is being raised to return little Emilie Parker’s body to Utah, where her family resided before moving to Newtown, Ct. No parent ever expects to bury their 6 year old, who are the ones that can’t afford to pay for a Funeral? We’ll know thanks to the Media. Then those parents will get what they need to give a proper service.
    Without the Media, conversations would not begin. They’ll just show up at the next one and the next one and the next one. If it takes massive Media coverage to wake up the American People – so be it. The time has come for American’s to open the doors of conversation about Gun Control, Mental Health Issues, Assault Weapons and every other topic related. The Media, Politicians and people throughout the world are PISSED! This happened in a beautiful community but it’s effects are global and has outraged the world. You don’t gun down 20 babies and 7 others without notice.
    Reporters name names, that’s their job. Sorry Morgan. They stand there and pretend they aren’t touched, or revolted for having to say that freak’s name. Just like you in front of a camera making a movie or commercial. Pretending, in your world of make believe. The difference is Reporters are not pretending. They work hard to get the facts as best they can – not reading lines off of Screen Play.
    Oh, and by the way; Every Media Station has a ” Hollywood Reporter” how does that fit in with the money made by THAT industry???? Everyone knows who Morgan Freeman is……….you are all over the Media, including Social Media.

    Sorry. The Media world is not perfect, nor is any other part of our world, sadly we are reminded of this especially now. Please use our Power to promote something that CAN be useful and remember were it not for the Media your career could be much different.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts – I appreciate your viewpoint.

      I took the liberty of reading some of your blog posts. They’re quite thoughtful. I especially appreciate “The Thanksgiving Police”. If anyone would like to read a poignant post about a touching moment in time, click here.

      Susan

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