December 18, 2012

In the video above, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton hammers the media’s “excessive coverage” of mass shootings. “One reason the media don’t broadcast terrorist demands or read terrorist manifestos is they don’t want to encourage other terrorists. And in the peculiar way I think the minds of some of these people work, they see this as a way to get publicity. If you’re a loner, if you don’t think anyone pays any attention to you, cares about you or loves you, and yet you see what happens with this obsessive coverage, I think it’s over the top for many reasons, but I think its potential impact on people who could go over the edge is something that the media need to have a serious conversation about,” said Bolton on Fox’s “Red Eye.”

Bolton is a smart man, with great expertise in foreign affairs and national security.

Nonetheless: Doris Fuller, executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, might take issue with his expertise on the inner thoughts of people who have committed mass murder. In July, Fuller addressed the “copycat” line of thinking with the Erik Wemple Blog: “Jared Loughner [charged in the January 2011 killings in Tucson, Ariz.] — he wasn’t copying anyone. He was acting on his own internal stimulation. [Seung-Hui] Cho at Virginia Tech, the Fort Hood killings — these people weren’t copying someone else. They were acting on their own delusions and their own illness. . . . These people tend to have their own unique delusional worlds when they’re ill. One person is paranoid, one person thinks he can save the world.” The motives and mental health status of Newtown gunman Adam Lanza remain unclear.

More stuff here on the copycat line of thinking.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.
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