Your View: Guest Column - Media’s saturation coverage encourages terrorists
BY THOMAS COREY
The events in Boston and in West, Texas, were similar in timing, loss of life and total injuries. But there was no comparison in terms of media attention. For every minute of coverage from West, Boston got an hour. For every Boston column, West got an inch.
The media promptly dismissed the devastating blast in West as an industrial accident, even though the cause is not known and still under investigation.
What was the major difference? Exactly the same thing that drives real estate marketing ... location, location, location. And the value of that location is strictly determined by the proximity to major media outlets.
It obviously does not take 24 hours a day for a more than a week to cover one series of events anywhere. So the story needs to be grown and amplified until it becomes much larger than life. If you paid much attention at all, you would by now know the basics of how to make a “pressure cooker” bomb, what to put in it to do the most damage, where on the internet to look for more detailed instruction, and what kind of remote control to use to detonate it. All more information than any of us need. And, face it, there are some among us soaking it all up while saying to themselves, “I bet I can do that bigger, badder, better.”
“Why would they do that?” How else can a couple of young people suddenly rocket from having a small circle of friends to being known by name and recognized in every city in the nation? Fame is a big motivator, the deed is secondary.
It is immensely interesting how the media can uniformly agree to not reveal some information (such the identity of “confidential informants” and rape victims), but are sharks in a feeding frenzy to tell us every detail of a criminal’s life. Nothing at all in Boston has been solved by giving the suspects notoriety. One was dead and the other was wounded and near capture before we heard their names. Yet, we have a bunch of reporters and anchors acting as if they are the stars in this next exciting episode of CSI (yes, the make-believe show).
What is the biggest factor in planning an act of terror? That’s simple. Media coverage. How can you create terror without publicity?
Thomas Corey lives in High Point.
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