Sunday, December 16, 2012

Please Stop Sharing the Morgan Freeman Post

There is currently a statement regarding the Newtown shooings attributed to Morgan Freeman making its way around the internet. Morgan Freeman probably didn't say this.  Even if he did, it is wrong.  The media is simply doing its job in reporting.

Blame them for rushing to air before checking facts.  Get angry at them for swarming on this small town, while it tries to heal.  Be disgusted at the tacky overuse of interviews with children.  But you cannot blame them for reporting the facts. You cannot blame them for reporting the name and showing a picture of the shooter (although I would question the use of a picture that is seven years old).   This story has gripped the nation.  And like it or not there is a desire, want, need (whatever you may call it) to see and know what kind of monster could do such a thing.  The news media has a duty to get that information to us.  If they didn’t, there would be a rally cry from all the news haters as to why they aren’t doing their job.  

One could argue that the Aurora shootings were influenced by the Batman movies themselves.  But where is fake Mr. Freeman’s outcry to shut down Hollywood?  Should all violence in movies be banned?  Should we stop watching Batman (a series that the real Mr. Freeman starred in)?  No.   An entire industry can’t possibly be held responsible for what one mentally tormented individual might do.

This person was a tragically flawed individual.  He most likely wasn’t seeking fame.  Rather, he was likely a mentally unstable individual that wanted to make as big an impact as he could and felt this was how.  In reality, we will probably never know what could lead someone to do such a thing. 

 Tragedies happen.  It’s natural to want to place blame.  It’s easy to blame the media (or any other industry).  But attributing false blame and misplaced anger helps no one.  Instead of pointing fingers, let’s look at how we can see the signs that someone is suffering mentally and might cause harm to others.  Let’s look at how we might better protect our school children.  Let’s talk about how we can approach subjects like this with our own children.  But most importantly, right now, let’s look at how we can help the village of Newtown heal.

One thing that most certainly does not help achieve any of these things is spreading this message of misplaced anger.  One that the author could stand behind him/herself, so they used Morgan Freeman to help it go viral.  

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