Thursday, April 24, 2014

In Defense of Not Naming Names

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

One of the victims of last year's terrible Boston Marathon bombing recently walked off of a Sunday news show because the moderator mentioned the bomber's name.  Her logic was that publicizing the name of the felon imparts a degree of recognition or even fame on the murderous individual.

There is a movement afoot in this country, one that I personally like, to disempower criminals by not using their names in news coverage.  America has a tendency to glamorize its thugs and gangsters, and eventually turn them into folk heroes.  Just ask the James brothers - or Bonnie and Clyde.

A couple of weeks ago a neo-Nazi from southwest Missouri went on a shooting rampage in the Kansas suburbs of Kansas City.  He targeted two Jewish centers and killed three individuals - all Christians.   (Nobody ever said that a person had to be smart in order to carry a gun!)  The shooter, a man in his seventies, had been involved in scrapes with the law in the past and was known to the watchdogs at the Southern Poverty Law Center.  News reports suggested that he was looking to cap a rather mediocre career as a hater with something so outrageous that it would insure his place in history.

He is locked up.  He will never get out of jail.   The old man wanted to make a name for himself.  Let's not give him that.

There is an old rancher (or sorts) out in Nevada who has been inflating his ego by having a "stand-off" with the feds over grazing fees - fees that he legitimately owes and are years in arrears.  Several other bozos showed up on horseback and armed to help with his desert theatre.  The Bureau of Land Management backed down, at least for the time-being, and Fox News has wet itself nightly ever since trumpeting the little guy's right to stand up to the big ol' mean government.

I don't like paying taxes or fees to the government, but it is legitimate debt and the money lets government function and provide many services that I want and need.  I pay my bills, and that rancher should do the same.  Fox has made sure that the guy got his fifteen minutes of fame, now he needs to quit spewing racism, put down the rifle, and get back to the business of being a functioning American.   And, Goober, if you're not going to pay grazing fees, get your cows off of our public lands!

There are two brothers in Wichita who have amassed enough personal fortune to see themselves, their children, and their grandchildren through pampered lifetimes.  But money isn't enough.  They want political power and influence over state and national governments.  They promote policies that are in their personal interests, but often run contrary to the public interest.  Money motivates them, but they seem even more focused on fame.  They want to be power brokers, and they want everyone - EVERYONE - to know who they are.

It's high time that American journalists began to deny the Wichita brothers the nourishment of attention.

Disempower the criminals and greed heads - then we can move on to the politicians!

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