The Sadistic Fetishism of the U.S. Media
We have been down this road several times before. Yet again someone has committed a “mass shooting,” this time in gun law haven California, and yet again the “mass media” is taking full advantage of the aftermath — to provoke and instigate the next shooting.
They crave the violence. They crave the bloodshed. They crave the progressive talking points. If you think the newsrooms of any major media outlet in the United States of America were not jumping for joy at this latest shooting, or at any previous one, you are blinding yourself to the most obvious facts of human psychology. They make their names and their income from hyping such events, from exploiting such events; and yes, that means they have a vested interest, the most powerful interest, in encouraging society’s weak, disturbed, and embittered minds to produce more of such events.
Thus, their “angle” on all such stories inevitably strikes a perfect posture of ersatz pity and an enticing exaggeration of suffering, thereby appealing to both the sado-masochistic voyeurism of the “masses” and the latent urge to a self-aggrandizing moment of cleansing violence residing in the hearts of all the potential “mass killers” out there.
The vehicle of this ingenious business strategy — catering to a public weakness while simultaneously fostering the conditions that tempt us into that weakness — is invariably the same, the one we have discussed here in Limbo on many previous occasions: the fetishism of watching other people cry.
Here is a screen shot from my MSN internet homepage as I write:
“Parents, students ‘shaking & crying’ after school shooting,” reads the ABC headline. Well, of course they are shaking and crying. Someone just shot people at their school. Why is this informative? Why is this news? Why are those shaking criers part of the news story at all? The answer is, as usual, so obvious that we all happily overlook it on our way to join the titillation parade: Because it is exciting to watch people shaking and crying, especially when we have no sincere emotional investment in their grief and are therefore free to enjoy their agony and fear as pure entertainment.
And the circus owners manipulating us into giving in to our worst, most inhuman and dehumanizing impulses, are the media outlets with their exploitation of blood and sorrow for profit, both financial and political.