Gun Control? How About Media Control?

Since the Connecticut school shooting happened, leftists in and out of the media are calling for more restrictions on guns. But guns are not the only cause for mass shootings. Untreated mental illnesses can be one. The American news environment could, potentially be another.

In a column for The Week, Matt Lewis takes on the question of “media control” in light of the fact that the press gives massive amounts of coverage and fame to people who clearly are seeking it. “I’m not suggesting we completely abolish the media,” he asks satirically, “But perhaps we should curtail it. Isn’t it time for some common sense media control?”

And when it comes time for moralizing, the media predictably assumes that the availability of guns is the problem, without considering how journalists themselves might be contributing to the coarsening of our already-violent society. 

The entertainment-media complex promotes and glamorizes violence — for profit — in film and on TV. Meanwhile, the news media ensures that killers get the attention and fame they so desperately crave. [...]

The founding fathers never envisioned the damage that could be done by a 24-hour news cycle. The media incentivizes killers by giving them attention, and they put innocent people in danger. Clearly, we cannot sit by and hope this situation will improve. How many more deaths will it take before someone does something?

I know what you're thinking: Free societies are inherently messy. And what about the First Amendment? 

I'm not suggesting we completely abolish the media. But perhaps we should curtail it. Isn't it time for some common sense media control?

The question is asked entirely in jest, of course, but on the other hand, it is illustrative that no one is out there seriously suggesting that we curtail First Amendment freedoms in the name of expediency yet there are scores of people suggesting doing the same to the Second Amendment’s protections. Isn’t it about the children? If we could protect even one child’s life...

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013