How many of these sick people who wantonly and arbitrarily kill crowds of people with bombs, guns or their cars are acting as copycats of prior similarly demented acts by other people? Of course, we may never know. But every time these demented folks have killed people in places like Aurora, San Bernardino, Charlottesville and Las Vegas the media have prominently published their names and even their pictures. Don’t you think that this has an effect? The media can call them losers, shooters, terrorists or the social dropouts that they are, and even publish information about them such as their backgrounds and affiliations. But don’t EVER publish their names or pictures! Don’t glamorize them so that later copycats can have their turn having fame as well!
My Libertarian values don’t permit me to argue that the media should be censored in this area. But if one news outlet were to pledge publicly that it would stop this practice, not only would it be the responsible thing to do, many people like me in the marketplace would both applaud and turn to that outlet for news coverage. So this, in turn, would encourage other media to make the same pledge, allowing everyone to win. But there are other areas or irresponsibility as well. I still remember seeing a picture in the newspaper of then President Jimmy Carter putting on a bulletproof vest. Message to potential assassins: Shoot him in the head! Media, please give your reporting some thought and act in the public interest! So I am going to write a letter to several media outlets on this subject, and I am asking you to do the same! If we spread this message, we have a good chance of saving numbers of innocent lives.
Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President
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