Roger Ebert On Mass Killings & The Media [Pic+]

Submitted by: fancylad 4 years ago

The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. "Wouldn"t you say," she asked, "that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?"

"No," I said, "I wouldnt say that."

"But what about Basketball Diaries?" she asked. "Doesnt that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?" The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it"s unlikely the Columbine killers saw it. The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory.

"Events like this," I said, "if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn"t have messed with me. I"ll go out in a blaze of glory."

In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of explaining them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy."

Roger Ebert


Ebert was asked if movies were the cause of kids going on mass murder rampages. This was his response.
There are 40 comments:
Male 1,293
"i wonder if this killer was on `anti-depressants`"

Interesting comment. My wife had murderous thoughts about the parents she dotes upon while taking one drug, as well as suicidal impulses (not a great combination here); she so soft-hearted otherwise. A friend wanted to kill her beloved husband, and she had only taken the drug to give up smoking!
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Male 1,293
Now this guy makes sense. These people should be portrayed as freaks, sad losers and nutters who will be forgotten in a few days while their victims are still remembered, not monster, not powerful people on the road to infamy.
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Male 5,413
DAAAAAMN. Very good.
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Male 2,513
That
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Male 29
Got my degree in journalism and I couldn`t agree more.
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Female 511
No one ever seems to mention that all the gunmen doing these mass shooting were/are ALL on anti-depressants. Talk about gun control all you want, but maybe we just need to look at the pills we`re giving our kids.
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Male 1,243
lostinkorea: what about your sermon? People are often too quick to judge others mentally ill, rather than looking at the root causes for them. If you were to sit down with mentally ill paitients and listen to them, you would find out that there are problems in this world. One big one in that nation is the unhealthy love for money.. aye, the idolization of it is so bad that it`s brought down nations in the past, and in todays `money mentality` world, it likely will again.
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Male 1,048
That guy just hammered on the dicks of the media. So true.
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Male 13,624
Nail - head
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Female 9,402
This is exactly how I feel about this sort of thing.
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Male 17,512
I don`t agree with Mr. Ebert on very much, but this is one I do.
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Male 37,888

If we sincerely don`t want to promote this type of incident and denying the shooters the notoriety they crave, then we should all shut up about it.
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Male 2,619
More innocence lost for the sake of a few votes from the NRA.

For shame.
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Female 676
I`m so glad someone said this, its exactly what I`ve been thinking.
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Female 373
Mcssls, my best wishes go to your brother in law for being there for people who needed him when so many could not.
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Male 4,294
Thank you mcssls for sharing. The images of all the kids bodies kept popping into my head yesterday making me cry. I can`t imagine actually seeing that. I don`t know how he is going to recover from this. Looks like your brother in law spared the kids that image,

"Soon police officers were banging on Vollmer`s classroom door. The kindergartners were told to line up and cover their eyes as they were led by police out of the school to a nearby firehouse, Vollmer said."
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Female 695
the officer in that picture above is my brother in law. He was to be at a ceremony being promoted to lieutenant instead, he was the 5th officer into the door of that school. What he saw has torn him apart, he loves all kids, his wife (my sister) is a teacher nearby, their kids are of the same ages as those kids. It was so ugly there that my sister had a counselor in her living room waiting for him to come home. All because of the selfish and sick act of one person.
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Male 4,294
Roger Ebert is an amazing man. He lost most of his lower jaw to thyroid cancer which makes his face look really weird and robbed him of his voice. That would destroy most people but every picture I have seen and every interview he has a huge smile and the most wonderful attitude (He has to communicate through a computer). He also created a blog so he could continue doing review. I have so much respect for the man.
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Female 349
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Female 3,727
GuySmiley: Take your sermon somewhere else.

We need to be proactive in dealing with this mess. We need to offer low cost/no cost quality help for those with mental health issues. This should be mandatory.

We need to educate the masses on mental health issues and eradicate the stigma that goes along with it.

We need to keep criminals locked up or either execute them. This means repeat offenders should not get a drating slap on the wrist and told to be good.

Have strict guns laws.

Come down REALLY HARD on those that break these laws. I mean with SERIOUS consequences so that it sends a message. Life in prison, labor camps, death....

I would also make people take mandatory parenting classes for at least a year or so. Just because you can f*ck, don`t mean you should have children! Not everyone is capable of raising self sufficient, productive and good human beings. And those people should not be allowed to have children.
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Female 373
Just an observation from a long way from USA, but we have strict gun laws in Australia and you barely notice their lack. Admittedly the government herds us around like sheep, implants us with micro chips and feeds us mind control drugs, but it is peaceful here, it is all hunky dory.
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Male 1,243
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Male 936
only logical thing he`s ever said
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Female 4,086
thumbs up to Mr. Ebert.
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Male 1,311
<.<
>.>
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Female 1,467
Draculya: "What would Fancy say to the press if it turned out the shooter had a few thousand posts on IAB?"/quote


"We thought it was a bot."
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Female 1,467
Idk some anti-depressants seem to have a serious affect on underlying psychotic mis/undiagnosed conditions. And the whole ego loss thing stops a lot of people for wanting to be different. Really no wants to believe they are fehked up. Have you seen X Factor? That is like 80% of the population.


There have been a chain of fires in a local town and they seem random but I know deep down there is one person or act or thing and only one thing responsible. Chemtrails!
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Male 14,775
@Sistarose well it wasn`t me. I was smoking Cuban cigars and drinking beer by the pool in HK and I have witnesses. Given that you`re typing, it wasn`t you either.

No, my point was, we give these things so much play here and so many people jump up to defend the 2nd Amendment in the comments, that I am sure if someone on IAB really did go postal (worse if they left a pre-murder note about it on IAB), then the press would have a field day with Fancy, his management, shareholders, sponsors and members of the community that may have supported the killer`s views or the right to bear arms (even taken out of context)
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Female 373
Dracuyla, why are you suspicious of someone?
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Male 4,431
And obviously the same could be said for video games, etc. As for anti-depressants, som-tam, correlation does not equal causation. Many people diagnosed as depressive are on anti-depressants. It`s a tough field, psychiatry, and there`s tons we don`t know. When it`s said that most of these people are on anti-depressants, that`s not actually true. Most have been prescribed them. Most are probably actually "off" of them, though.

As for putting anti-depressants in quotes, that was just trolling. But you`re welcome to go hang with Tom Cruise and his cult. They like to shun science and credible treatment for uneducated idiocy, too.
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Male 14,775
What would Fancy say to the press if it turned out the shooter had a few thousand posts on IAB?
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Male 3,949
I think this has partly to do with it, if I`m not correct this really started in 1966 with Charles Whitman. Russia, Finland, Norway, Azerbaijan, and a list of other countries have seen their share too and if we add all the non-gun related mass murders, like those committed by Katsuya Takahashi, Marie Becker, Ted Kaczynski, the anthrax killer, or suicide bombers, the list gets even bigger.
I see it as a consequence of more information, people borrow ideas off each other both for good and bad. A psycho decides to kill those they hate, and whoever else is there. They follow the models of those who have done it before them for more effect. It`s learned behavior, and as it becomes more common, it becomes more accepted by those who may potentially commit the act.
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Male 714
i wonder if this killer was on `anti-depressants`, if so, will the people calling for a blanket ban for guns be calling for the end of these drugs which always seem to part of the killer`s diet?
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Male 1,920
Two Thumbs Up
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Male 2,841
Obviously it`s the vegans fault.
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Female 3,727
*starts slow clap*
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Male 3,909
Never hear this quote from him before but I have to agree with him 100% on that. While the TV was on ABC tonight, as the news coverage was ending, they had some sad music playing over a picture of the school while the credits were rolling. Then right after that was a promo for the TV lineup for the rest of the night with cheery, holiday music playing and the announcer saying, "Get yourself in the holiday spirit tonight with ABC`s family programming..." To me, the contrast between the two seemed a bit ridiculous.
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Male 3,061
Not one of my favorite people, but that was very well put.
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Male 19,861
Link: Roger Ebert On Mass Killings & The Media [Pic+] [Rate Link] - Ebert was asked if movies were the cause of kids going on mass murder rampages. This was his response.
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