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  • The Media’s Extremist Pixies

    Posted by Shannon Love on September 10th, 2010 (All posts by )

    Don Surber [h/t Instapundit] asks if the media should be ignoring the nutjob pastor in Florida who is threatening to burn Korans.

    I think they should but not for any reason immediately involved with this threat. I think the media should make a point of ignoring all stunts which are clearly designed solely to attract media attention.

    Why shouldn’t the media ignore them? As consumers of media, do any of us personally really care what those nutjobs are doing? Isn’t media coverage the event might get the only reason we might care?

    By paying attention to them in the first place, we’ve created an idiotic feedback loop in which we pay attention to events that are only worthy of attention because we pay attention to them in the first place!

    I think that the media has the right and even obligation to ignore events like this because these events occur for no other reason than to generate media coverage. Why does the media have to be the automatic tool for every extremist to disseminate their views? If the media knows it is being intentionally manipulated, why are they compelled to play along?

    It is just too bad that the media doesn’t take the same tack with terrorism. The vast majority of terrorist attacks are minor events carried out for no other purpose than to generate media events and publicity for the terrorist. Terrorist experts have pointed out since the ’80s that if we could somehow blackout the reporting on terrorism, the terrorists wouldn’t have a motive to carry out most of their attacks and the attacks would stop

    In the case of most extremists of all types, they only gain power when we look at them. It is as if they’re some kind of fey creature from an old Irish folk tale.

     

    8 Responses to “The Media’s Extremist Pixies”

    1. Jonathan Says:

      Agree entirely.

    2. Alan K. Henderson Says:

      Rush Limbaugh should read this article. Earlier today he remarked about Afghans protesting the planned Koran burning. Rush has been to Afghanistan. They don’t pay any extraordinary attention to what’s going on in the US. If they know about some Gainesville pastor, that’s because somebody in this hemisphere is working overtime to tell them about it.

    3. Dan P. Says:

      Google’s utility as a raw search engine has been fading for some time, because people have found ways to manipulate Google’s system and obtain high rankings for low-quality pages.

      These kinds of publicity stunts are the exact same thing, only tailored to the traditional news/media network. The unfortunate Jones has discovered a gimmick to focus a colossal volume of attention in on himself without any value or merit at all.

      Either way, the system is corrupted, and now feeding garbage.

    4. Jonathan Says:

      Very insightful point about the parallels between news media and search engines.

    5. Dan from Madison Says:

      Agree, well written Dan P. Glad I checked back on this thread.

    6. Jim Miller Says:

      Shannon – An ironic point: By saying that people shouldn’t pay attention to these stunts — you draw more attention to the stunts. (Despite recognizing that, I went ahead and wrote a post making the same point you do here.)

      We aren’t alone; the Seattle Times called, in an editorial, for people not to pay attention to the Florida pastor — the day after they had put his stunt on the front page.

      I don’t know any general solution to this problem, although I intend to avoid the subject at my own site as much as seems reasonable. I think even our “mainstream” media would have done the same, as they have with similar stunts before, except for the Ground Zero mosque controversy.

      Incidentally, in my area the talk show hosts have been even worse than the “mainstream” media in their promotion of this stunt.

    7. Shannon Love Says:

      Jim Miller,

      Yes, its one of those catch-22s you encounter so often when dealing with feedback loops.

      However, I think that in this case we have to wonder why the media thought there was something at all to report. After all, they don’t make national news out every stupid little stunt. I think they got suckered in by the “Americans are a raving pack of Islamphobes” meme so popular on the left. Once they’d publicized the event to poke at America, they suddenly realized they’d created a monster and had to back off.

    8. GettingReal Says:

      Sorry, but I can’t help but be glad that it happened. I think it is important to keep in mind the insanity, violence and tyrannical nature of the Islamist’s religion. If they can control the media, our political leaders and our military leaders into such a position of blithering idiocy that they would actually castigate someone for burning a volume of woodpulp and ink in public and call it acceptable for this action to rouse an international massacre… It boggles the mind that it can be made into a rational argument by the left and right alike. Bottomline, it is tyranny that prevents the exposure of this kind of foolishness.

      Diplomacy cannot defeat this kind of blackmail any more than diplomacy could stop Hitler. Diplomacy doesn’t work when one member of the conversation is allowed to lie their way to victory.