UnNews:Media celebrates Connecticut mass murder

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14 December 2012

Seung-Hui Cho

Still number one: Seung-Hui Cho remains six kills clear at the time of writing.

NEWTOWN, Connecticut -- Various media sources were celebrating today as a man shot dead up to 27 people in an elementary school, leading to high viewing figures and active online discussion forums.

A quick look on Wikipedia informed journalists that it is the second-worst school shooting in US history, making the killer (rather appropriately considering the location) the New England Patriots to Seung-Hui Cho's New York Giants.

Rolling news footage and live online feeds focus on two details: the number of casualties and tidbits about the killer's past. TV viewer James Myers said, "What I really want to know is, why?, you know? 'Why did he do such a thing?' At the moment, CNN seems to be mostly focusing on what, but I am enjoying the increasingly detailed computer graphics of the school and the killer's movements. And apparently one of his ex-schoolmates said he was 'a bit weird', which is important information."

One executive, who asked not to be named, told us: "It's a horrible tragedy, but it makes fucking great TV News. Do you have any idea what it's like running a 24 hour news channel? We spent most of our time repeating the same shit over and over again. That's much more compulsive viewing when what is being repeated is about children being murdered a week before Christmas."

Similarly, a newspaper editor whispered down the phone, "What we are waiting for is the final death toll. We're going to plaster it in a massive font across the front page. There is a slight chance that disturbed people around the country will cut the headline out for some kind of gruesome motivation, but in general we think it will be read by a sensitive, sympathetic audience, for whom the most important questions after a mass killing takes place are, "How many did he take out, anyway?" and 'Would I have gotten out alive?'"

The key thing is not to talk about gun control. White House spokesman Jay Carney said, "I think that what's important on a day like today is to feel enormous sympathy for families that are affected and to do everything we can to support state and local law enforcement and support those who are enduring what appears to be a very tragic event. There will be, I'm sure, a day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates but I don't think today is that day."

There you go then. Just feel vaguely sympathetic for the families, and recognize that gun lobbies are so powerful, that on the very day that dozens of kids are shot dead, Carney had to mince his words and say, "what appears to be a very tragic event" (as though the mass murder of children might not qualify for tragedy status), and refer dismissively to "the usual Washington policy debates" as if gun control debates are all a bit boring and clichéd.

So don't worry about the long existing issues, focus on the present grisly details. What was it again? 27 or 28? And what's that? The killer had social network accounts? Creepy. And cool.

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