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Giving hatred a platform

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Giving hatred a platform

By Ibrahim.ID [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ibrahim.ID [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ibrahim.ID [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

John Mendelin, Arts & Entertainment Editor

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In the wake of last week’s attacks, another twisted hate crime plastered across headlines of national news sources would come as almost no shock to American citizens. In the mainstream media’s desire to inform the public and adequately analyze the stories, they consistently include names and backgrounds of alleged attackers. In using those names, the media has unintentionally given these criminals a platform, and it is the infamy these people truly desire.

America has reached a state of media saturation. According to 2018 data from Pew Research Center, eighty-five percent of American adults consume media directly from their smartphones and sixty-seven percent of those people get their news via social media. With the push for 24/7 coverage from mainstream networks, the public is often made aware of every extraneous detail within a breaking story.

Psychologist Wendy L. Patrick wrote in Psychology Today, “The desire for fame is a longstanding motivation driving human behavior.” She suggested the type of person to send bombs to politicians or shoot-up a synagogue is seeking this twisted limelight. Patrick continued, “The line between fame and infamy becomes blurred as many bad actors do not believe there is any such thing as bad press.”

The line between fame and infamy becomes blurred as many bad actors do not believe there is any such thing as bad press.”

— Wendy L. Patrick

Turning criminals into to characters is a dangerous game the media has been playing. In-depth analysis of their lifestyle and values is unintentionally giving them a platform to inspire others with similar mental sickness.

It is also a mistake of the media to fuel America’s divided political climate by pinning blame for these atrocities on specific politicians, even one as uncouth as President Trump. In a Washington Post article quoting Trump on the Oct. attempted mail bombings it said, “Asked about pro-Trump stickers or signs on the van allegedly driven by the suspect, Trump said, ‘I did not see my face on the van. I don’t know, I heard he was a person who preferred me over others.’ ”

Nuanced statements from major publications like the one above only add fuel to the fire. It is ludicrous to point fingers and pin the crime on current politicians instead of on the suspect’s indisputable insanity. There is no denying the Trump administration have cleared a path for irresponsible rhetoric to enter the political atmosphere; however, assigning Trump full blame for this heinous crime is sensational and nowhere close to reporting the full truth.  

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Giving hatred a platform