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Using Tragedies To Promote Agendas

Posted by on Apr 17, 2013

I had planned on putting out a post on Monday morning, then decided to put it out on Monday afternoon, and then put it off when I heard about the bombing in Boston at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. For Americans it’s hard to conceive of someone deciding to do something like this on a very patriotic day at an event where people from all around the world either competed for a prize or just wanted to be with many others who enjoyed running as much as they did. I’ll admit that I can’t conceive of watching a marathon in person or even on TV but there were literally over 100,000 people around there at one time watching it, many more stopping by after the Red Sox game.

Whenever I hear of things like this, if I haven’t written something earlier to post automatically, it makes me pause and think about what’s happened, and I try to reflect on what it means to everyone, not just the people who got hurt or killed. It’s proof that this is a dangerous world, that we never know what’s coming or when, and that we should work on finding ways to find joy in the world, improve ourselves and live life to the fullest without taking chances with our lives.

And yet, in a short period of time, people with agendas were starting to take over the airwaves and social media. I read about guns; I read advertising pitches; I read people saying things about the U.S. deserving what it got or being spoiled because we expected others to care about our problems when they have lives of their own. Frankly it all irritated me and reminded me of why I’d stopped watching the news and why I block a lot of things I see on Facebook.

Anyway, it prompted me to create the video which you see below; yes, I had to rant. I’m going to be making a lot more videos, and this is the first of 5 consecutive days of videos on my YouTube channel, not all of which will show up on the blog. Just thought I’d mention that; and now, my rant:


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Mitch, I was watching a press conference at which the governor and several city officials were speaking. Toward the end, I could hear someone yelling to the governor, asking him if the bombing was all just a set-up as another excuse to take away more of our civil liberties. A few minutes later, the same guy could be heard asking the question again, using slightly different words. There was such a stark contrast between the politicians and law enforcement — who were trying to avoid unfounded guesswork — and this conspiracy theorist (and there will be many more) who just wanted to twist the incident into a story that fit his view of things. For some people, the facts don’t matter.
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April 17th, 2013 | 11:20 AM

You’re right Charles and it’s idiocy like that which makes me wonder what’s happened to the world. So many conspiracy theorists see these secret government agencies with agendas to serve their own purpose for everything; I’m surprised someone didn’t blame Hostess closing on the government at the time.

April 17th, 2013 | 10:23 PM

Mitch, I have been so bothered by the Boston Marathon terrorist attack. I was also bothered when I learned that the NY Daily New’s had doctored a photo of a woman’s wounded leg so that it didn’t look so bad. Journalism should always be accurate. The desire to create an appropriate photo for their Newspaper can not bring in a G-Rated, Rainbows and butterflies story to this terrible tragedy.
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April 17th, 2013 | 1:56 PM

Hi Sam. Journalism should always be accurate but truthfully, if they were going to show a photo I’m glad they did doctor it. HuffPo took some heat because within an hour someone was posting graphic images of what was going on there; I wouldn’t have wanted to see it. There’s stuff we don’t need to see immediately, and it seems no one learns lessons from what happens previously. It’s always the effort to be first, right?

April 17th, 2013 | 10:26 PM

Mitch, I think all media is based on promoting something using tragedy or something that they even should not report. Unfortunately, this is the reality, politics, media, large corporations, terrorism, etc… Evolution haven’t spread equally or everything is goring in a wrong direction.
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April 18th, 2013 | 10:58 PM

Carl, the problem is that this wasn’t the media, it was everyone else. And not just politicians; some folks I’m connected with on Facebook who aren’t from here thought it was a lot of fuss about nothing and that Americans are whiny. Yet, let something happen in their parts of the world and who is everyone calling on for help? It just wasn’t the time…

April 20th, 2013 | 6:35 PM

Mitch, I think all media is based on promoting something using tragedy or something that they even should not report.

Carl, I couldn’t agree more.
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May 3rd, 2013 | 11:01 AM

No, I wouldn’t say that Pitt. For instance, tonight’s lead story will probably highlight the stock market going over 15,000 for the first time; no tragedy’s promoting that.

May 3rd, 2013 | 4:24 PM

Hey Mitch, I was gobsmacked when I saw what happened in Boston. That these idiots would target innocent people like that is incomprehensible to me. They obviously do not have a heart because no objective can justify this sort of action.

That some people would try to capitalise on the situation doesn’t surprise me although I do find it repugnant.
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April 19th, 2013 | 4:38 AM

Thanks Sire. It even happened last night, during the last hour just before the kid surrendered. Some state senator in a Southern state decided to put out a pro-gun message to the people of Boston; it wasn’t well received and he apologized this morning for his “timing”, not his idiocy in saying it to begin with.

April 20th, 2013 | 6:37 PM

Good on them for catching those guys. Not so great for that Senator.

While I sort of understand why the pro gun group are so adamant about their right to have a gun I don’t understand why they deed to have such high powered weapons. Is that really necessary? And like you said in the post it wouldn’t have made the slightest difference in this situation. If anything some idiot would have shot an innocent bystander who they thought acted suspiciously.
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April 20th, 2013 | 8:00 PM

Dude, that’s the question those of us who want more restrictions on weapons ask all the time. Right to bear arms never meant machine guns and military style weapons; at least to me it didn’t.

April 21st, 2013 | 12:36 AM

So, how does the gun lobby dudes argue their right to carry those big guns?
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April 21st, 2013 | 6:07 AM

The discussion is that the Second Amendment of the Constitution says that people has the right to bear arms. Only it doesn’t quite say that, but so many Supreme Court decisions seem to have backed that up, and of course it’s a major political issue that the parties use against each other.

April 21st, 2013 | 8:14 PM

Sure but why not stipulate exactly what arm they can bear. Certainly not bazookas and the like?
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April 21st, 2013 | 8:27 PM

Actually… yes they can. There’s few restrictions on what people can own, and each state has its own rules. As far as I know people can’t own flame throwers, although every once in awhile you hear of an arrest because the police find someone with one. Folks who don’t support gun control want to be able to own whatever they want.

April 21st, 2013 | 10:54 PM

I totally agree with you and over time these groups seem to spend more and more time milking whatever is the latest tragedy. As I see it, the more time spent on rehashing these events, especially on the air, the greater chance that some other off balance individuals may get inspired to do something similar.

April 26th, 2013 | 12:36 AM

Unfortunately Mary Ann, when it’s a big story everyone’s going to cover it, and a lot of us will watch because, well, it’s often very compelling theater. Last Friday things were definitely compelling I have to say. I don’t mind covering the story though; that’s what they’re supposed to do. It’s when others decide to make themselves a part of the story that I get irked.

April 26th, 2013 | 9:48 PM
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