The following quote has been attributed to Morgan Freeman, but even Snopes can’t verify it. Either way, it pretty much sums up my thoughts on this weekend.

You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.

It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single victim of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.

[via /r/politics]

59 Responses to Quote of the Late Night: Maybe Morgan Freeman Edition

  1. Morgan Freeman “gets it.” Finally, somebody sees what’s happening! Crazy people do crazy things. No surprise there? Why give them a chance to become famous for the way they relieve thier pain?

  2. I saw this about three hours ago, and it was from a person I respect. I don’t like people I respect being publicly wrong, so I spent 30+ minutes chasing this quote around the internet. All I found was a bunch of circular references back to other blogs and sites, but I could not find a single one that could give an original source for this statement. He has a twitter handle, but he rarely uses it, and there’s no mention of it there.

    • There are two memes at work here. One is that if you read something while looking at Morgan Freeman’s picture, you hear what you read in his voice. Second is that if something is confusing, it instantly becomes clear when you hear Morgan Freeman say it.

      Both memes have spawned various comedic images and phrases online, but here they are combined to good effect. Personally, I doubt that Morgan Freeman said this, or anything else, publicly about the shootings in CT. But that doesn’t matter, it is a good expression of an argument delivered by a combination of word, image, and psychology.

  3. I had this very discussion with my wife today. If the media did not report on all of this it would not give the next nut case a new goal.

    Maybe they should report on every DUI death..They would not have anything else to cover. Many more of these than this type of tragedies but nowhere near as newsworthy.

    • Sadly, these tragedies have occurred for much longer than cable news and the 24-hour news cycle have been around. The worst school mass murder still remains the Bath School Disaster in 1928, more than 84 years ago.

      The people who commit these crimes are split from the rational world. Their motivations are not ones that law-abiding, life-loving people would think of or comprehend. They are not stopped by compassion or education, as both are ultimately lost on them. They require medical intervention, because no amount of reason or morality can get through their distorted perception of the world and their broken thought processes.

      What is needed most is for the rest of us who are capable of rational thought to learn that what someone we know is display erratic behavior, and is making threats or acts of violence, we must get them the attention they need immediately. If the person is just struggling with something but is otherwise fine, they will still benefit from some attention. If the person is truly suffering a break from reality, then you may be saving their life, your own life, and the lives of countless others.

  4. There’s no way this was the actual M. Freeman. The author speaks great truth, but only colors it by false attribution. On the other hand, many more people have seen it than would have otherwise.

    • C and Jason — I’m not understanding why you are claiming it’s “not freeman”. Can you expound on or can you back up this sentiment please?

    • I agree, I find it hard to believe this came from Morgan Freeman.

      He is a great Actor with a great demeanor and voice, but whenever he makes a public statement with regard to politics, it’s insane rubbish.

      Until we get a confirmed source, I refuse to attribute this to MF, because it’s both logical and truth.

      • “…whenever he makes a public statement with regard to politics, it’s insane rubbish.”

        This has been my experience, as well. You want someone with his level of gravitas to be a rational voice for common sense, but that has not been borne out by what I’ve heard.

      • OK. I understand where people are coming from now but I still dont still see enough reason to doubt he is truly the source. Whether or not you believe the quote came directly from him, I agree it’s well written. If there’s no additonal press release from Freeman saying, “I didn’t write this”, I’d be just as happy thinking he has given a tacit, if not explicit endorsement of these thoughts.

  5. Good for Freeman. I don’t usually find anything in common with MF. He’s pro-Obama, anti-gun, calls the Tea Party racist, etc.

  6. These guys are all suicidal, but they want to be remembered after their deaths. They don’t want to be forgotten after they’re gone. Well, I’m not going to remember his name, and I’m not going to remember his face. He’s just some anonymous piece of trash to me. I stopped reading coverage of the event today. I already know it happened, I already know children are dead, and that it’s horrible, I don’t need to know any more.

    TTAG shouldn’t feature stories about the killer, that’s what he wanted, and CNN and Fox and the New York Times are all giving it to him, in spades. They need to stop. Monsters like this are a product of the media’s need to have a new story to swarm around and pick at and analyze ad nauseum until some new disaster comes along.

  7. Free-thinking individual
    (pronoun) Someone who doesn’t always check with their ideology first before making a statement or taking a position.

      • Agreed. It sets one’s moral compass. Which is why the left believes that state domination and control over people’s lives is progressive and fair, while holding that the individual’s right to self defense through strength of arms is morally askew. That is why we can never, ever compromise with them on civil rights issues. Especially the right to keep and bear arms.

        • I tried to expand upon my poorly written post above to better illustrate the idea I was trying to convey but the edit failed to take. This is more along the lines of what I was trying to say:

          Agreed. Ideology determines a person’s moral compass. For example: the “left” of this country believes in the hegemonic domination over every single individual’s life (except the self-appointed aristocracy at its head, of course). Because this cannot be accomplished by royal decree, the left uses social engineering techniques in order to accomplish this end goal. Chief among these techniques is the concept of collectivism. When a spree killer commits unspeakable acts, the responsibility is no longer placed on the shoulders of the killer and his circumstances. The emphasis immediately shifts to what societal elements are to blame rather than his accountability for his actions. It’s not his fault; it’s our fault.
          This collectivism leads progressives’ moral compasses askew. Suddenly, all which is applicable to bankrupt, statist havens such as New York MUST be forced onto to Texas and Indiana. Never mind that those peoples don’t want anything to do with the way New York does business. To them, that which the state directs IS moral, and all must conform. Diversity is wonderful, as long as you ensure you are exactly the same as everyone else and you do exactly what the state tells you to do. The state is the solution to all problems, even those problems it creates.
          The individual’s right to self-defense through strength of arms will never be acceptable to the statist. It underscores the principles of personal responsibility, self-determination and individual liberty. These are an anathema to the statist because they empower the individual to place their trust in themselves instead of the collective. If you think about it, the RTKABA is a pretty scary and foreign thing to a person who has bought into the myth of the all-powerful and all-knowing state. Scarier still the leftist elites pulling the strings. It must have been a rude awakening for a lot of people after hurricane sandy made landfall; all of a sudden they were on their own and the immense social construct of the state was shown to be the frail thing it really is. I wonder how many libertarians were made that day.
          The statist cannot be entrusted to guard or uphold any civil right. To them, whether they know it or not, a right may only be allowed to stand as it is convenient. That is why we must never, ever compromise our rights. Especially our right to keep and bear arms.

  8. If Morgan actually said this, than good for him, but he’s been quoted as saying such silly shit, it’s hard to believe he’s actually saying gun control is not the problem. Who here remembers him as Easy Reader, the smooth talking, educational minded hip cat on The Electric Company?

    • +100!!
      You know that since we remember the Easy Reader and the Electric Company we are all getting old!!! LOL.

  9. Canada has a law,I’m told, that forbids media to release the ID of mass killers. The intent is to prevent giving them notoriety. Maybe media should at least try that here.

  10. Blaming the media is about as responsible and true as blaming gun owners. Sometimes crazy is just crazy – this isn’t a guy looking for Jodie Foster’s approval, much less the fame of a nation.

    Until someone can show a legitimate, causal link between media coverage, a desire to be famous, and these shootings, I’ll continue to call BS.

  11. You notice they don’t show the jerks who run on the field at sporting events.
    I know it is a whole different level but along the same theme.
    Certainly should be thought about.
    As far as M. Freeman is concerned , why is it out here every time someone says or does something good that some folks don’t like even though you agree with him you put him down . Why the hate and negativity.
    If someone does something good regardless if you are a fan of that person they deserve a pat on the back and a attaboy. Like Gov.Christie gave the Pres.

    • *IF* Freeman said it, I’ll gladly give him a pat on the back.

      Until it’s confirmed he said it, I’ll stick with the conclusion I drew after reading numerous confirmed quotes of his: he’s a complete nutcase. That’s not “hate” (buzzword bingo, anyone?) — that’s an opinion supported by lots of evidence. If you simply don’t like hearing “negativity”, how on earth do you survive reading the news about such tragedys?

      Yeesh.

  12. CHILDREN
    Charlotte Bacon, 6
    Daniel Barden, 7
    Olivia Engel, 6
    Josephine Gay, 7
    Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6
    Dylan Hockley, 6
    Madeleine F. Hsu, 6
    Catherine V. Hubbard, 6
    Chase Kowalski, 7
    Jesse Lewis, 6
    James Mattioli, 6
    Grace McDonnell, 7
    Emilie Parker, 6
    Jack Pinto, 6
    Noah Pozner, 6
    Caroline Previdi, 6
    Jessica Rekos, 6
    Avielle Richman, 6
    Benjamin Wheeler, 6
    Allison N. Wyatt, 6

    ADULTS
    Mary Sherlach, 56
    Victoria Soto, 27
    Anne Marie Murphy, 52
    Lauren Rousseau, 30
    Dawn Hochsprung, 47
    Rachel Davino, 29

    (Information obtained from Newsday.com)

    • Looking at the photos of those innocent people posted at MSNBC, especially the children, was heart-breaking. That dam_ ed mother should have had her guns locked up in a way that no one else could get too. Why didn’t those teachers and school staffers have the tools ie weapons/guns to protect those children? That is so wrong. All adults whether parents or teachers who take children under their care should be prepared to protect the little ones.

      • do you not realize she was killed? You don’t know that all her legal weapons weren’t locked away. Also how many people think their son is going to kill them? It is very easy to make comments from the sideline and instead of passing judgment maybe look into how you can be positive to someone with the time you have here.

      • +1 on “All adults whether parents or teachers who take children under their care should be prepared to protect the little ones.”

        There is no way one can have their guns locked up “in a way that no one else could get too.”. If someone knows they’re there and wants them, they will find a way to get them. With the thief being family, he is in a better position to gain access. Keys can be copied, combinations can be learned, and to the extreme, myth busters publicized one of the ways around a consumer grade biometric lock.

  13. Amen, if Freeman didn’t say it he should have. Doesn’t matter who said it, they are correct. I will remember the shooters as a “sad nobody”.

  14. until we stop mentioning the killers names of hese shootings and showing their faces, they win every time. he gets to go down in history as the guy that caused a huge controversy and will probably be the reason a AWB is passed.

  15. I flipped on tv this Sunday morning and it was discussing the way each and every station had CGI of the school and the path taken by the instigator etc., pictures of the guns “responsible” for the killing, tearful interviews. How cold do you have to be to belabor a parent at the most painful time of their lives. If the parents ask for airtime, yea , give them a chance to speak. But to take this story to this level of production is barbaric. I don’t see why it’s required to ask victim’s relation’s the eternal “how are you feeling” question. All in the name of agenda, and ratings.

  16. The name says it all. You are a bunch of sociopaths. Your biggest concern is your gun. Not a mention of the 20 little boys and girls who were gunned down ruthlessly. No sadness, no empathy, no remorse, no room for finding a better way. This is a nut job site in my opinion.

    May the souls of those poor little innocent children, killed by a semi-automatic weapon in the hands of a mentally ill person, rest in peace.

    • Hey, welcome to the site. I’m sorry you didn’t find what you were looking for (or perhaps you did). I would like to take exception to one thing you mentioned. I mean, there’s more than one thing to take exception to, but I’m going to stick to just one, which is “no remorse.” What do I (or anyone else you’re tarring with that very broad brush) have to be remorseful about? I didn’t kill anybody. I didn’t let my firearms fall into the hands of someone else who went on to kill someone. Nothing that happened in CT has anything whatsoever to do with me, my family, or anyone I know. So why would I feel remorse?

      Feel free to come back anytime, and we can continue the conversation.

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