Despite constant evidence that mass murderers seek and revel in publicity they get from mass media, USA Today, a primary culprit in promoting killers, has again plastered the face of the latest villain on their front page. Featuring this disgraceful suspect to more than 7,000,000 people nationwide hurts everyone.
"Showing the alleged murderer's face in full color on the front page does nothing for the news value of the story," said Alan Korwin, a news ombudsman and consultant to JPFO. "USA Today knows this, yet continues promoting killers. Then they cry about the dead, including their colleagues. It is the height of hypocrisy," he said. JPFO endorses a campaign asking the journalism industry to adopt ethical standards and stop giving murderers and criminals the "oxygen of publicity," as Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister termed it.
Reporter Bart Jansen and editors' despicable actions were particularly bad in this case, since the killer's targets were journalists, five of whom are now dead. That prompted outrage and recrimination from other reporters who deeply felt the damage these monsters inflict. Doctors, law-enforcement officials and mental-health professionals have documented the obvious copy-cat effect prominent news coverage has on these sociopaths, encouraging ever greater acts of savagery and public displays of lethal violence. Media sources frequently use the violence to campaign for curtailing the public's civil right to arms, a pernicious abuse of the First Amendment and assault on fundamental human rights JPFO denounces. In that sense, promotion of mass murderers serves a malignant left-leaning purpose.