The Spectacle Blog

Tucson Coverage Underscores the Demise of the Old Media

By on 1.10.11 | 10:45PM

The attempt by many left-wing pundits and bloggers to try and blame conservatives for the Tucson murder spree is nothing short of obscene. But it's also a mistake, I think, to try and divine "meaning" out of what is essentially a senseless and meaningless act of horrific violence.

The great Robert Stacy McCain has it exactly right: "The killer, Jared Loughner, is crazy." Period. End of story. The notion that Loughner was motivated by conservative political thought or rhetoric is ludicrous and preposterous.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, ludicrous and preposterous notions often have a widespread following, especially in the Big Media.

Let me propose a different line of media inquiry, one offered up by Contentions' Abraham Greenwald. Instead of trying to divine this killer's scrambled "motives" (which are probably unknowable given his mental state, and which are irrelevant in any case), what we should be doing is "exploring the issues most relevant to the shooting: severe mental illness and its warning signs; social networks and the responsibilities of participants; and the challenges posed to the security of American officials."

Greenwald has it exactly right. But seriously exploring these far more relevant issues would require a more serious-minded, less ideological and less partisan media than we now have.

The good news is that the old media empire is dying and a new media is rapidly emerging.

The old media is epitomized by the New York Times and its disgraceful editorial about Tucson. The new media is epitomized by a host of innovative startup publications and outlets, including: AmSpec, The Other McCain, Fox News, FrumForum, The Daily Caller, and Pajamas Media. May this new and more promising media live long and prosper.

Updated for grammar and to fix a broken link. 

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