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SHAPIRO: The Three Criteria That Determine How The Media Covers Mass Shootings

By  Daily Wire
Police Respond To Mass Shooting 2018.
Bob Levey/Stringer via Getty Images

On Tuesday’s episode of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” Shapiro talks about the differences between mass shootings that are heavily covered by the media and those that are not. Video and partial transcript below:

There was a mass shooting over the weekend, again, and this is happening far too often obviously. But this one was out of the news within 48 hours. This is always fascinating to watch because when a mass shooting happens, if it fulfills certain criteria the media are looking for, it remains in the news forever. If it does not fulfill the criteria the media are looking for, it disappears. Poof! It’s gone.

So if it’s the El Paso shooting, and it’s a white supremacist shooting Hispanics going aisle to aisle in a Wal-Mart, in the news forever. If it is a shooting at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in the news forever. If it is a shooting of children in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, in the news forever. If it’s shooting in Parkland, Florida, in the news forever.

[However], if it’s a shooting at a gay club in Orlando, no, we don’t talk about that one anymore. If it’s a shooting at a church in Texas, we don’t talk about that one anymore. If it’s a shooting in Dayton, Ohio, we don’t talk about that one anymore. And this one here in Odessa, Texas, we don’t talk about this one. There’s no need to talk about this one. Why? Because there’s certain criteria the media are looking for.

One, they’re looking for a long gun — they’re looking for somebody who’s using an AR-15. Two, they’re looking for somebody who is motivated by some sort of white supremacist or a quasi-right belief that they can pin on conservatives. And three, they’re looking for some sort of mass shooting scenario in which the motive is not only clear and convincing, but the person who is at issue is not really on anyone’s radar so much. If there are too many red flags, then it tends to fall off… So you need a clear motive, …and the motive has to be some sort of motive that cannot be attributed to the Left.

So if it’s an attempted shooting of congressional baseball players, people playing baseball who are in Congress, then that doesn’t make the news… The motive has to be a right-wing motive or something that can be pinned on the right-wing — if you’re the media. It has to be of a certain type of gun. If it’s a handgun, then it doesn’t make a difference. The long gun, that’s what you’re looking for. Those are the three motives they can attribute to the Right…

This shooting in Odessa did not fulfill all of those three categories. According to CNN, the Odessa police department on Sunday identified the man who killed seven people and wounded 22 others in a shooting spree in West Texas. Now immediately, as soon as the spree started happening, this was top of news — obviously, because it’s big news when someone goes on a shooting spree. This person, it turns out, however, was not motivated by any sort of right-wing beliefs. Not only was this person not motivated by right-wing beliefs, there are a thousand red flags — as one of the criteria too, is the media would like for somebody who didn’t trip off any red flags, because then it can’t be blamed on government failure. Then it can be blamed on the right-wing generally, it can be blamed on America’s tenor of violence. If, however, it can be blamed on the authorities missing it over and over and over and over again, then things get really awkward because the media don’t like that story.

This is what happened in Parkland. In Parkland, it was the authorities, led by the Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, failing repeatedly to target the shooter in that particular case or protect the school. The media just pretended that never happened and then there’s this big town hall on CNN with Dana Loesch and with Marco Rubio in which the right-wing was abused while Scott Israel stood there and grinned, with Jake Tapper presiding. That’s what the media are looking for. This shooting does not fill any of these criteria.

So according to CNN, this particular shooter had been fired from his trucking job just hours before the rampage killing. According to the New York Times, this person was arrested in 2001 for criminal trespass and evading arrest, both misdemeanors. According to public records, adjudication was deferred, though the details of the case were not immediately available. Also, his record included a 2017 traffic citation for a Federal Motor Carrier Safety violation according to Ector County court records. Apparently, the shooter was pulled over by Texas troopers in Midland on Saturday afternoon for failing to use his signal. He then shot at the troopers with what police described as an AR-type weapon and sped away. Okay, so they get one factor, but not the other two.

Now it’s pretty clear early on, according to media reports, that there were a thousand red flags that got missed. Which, again, counters why this thing should be in the news, according to the media. If there were red flags, it’s a government failure. That’s bad. What the media are looking for is: no government failure, an AR-type weapon, clear motive from the Right — or at least something given can be pinned on the Right — you know, something white supremacist they can pretend is a normal conservative position even when it totally isn’t. So ABC News reports that this Odessa shooter actually called an FBI hotline like 15 minutes before he went on a shooting spree.

FBI: He called a national tip line about 15 minutes before his encounter with the troopers. It was, frankly, rambling statements about some of the atrocities that he felt that he had gone through. He did not make a threat during that phone call. He ended that phone call. After the phone call, we initiated all our law enforcement procedures trying to figure out who he was, where he was. Unfortunately, it was only 15 minutes before the trooper was engaged.

Ok, so that was one red flag. Then there was another red flag. Apparently, CNN reported that this particular shooter [had] threatened to shoot his neighbor next month and nothing happened. At all. That’s a pretty big red flag there, guys.

CNN: He is a 36-year-old white man. A neighbor tells CNN that last month he threatened her with a rifle after she put trash in a nearby dumpster. She says that he would often shoot into his backyard from a structure on top of his house and then go and retrieve dead animals. She also tells us that she called the police after that incident last month, but claims they never showed up because the property’s location doesn’t show up on GPS and it’s hard to find. As far as a motive, that is still unknown, and the FBI special agent in charge warns we may never know.

Well, whoopsie doodle. So it turns out that there are all of these terrible red flags — everybody missed them — and that’s why you’re not hearing about the shooting anymore. It’s not going to be top of news today. If this were El Paso, it would be in the news for weeks. It’s not El Paso, so therefore it’s not in the news for even days.

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