Media

“Man dies after being tased by police.”  The media wants you to believe that headline contains a cause and effect, and that’s what most people who read it are going to think.  The media is counting on you to not think when they present that story, and that’s what most people do; not think.

That headline doesn’t show cause and effect; it’s a timeline.  Yes, a man was tased.  Yes, he died.  Yes, it was in that order.  That doesn’t mean the tasing caused the death.  The headline could just as easily read, “Man dies after putting on pants.”  Yes, he put on pants.  Yes, he died.  Yes, it was in that order.  Would anyone in their right mind attribute his death to his wearing pants?  No.  Then why does everyone just assume the Taser killed this man?  Because the media implied it, and they’re counting on you not questioning it.

I don’t blame the media.  It’s a business.  Their sole purpose in existence is to make money.  Don’t for one second think keeping you well informed is anywhere near their top priority.  I blame the average citizen for not engaging a few brain cells while partaking in the media’s spin.

Let me present you with a little more robust timeline.  Man does meth, then man does some more meth, then man does some more meth, then man does some more meth, man loses job, then man does some more meth, man loses his family, then man does some more meth, man loses his home, then man does some more meth, man does some more meth, man has a psychotic break and goes berzerk in a quiet neighborhood at 2am, man punches out car window with his bare hands, man breaks through someone’s fence and trashes their backyard, man lifts a picnic table up over his head and throws it into the neighbor’s yard, the police are called, the police arrive and everyone in the neighborhood is screaming for help, the police physically wrestle with man until they are exhausted but the man is too drug strong and he feels no pain, MAN IS TASED, man is handcuffed, man continues to fight even though he’s restrained, it takes five officers to keep man restrained because he’s still fighting intensely, man’s body temperature is so high the officers can feel the heat radiating from his body, man stops fighting, man stops moving, man dies.

I took a journalism class so I know that wouldn’t make a very good headline.  What I also know is most of that information will never make it into the paper.  It doesn’t need to.  They’ve already sold the paper.  You’ve already watched the news.  The average Joe’s perception of law enforcement and the Taser is none of their concern.  Drug use doesn’t make the papers because drug use doesn’t sell papers.  I watch the news.  I read the newspaper.  I also think.

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5 Responses to Media

  1. Danny Keith James says:

    Man dies after putting on pants

    Are you equating putting on pants with being tased by up to 50,000 volts?

    from the wiki:

    Repeated bursts by a Taser can be lethal as evidenced by the death of the Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski [13] in the Vancouver, BC airport where he died after the RCMP officer, in spite of his training, repeatedly stunned him with a Taser.

    • inkedcop says:

      Despite what that paragraph implies, not a single death has ever been legally attributed to the Taser. The incident in British Columbia is no different, and it’s a misnomer to call that incident “evidence.” Without seeing the video, I can’t comment on whether or not it was appropriate to tase the man five times, though it rarely is. Regardless, the reports show that the man exhibited behavior common with a condition called “excited delerium.” When people suffer from excited delerium they tend to all act in a manner that gets them tased if a taser is available. These people are going to die anyway because their body chemistry is so out of whack when they start acting out. What I’m saying, is there are many other factors that repeat themselves in these scenarios that don’t get blamed for the deaths. They always involve an intense struggle, completely separate from the Taser, yet that’s never blamed. By the time the autopsy is done, and it’s shown that the person had serious medical issues, no one cares about the story anymore. So, yes, I am equating putting on pants to be tased by 50,000 volts when it comes to being responsible for a death.

  2. James says:

    It’s headlines like this that are the reason I stopped wathing the news and reading the paper. I’d have to wear hip waders all the time to sift through half the BS they throw at people. They should print the truth. It might not sell well and it might not be popular but at least it would have integrity.

  3. Juan valdez says:

    I think Danny is onto something here

    • inkedcop says:

      Considering your other recent comments, it doesn’t surprise me that you would think someone as uninformed as Danny might be on to something.

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