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The Shooting Gives the Media An Excuse to Ignore Real Issues

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

There was a shooting last night in Colorado, and already the gun control and concealed carry people are trying to score political points. No doubt, Obama will fly to Colorado because it’s a pivotal state in the election. The media will keep the story front and center. The media won’t talk about the Bulgaria bombing that was caused by the release of a terrorist from Gitmo, and they won’t talk about the economy.

The shooting just proves there are crazy people out there. I doubt seriously if a person had a revolver would have been able to shoot that guy in a dark theater. At the same time, he was nuts. No gun control law would have stopped him from getting an AK-47 and doing what he did. I don’t know if there is a solution to these sorts of problems.

Many social issues can be taken care of economically. Provide the right economic incentives and the issue will sort itself out. But in the statistical distribution that makes up the human race, not everyone falls within three standard deviations of the mean. That’s worth remembering when we think about crazy people that decide the best course of action to get attention is shoot as many people as they can.

We tend to anchor on the weirdness because the media reports it. It’s news. If the media reported on the ho hum average daily life of 99% of Americans, it wouldn’t be news. We wouldn’t watch. I have noticed that reporters want to really shape stories these days because there is so much competition for attention. Instead of letting the individual make up their mind, news has become very slanted.

Even when they report both sides of the story. For example, say 95% of economists believe we are in recession. The news media will dig up the 5% of economists that are on the opposite side, and when they air the debate it looks like all economists are split 50/50. It’s good they find the opposite side and give them air time, but they need to let the viewer know all the facts behind the story.

All weekend, we will hear about this tragic story. My heart goes out to the families of the people in that theatre-even if they came away unhurt. The mental scars will be horrible. But the real economic stories that came out this week will affect every American more than one terrible event. Check these out, and see if the mainstream media makes a peep about them.

1. Weekly jobless claims shot up to 386,000.

2. Foreclosures are hitting our most vulnerable citizens.

3. Factory activity contracted for a second month in a row.

4. Home sales dropped a whopping 5.4% — the biggest drop in nine months.

5. Retail sales dropped for the third straight month.

6. Consumer confidence dipped to 84.7.

7. U.S. business inventories increased by .3%…

8. …sales dropped .1%.

9. Food prices are skyrocketing.

10. More Americans are getting federal disability than jobs.

Add to that the $1 trillion dollar farm bill that is being mashed through Congress. The bill fosters more crony capitalism. That’s a story the media ought to be covering with all hands on deck.

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