May 2008

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Not really.

The people who kill themselves when they hear someone else commited suicide are just looking for excuse to end their miserable life.

If it wasn't that, it would be something else.

Jon Gault

Taking this from suicide to homicide
The day after Vtech, there was a hit list written on the bathroom wall at a high school, a pipebomb, a fake grenade, and a diffrent highschool was shut down due to bomb threats. And that was just one smallish South Carolina City. Would these have happened if the media didn't mention the shooting? Of course not. Should the media have broadcasted it? I don't think so.

The record is now 32, these people are trying to break it. If our shooter hadn't been made so much of a hero by the media, this wouldn't have happened.


Ignorance is drawn to blog comments almost as often as it is drawn to management.

The statement that "suicide is a victimless crime" is imbecilic beyond comprehension. A year ago, I held my boyfriend's body in my arms, looking into his vacant, tear-filled eyes as I waited for the paramedics to arrive after I discovered him hanging from the ceiling of our bedroom.

Suicide is not victimless; suicide is a grenade that goes off, tearing apart anyone standing nearby. The closer you are to the one who dies, the deeper the damage. Some don't recover. I'm still working on it every day.

It's not stupid people who commit suicide; often, it is the most gentle soul that is crushed by unthinking and uncaring people, many of whom, no doubt, spend a lot of time proving their ignorance publicly in blog comments.


I think Dogbert should always make the first comment on all your blogs.


I think reporting high profile suicides is fantastic! The only people who would kill themselves as a result are generally gossip-mongers and obsessive celebrity worhippers. I'm willing to bet real money those folks are generally less intelligent or less contributive to the world at large. Thin the herd.

Define “Free” Speech

I wont repeat what we have all heard about the "Free Speech" issue. Lets face it, if your suicidal something or other will set you off. If its the media or something else what does it matter?


"those who will do it are the sensitive, creative types. We NEED those people" - Helen

You cruel, heartless, weasel! You expect these people to drudge through their slow, tedious, miserable existence for decades just so you can enjoy a poem now and then?


If you follow through with it and keep reporting each incident, the domino effect will leave the planet unpopulated.


The squishy robots in the media are programmed to report the suicide. The unhappy people that kill themselves are similarly programmed. It can't be avoided, so why worry about it?


Define “Free” Speech?

If I don't have to pay for is free.

And I made this post of my own free will.




Today I crossed the street against the light.
The induhvidual behind me did the same, only without looking. Presumably he only registered, "Someone else crossed, so it must therefore be safe for me."
He was hit by a bus.

Did I cause the collision?


Yelling "Fire", (presumably when there is none) in a crowded theater, or defaming an individual in public have one very important thing in common. They are lies. A real Fire in a crowded theater or honest statements of the craptastic nature of an individual are acceptable in our society.

If the mdeia lied about suicides, then that would be one thing... but if the reporting is honest about the suicides, then it should be protected.

Every time the media makes a big deal about a high profile suicide there’s a 100% chance it inspires additional suicide.

There are three kinds of lies, Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics. - Mark Twain


"[W]hen a big news outlet decides to run a story about a high profile suicide, there’s a near-certainty they are killing a few people to boost revenue. And they know it.

Do you have a problem with that?"

Mostly, I have a problem with the increasing trend of trying to shift the blame to folks who weren't involved.

It's only "high profile" because big news outlet ran it. Otherwise, it's "obscure suicide." News outlets do not kill people via news. People kill themselves -- that's why it's called "suicide." Similarly, video games do not drive teens to violence, gun manufacturers do not drive people to rob liquor stores and Chicago Cutlery does not entice folks to reenact the shower-scene from _Psycho_.

Blame Canada -- sheesh!


I think the media should more accurately report the situation with the report covering the impact that untreated mental illness is largely the reason. They could also encourage people with similar thoughts and motivations to seek assistance from the mental health resources available. As a culture we also need to de-stigmatize mental illness. Not all who experience ill mental health stay that way and not all those who are chronic mentally ill are mass murderers. We are going to have an opportunity to learn a lot more about PTSD in the next decades as young men and women come home from the war on terror. Maybe we will learn how to better treat mental illness.

Oh, I almost forgot, screw flanders.


Oh. I'm not the only one who had my brilliant thought. I hate that.

Well . . . suicide doesn't kill; people do. Top that!


I assume the song would only kill people who beleive in free will?


Michael Pohoreski said:

Yelling “fire” in a crowded movie theater is NOT about free speech. It's about property rights -- you do NOT have the right to cause a disturbance on another man's property.

If there REALY was a fire, you DO have that right -- the owners would WANT you to help protect the people on their property!

Please educate yourself before posting.


Michael: You missed the point. You and Scott (and most of the rest of us) AGREE that Free Speech does not protect one who falsely yells "Fire!" in a crowded theater. You can quibble about the reason WHY that speech is not protected, but Scott's point does not depend on the reason why. He is simply noting, correctly, that there ARE limits on free speech. Then he raises an interesting hypothetical about where those limits should be set.

Falsely shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater is generally not considered protected speech because people could be injured in the ensuing panic. This is not so much about property rights (though the property owner does have some rights here, whether by implied contract or simple ownership) as it is about elevating personal safety over free speech, and showing that free speech has limits.

Regardless of the reasoning, you are incorrect when you say, "Yelling “fire” in a crowded movie theater is NOT about free speech." It is the classic example of a limit on free speech, and is thus all ABOUT free speech in this context.

Hmm. Please think before posting.



The problem isn't with the news media reporting the stories it is with the over-dramatization of those stories. Adding elegance, fame and prestige to an act that most people would agree doesn't deserve any of those aspects applied to it.

I am strongly against shackling our news media in regard to reporting news stories but I think that they should be held more responsible (in civil courts) when the manner in which they portray a story can be shown to influence someone's decission to commit the same crime.

In other words, if Bob, an unfortunate individual that is in a fragile emotional state, watches the news coverage of a high profile suicide and then decides to do the same if there is ANY reference in his suicide note or other correspondence of the time that would indicate he was influenced in any way AND the news channel didn't take extensive steps to notify its viewers of alternatives when they reported this story then I think the family of Bob should win any civil case they bring before the courts ($100 MILLION dollars please). The almighty dollar will put all of the control you could ever want on the media as they will be quick to ensure that their news stories do not have this effect.

Note: If the news media stopped telling the stories about suicides, car chases and other meaningless stuff and focused on the big stories (Iraq, International stories, etc) I, for one, would be just fine. Those type of stories only motivate me to turn the channel to Comedy least there the news is funny and entertaining (and often a lot more relavent to the issues of the day).


I laught at all the own belly lookers, seems that when one is no abble to handle engineering nor simple technical things, just liking to be a (somewhat dumb) user of great gadgets, then it is time to call for superior IQ and fix the world, most times just justifing what the layers bellow the neocortex dictate. Your reasoning is not that far from the one i read that to prevent school massacres just give arms to all the students and teachers.
Long life to the Dilberts that keep the world running :P.

Diana W

Media should be allowed to report on mass murders or suicides, but they should be required to use the alias "Dumbass" rather than the individual's name and all pictures would include a dunce hat Photo Shopped in. I would expect the publicity to be less desirable if you're going to forever be known as something like "The Virginia Tech Dumbass". All other facts could be accurately reported.

Joshua Jacobsen

Media increasingly advocates self-destruction. Although I'm an atheist, I am so alarmed by the trends in media -- and our society at large -- that I would give up my atheism (specifically my freedom of religion) and become a religious drone if it would help to smother the most severe of our cultural problems.

Copy-cat suicides don't bother me nearly as much as other copy-cat crimes and copy-cat stupid lifestyles. The real crime is that so many people could be healthy and productive, but have instead been transformed into unstable people on the brink of suicide, crime, disease, and accidental death or dismemberment.

I don't think religion is the answer... but the tools of religion -- brainwashed "morality" and censorship -- seem decreasingly sinister to me every day.


"My comment is listed as Peter's. :(" - Merlisk

Merlisk is easily manipulated by dotted lines. I think he's toast if this song gets released.

Almost Lucid (Brad)

Sure. And on a greater scale, I think there's a moral and ethical obligation for ALL major media sources (TV, Internet counterparts) to stop sensationalizing the killers in slayings such as Columbine and VA Tech. The copycats go on for months, years before dying down again.

"We have an obligation to report the news." Yes, you do, but it's how you report it that matters.


aha, now I understand. my name is under the comment I wrote, not above.. oops, sorry

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