As the world attempts to heal its wounds from the tragic Newtown school shooting, there continues to be waves of misinformation and shoddy reporting around the incident.
In this case, Actor Morgan Freeman, was alleged to have made statements criticizing the media’s coverage of this violent act and other recent unwarranted attacks. The message quickly spread through social media sites over the past 24 hours. However, the whole thing has proven to be a complete hoax.
The entire thing originated when the status started circulating with the quote being attributed to an anonymous source. Reddit users traced the text back to a long post by “Mark” of Facebook, on which the user had commented “If I know the internet, someone will attribute the quote to Morgan Freeman or Betty White and it’ll go viral.” Apparently he was right and the text was making the rounds soon enough, as per the running joke on the internet that everything sounds intelligent if you hear it in a Morgan Freeman voice. While the hoax has been debunked, the status is still making the rounds.
Read the fake statement below.
“You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.
It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single victim of Columbine? Disturbed
people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.
CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.
You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”