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Why Not All Mass Shootings Are Equal in the Eyes of the Media

A good read from the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi, who contends that, by Wednesday, the media had already moved on from Monday’s massacre at the DC Navy Yard.

On Fox News, the midday panel discussed something called “the Hiccup Girl trial.” MSNBC had the jump on a “brain-eating amoeba” affecting someone, somewhere in Louisiana. CNN, struggling for decency and dignity, coupled coverage of the shooting’s aftermath with live updates about the safe return of an abducted 14-year-old girl in Georgia. This was a day after Britney Spears appeared on “Good Morning America” to announce her new Las Vegas show. “Only on GMA!,” the promo bragged.

The relative non-reaction might be explained by what Monday’s tragedy was not. It wasn’t Tucson, with its six dead and its now-famous survivor, former congresswoman Gabby Giffords. It wasn’t Aurora, Colo., with its ordinary, anyone-could-have-been-there locale, a movie theater. It wasn’t Nickel Mines, Pa., with the horror of dead Amish schoolchildren. Nor was it Columbine, Colo., or Virginia Tech, with so many promising young lives cut short, nor Fort Hood nor Boston, with the specter of terrorism.

And it wasn’t Newtown, Conn., with its monstrous slaughter of small children and the adults who had taught and protected them.

So, even the news of 12 dead people fights for airtime with Britney Spears and the Hiccup Girl.

Move along. Not much to see here. Except your country, circa 2013

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