Browse By

Liam Stack Sells Fear At New York Times

new york times liam stack

New York Times writer Liam Stack asked the newspaper’s readers this question: “How often, if ever, do you think about the possibility of a shooting in your daily life?”. Today, Stack published some of the answers, with people saying things like,
We are sitting ducks,”
or “I constantly rehearse in my head the steps I would take to protect me and my kids from a shooter,” or “Is this the day? Will a shooter pick my daughter’s school because it only has one access road?”

Only once in his article did Stack refer briefly to one reader who “found comfort in statistics”. What were those comforting statistics?

Liam Stack didn’t include that information in his article. Instead, he plastered this alarmist headline up: “‘I Think About It Daily’: Life in a Time of Mass Shootings”.

Here’s the statistic that Liam Stack and the New York Times didn’t see fit to print:

More than 99.99986% of Americans were not attacked in any mass shooting this year.

We live in a “Time of Mass Shootings” in the same sense that we live in a Time of Chondrosarcoma, or a Time of Running Faster Than A Four Minute Mile, or a Time of Owning A Hundred Foot Yacht. There are people out there with these experiences, but they’re not at all typical, and no one pretends that they are.

So, why are so many people spending so much time making public statements claiming that they are afraid of becoming a victim of a mass shooting, when in fact, almost nobody ever does?

Why is the New York Times promoting this irrational paranoia?

5 thoughts on “Liam Stack Sells Fear At New York Times”

  1. Rhialto Marrvellouss says:

    Fitzer, old creature!!?? I must assume that the questions posed at the bottom of your post are rhetorical. But, just in case they are not, here is the answer to the questions. Fear is profitable for those who control the media environment. The media system and the political system are interlocking and what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Fear sells newspapers and is really first class clickbait. Those points explain why the media love fear. The politicians love fear because a fearful person or population is easier to lead around by the nose , as the politician claims to be able to deliver the subject from fear.
    As noted above, I believe that the questions are rhetorical. However, they are posed in such a way as to invite responses.
    Happy,happy, joy, joy!!

    1. Charles Manning says:

      You’re right. But don’t leave out the billions and billions of dollars that will go to the wealthy when taxpayer dollars finance military responses to the terrorism threat. We’re headed that way, especially if a Republican gets elected president.

  2. Jim Cook says:

    Sells papers!

    1. Jon sanders says:

      Amen! Think about. It. You are typically reading a newspaper and inside the first section are two articles side by side. One is titled “Stan Lewis Awarded Eagle Scout Badge” and the other “Kim Kardashian Commits Suicide”. Which one do you read first. I know my choice. Sadly.

  3. Tom says:

    Why don’t we look at it the other way:

    Do Mass Killings Bother You?

    We now know this. A young man who had successfully killed on a large scale went to his religious leader with doubts and was told that mass killing was part of God’s plan. The young man continued killing until he had participated in killing sprees that took 1,626 lives — men, women, and children.

    I repeat: his death count was not the 16 or 9 or 22 lives that make top news stories, but 1,626 dead and mutilated bodies.

    Do such things bother you?

    What if you learned that this young man’s name was Brandon Bryant, and that he killed as a drone pilot for the U.S. Air Force, and that he was presented with a certificate for his 1,626 kills and congratulated on a job well done by the United States of America? What if you learned that his religious leader was a Christian chaplain?

    Do such things still bother you?

    What if you learned that most of the people killed by U.S. drones are civilians? That the pilots “double-tap,” meaning that they send a missile into a wedding party or a house and then wait for people to try to help the injured and send a second missile into them? That as a result one hears the injured screaming for hours until they die, as no one comes to help? That a drone pilot sent a missile into a group of children from which three children survived who recognized their dead brothers but had no idea that various pieces of flesh were what was left of their Mom and Dad and consequently cried out for those now gone-forever individuals?

    Is this troubling?

    What if President Obama’s claim of few or no civilian deaths was proven false by well-documented reporting? And by the fact that most victims are targeted without even knowing their names?

    What if a leading candidate for president in the past week were to both declare that the way to win a war is to start killing whole families, and stage a public Christian prayer session in order to win over a certain demographic of voters?

    Is that bothering?

    What if it became clear that police officers in the United States have been murdering people at a higher rate than drone pilots? Would you want to see police videos of their killings? Would you want to see drone videos of their killings? We have thus far gained limited access to the former and none to the latter.

    What if it were discovered that gun murders in San Bernardino are almost routine. Would they all be equally tragic?

    My point is not to cease caring about the tragedy that the television stations tell you to care about. I wish everyone would care 1,000 times more, and even better do something to take away the guns and the hatred and the culture of violence and the economic injustice and the alienation.

    My point is that there are other tragedies that go unmentioned, including larger ones. And exploiting one tragedy to fuel hatred toward a large segment of the human population of earth is madness.
    by DavidSwanson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Psst... what kind of person doesn't support pacifism?

Fight the Republican beast!