Numerous times in this space, the phrase “everything is political” has been utilized to describe one of the tenets of the political divide. The concept is hard to grasp for normal people going about their daily lives. Most people find the idea abhorrent.

Which brings us to the shootings and mass killings of the last week.

We sometimes forget corporate media is a business, and they have something to sell. They also have what has been labeled as an “agenda.” An agenda can be seen as a story line designed to attract some segment of the potential audience. CNN, for example, has a story line that says approximately, “We hate Trump, and you should too.”

Politicians must also attract an audience. They know not everyone will vote for them, so they look for segments of voters they think they can attract.

Which, again, brings us to the mass killings of the last week.

What an opportunity! The media and politicians begin looking for anything they can find to politicize the tragedies. If their agenda is the we-hate-Trump-24-7, then they begin to blame Trump for the shootings. If they look hard enough, they will find something. Anything that does not fit the agenda is conveniently overlooked or ceases to exist. In their symbiotic relationship with politicians, they will give voice to the most radical pols, some of whom are falling over themselves to be the first to say the most outrageous thing.

So, President Trump and the NRA are responsible? What about violent video games? What about endless movies in which the hero kills numerous people with no more remorse than slapping flies? What about a culture of death in which end-of-world themes are played out endlessly with mass killings? What about labeling every negative weather story found anywhere on the planet as an aspect of climate change, a change that will turn the world into hell? How about an educational culture that teaches children they are not responsible for their own actions and that they are victims? What about celebrating the demise of family life and propagating a system of free sex and irresponsibility that creates isolated and dangerous young men?

No. None of these are of interest. They do not fit the agenda. There is no immediate political gain.

I have never forgotten a lecturer in grad school who was an expert on the negative effects of pornographic material on children. This was a time when the “sexual revolution” was being celebrated, and all the with-it social scientists were finding how wonderful it was — even for children.

The lecturer was invited to testify to a congressional hearing on the matter. He stated that when he began his testimony, every TV camera and media device in the room was turned off. The politicians, seeing no media interest, left the room for a break. He presented to an almost empty chamber.

His research didn’t fit the agenda.

We only see much to do about nothing, a nothing that has become strangely divorced from any real cause.

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Dennis Clayson is a marketing professor at the University of Northern Iowa. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.


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