The sad news from Binghamton, New York, has once again turned the media's attention to the scene of a gun-fueled mass killing. But once again, the rampage coverage seems to be context-free, in that the press rarely connects the most current killing spree with all the ones before it, or steps back to wonder what is going on nationwide.
As I recently wrote:
The press now covers shooting sprees the way it covers killer tornadoes: They're one-day stories, they're acts of nature, and all people can do is try to stay out of the way.
The fact is, the shooting in Binghamton is the third killing spree this week. Nearly 30 Americans have been shot dead from mass murder rampages in the last six days. But the press pretends each bloody incident is completely isolated. They're not. There have been at least two dozen mass murders in the last 25 months. Here's a look at some of the U.S. shooting rampages that have unfolded in just the last 30 days:
April 3: Reports indicate a gunman Jiverly Voong backed up his car to the door of the American Civic Association in Binghamton, New York, in order to make sure people could not escape when he walked in the front door, killed the receptionist and then went from room to room assassinating as many as people as he could. The gunman, wearing a bullet-proof vest and a satchel of ammunition, later killed himself. Fourteen dead, four wounded.
March 29: In the upscale Santa Clara, California, neighborhood, Devan Kalathat shot and killed two of his children, three other relatives and then himself. Six dead, one injured.
March 29: Heavily armed suspect Robert Stewart, entered a local retirement home in Carthage, North Carolina, and began randomly shooting patients and employees with his high-powered rifle. Eight dead and three wounded.
March 15: A Miami man, Guillermo Lopez, barged into a birthday thrown for his ex-wife's boyfriend. An argument erupted. Lopez cornered some party goers in the back yard and opened fire, killing four people, including his ex-wife. Lopez drove to his home, set his pick-up truck on fire, and killed himself. Five dead.
March 10: Firing more than 200 rounds from two assault rifles, a shotgun and a handgun, Michael McClendon went on a two-hour killing spree in south Alabama, killing family members, strangers, and then himself. Eleven dead, seven wounded.
March 5: Ex-con Davon Crawford killed his new wife, his wife's sister, and her sister's three small children during a killing spree in downtown Cleveland. Days later Crawford killed himself. Six dead.
In its look at the increase in the number of women robbing banks, says Melissa McEwan at Shakesville:
The uptick in bank robbery committed by women correlates with the economic downtown, the head of the Nassau County police department's robbery squad says that women are primarily motivated by a need to "pay bills, get a little extra cash... They need diapers for the baby that kind of thing," and yet the framing story is all about a thrill-seeking thief and the accompanying article photos are of the "Barbie Bandits"—blonde, teenage strippers who robbed a bank to go on a shopping spree. There's a real story to be told about desperate women who have no resources and no opportunities, but it's buried beneath yet another "hot chicks doing boy things" story.
On Fox News' Your World, Floyd Brown, creator of a new ad claiming that Sen. Barack Obama is "weak in the war on gangs," asserted: "[I]n Chicago, we saw six people killed and over 31 injured. People were stabbed. This is, you know, like Baghdad. And he was the state senator there, and he didn't do anything to clean it up, and I think it's a legitimate issue." Host Neil Cavuto gave no indication that Obama has responded to the ad, much less provide Obama's response.
In segments on University of Florida student Andrew Meyer, who was shocked with a Taser by campus police, Glenn Beck asserted: "To me, Taser videos are a little like potato chips. I just can't watch just one," and Bill O'Reilly announced that "[a]nyone buying anything on BillOReilly.com will receive a 'Don't Taze me, bro!' bumper sticker."
After reporting on National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell's claim that the recently approved law expanding the government's ability to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens contributed to arrests in Germany, The Washington Post and CNN have not subsequently reported that McConnell has since acknowledged that the newly passed law did not factor into the German arrests.
On Hardball, Chris Matthews did not challenge a claim by David Rivkin, a former Justice Department official, that the impeachment of Bill Clinton by the House of Representatives "is tantamount to what the jury found with regard to [Lewis] Scooter [Libby]." In fact, the two impeachment articles passed by the House constituted a compilation of accusations against Clinton. These accusations were then considered by the Senate, which acquitted him on both charges.