Man Bites Dog Or Shoots Member of Congress – Novelty Rules the News

The need for “novelty” in a 24 x 7 news cycle, identified by Lewis and Marwick in Megyn Kelly fiasco is one more instance of far right outmaneuvering media comes to the fore in coverage of the recent shooting reported in Capitol Hill shaken by baseball shooting.

Boiled down to the essentials, James Hodgkinson, 66, of Illinois, who is now dead, wounded “House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and four others in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Va.,” on June 14, 2017. The medical status of the wounded vary from critical to released.

That’s all the useful information, aside from identification of the victims, that can be wrung from that story.

Not terribly useful information, considering Hodgkinson is dead and so not a candidate for a no-fly/sell list.

But you will read column inch after column inch of non-informative comments by and between special interest groups, “experts,” and even experienced political reporters, on a one-off event.

A per capita murder rate of 5 per 100,000, works out to 50 murderers per million people. Approximately 136 million people voted in the 2016 election so 50 x 136 means 6800 people who will commit murder this year voted in the 2016 election. (I’m assuming 1 murderer per murder, which isn’t true but it does simplify the calculation.)

One of those 6800 people (I could have used shootings per capita for an even larger number) shot a member of Congress.

Will this story, plus or minus hand wringing, accusations, counter-accusations, etc., change your routine tomorrow? Next week? Your plans for this year?

All I see is novelty and no news.

You?

PS: Identifying the “novelty” of this story did not require a large research/fact-checking budget. What it did require is a realization that everyone is talking about the shooting of a member of congress means only “everyone is talking about….” Whether that is just a freakish event or genuine news, requires deeper inquiry.

One nutter shoots a member of Congress, man bites dog, novelty, not news. Organization succeeds in killing 3rd member of Congress, that looks like news. Pattern, behavior, facts, goals, etc.

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