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Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police is surrounded by reporters as he hands out the list of victims of the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Does media fuel deadly thinking?

The 24-hour news cycle is in the business of selling you crappy fleece blankets and grill masters, so you can make more thoroughly toasted sandwiches. They're not really in the business of news. They are in the business of selling you crap. So, they need to have you watch and they need to have you watch continuously.

In between the crap that they are selling you, they just keep digging deeper, and deeper, and deeper into the wound. It destroys, it darkens, and it blackens the soul of the individual that sits in front of it for a long period of time.

I think that the 24-hour news cycle bears some responsibility to the damaged psyches of people who watch these sorts of things and then decide that they are going to go out there and replicate the same kind of thing that happens in places like Newtown and Columbine.

The murder-suicide is a new phenomenon in that the person says to themselves, 'I don't matter in this world. I am one of billions of people and I have two friends on Facebook and everyone else is popular. I don't exist. I am a ghost. But before I put this gun to my head and take my life, I'm going to make sure that people know who I am, that people know my name. So that someone can Google me and find out that I did something, not whether it was great, infamous or famous, but I mattered because I affected someone's life in some way.'

The 24-hour news cycle fuels that kind of thinking. Then you throw in the element of mental illness and the outcome is 'before I kill myself, I'm going to put that gun to as many innocent lives as possible so that my life means something before it ends.'

I hate to say this, and I hope I am wrong, but I believe we will see this happen again before the year is out.

John Curley, KIRO Radio Talk Show Host
John Curley is the host of The John Curley Show with Andrew Walsh on KIRO Radio, heard weekdays from 7 to 10 p.m.
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