Newtown, One Week Later: TV News Still Maybe Hearing Some Gun and Other Shots.
Gun news and killing of U.S. citizens. Yes, it's still an issue-- especially when the reality based gun shows on NBC Sports Network and Discovery get suspended, especially when movie red-carpet
openings are scratched, like The Weinstein Company's "Django Unchained" and Paramount's "Jack Reacher," starring Tom Cruise.
Seems that, according to TV news networks, the pain of future taxes and deficits is now nothing in comparison to what the immediate impact of what a semi-automatic gun can do to one's flesh.
TV news reports continue with images of more funerals of young children. This is now different, the media is telling us. More importantly, here's the pressing message: What are we going to do about it? The President is acting. He's not waiting around for another school, shopping mall, political rally or movie theater incident.
Yes 9/11 was horrible as was the bombing Oklahoma City Federal building and everything in between and since. But the combination of easily accessible guns, almost two dozen innocent young children, and a young man's mental illness brings this down to a new level.
Early on TV news anchors couldn't find the words, unable to speak. This was a good thing. My MediaPost colleague Bob Garfield has said this should be a signal for other quiet moments -- like virtually no talking from any brand or advertiser connected during this tragedy.
We don't need to read a cause-related press release -- or even a news report -- about how a company has sent thousand of electric tools to owners of homes destroyed by Katrina or Sandy -- or to even build a new school in Connecticut. Just do it -- and shut up about it.
This new awareness didn't stop. A couple of days after Newtown, Dick's and other retailers said they were suspending sales of certain guns. Some retailers were finally stopping the glaringly stupid media planning of newspaper and other consumer print ads for semi-automatic guns.
What about the remaining marketing messages surrounding this content? Pretty much the cable TV news networks continued with their typically daytime news advertisers -- reverse mortgage sellers, health insurance providers, pharmaceuticals for older U.S. citizens -- days after the event.
TV newscasts have sketched an outline: Immediate and stronger gun control laws, better protection for schools, better awareness and treatment of mental issues. But this hasn't stopped any shooting, of course.
Just a few days after Newtown, President Obama reported this in his Wednesday Speech: “Since Friday morning, a police officer was gunned down in Memphis, leaving four children without their mother. Two officers were killed outside a grocery store in Topeka. A woman was shot and killed inside a Las Vegas casino. Three people were shot inside an Alabama hospital. A 4-year-old was caught in a drive-by in Missouri and taken off life support just yesterday.”
What, this didn't make it into your daily electronic TV news consumption?
One more thing: Since the Newtown shootings, membership in the NRA has gone up.