“Turn Off the News.” ~ (not) Morgan Freeman

Via elephant journal
on Dec 15, 2012
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Two necessary updates. One, via Reddit: “It’s fake—It’s wise—It’s best read in Freeman’s voice, regardless.” Also via Reddit: “There are several people saying saying that it hasn’t been proven Morgan said this but I still COMPLETELY agree with the message either way… And come on, all things just sound better in Morgan Freeman’s voice. Proof : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7Gx1FYuaCo&t=0m50s ” End Reddit excerpt. See my comment below the post re the gun control point.

And, two: not “all news” is guilty of this hype, equally. The NY Times, for example, focused on the victims of 9/11, say–doing an article on every single one of the approx 3000 human beings who died that day. And, currently, they have a list of the victims on their front page, not a photo of the murderer. ~ Waylon Lewis, ed.

Morgan Freeman‘s brilliant take on what happened yesterday :


“You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.

It’s because of the way the media reports it.

Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up,” this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”

~ Morgan Freeman

(Via Elite Daily/Reddit)


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23 Responses to ““Turn Off the News.” ~ (not) Morgan Freeman”

  1. Michelle says:

    Simply don't agree. The strength, love and compassion coming from the families is sweeping the internet and just came live into our homes. They want to show that love is stronger, and always will be. Yes, it is time to address why anyone would need a "civilian" style war arsenal in their home. Really?

  2. June Geiger says:

    There are so many things wrong with this I don't even know where to start…

  3. m. anderson says:

    Its time to stop Yellow Journalism . The media has long lost any common sense or sense decency. Turn off the TV and take the wife and kids to a decent movie.

  4. randolphr says:

    We have a media over saturated culture, and for some this can feed into and exacerbate an existing sense of crushing, personal insignificance.

    Turning Off and Tuning In …. those are decent enough ideas …. plenty good.

    What took place yesterday was only the beginning of what now remains for the families and friends.
    That is the reality that matters most.

  5. Jason Q says:


  6. Caroline says:

    Absolutely no evidence that Morgan Freeman said this. Please check your sources, guys… I don't care if you want to post some random person's opinion, but you can't attribute it to Morgan Freeman just because Pinterest said so.

  7. aran says:

    i don't believe morgan freeman actually wrote this

  8. elephantjournal says:

    We just found that this isn't true, and are updating it. Either way, as Reddit said, we agree. Except perhaps about the point about gun control—reasonable, commonsense gun control helps. See Japan for an extreme example. Also, all hard truths, even if not originating from Morgan Freeman, sound better in his voice.

  9. elephantjournal says:

    Agreed. Updating.

  10. Colette Kern says:

    Don't know if Morgan Freeman really said this or not. I don't disagree with some of what is said about the sensationalism of the media; however, you cannot post the names or talk about the victims until or unless they have first been conclusively identified. And then you have to respect the grief process of the families; some may want to grieve in private. As the details about the actual persons involved are coming to the fore, more tributes to the persons are being posted.

  11. I do not know the names of the children or adults killed ,I do not know the names of the killers. I do not know the media. I only know it happened in the USA and it was Americans. It doesn't happen in other countries except on very oddhappenings . It ocured in Sweeden and Canada and Terrorists in England ,France ,Spain ,Iraq . It happens it seems every year in the US and still nothing is done ,because of the "Love Affare" America has with hand guns. Ask Japan if this happens there?

  12. Chester says:

    They use knifes and swords….But most importantly – they teach their children to respect others.. That has been lost in America.

  13. Dan garza says:

    There were almost 800 gun deaths in Japan last year. Hmmmmmmm

  14. James says:

    Chart In the United States, annual firearm homicides total

    2009: 9,146

    2008: 9,484

    2007: 10,129

    2006: 10,225

    2005: 10,158

    2004: 9,385

    2003: 9,659

    2002: 9,369

    2001: 8,890

    1999: 8,259

    1998: 9,257


  15. […] {Updates} “Turn Off the News.” ~ Morgan Freeman (elephantjournal.com) […]

  16. EdB says:

    Here is a bigger problem in the USA,
    In 2010, 10,228 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.1
    Of the 1,210 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2010, 211 (17%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.1
    Of the 211 child passengers ages 14 and younger who died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2010, over half (131) were riding in the vehicle with the alcohol-impaired driver.1
    In 2010, over 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.3 That's one percent of the 112 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults each year.4
    Drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths. These other drugs are often used in combination with alcohol.5

  17. EdB says:

    I know Canada is almost Utopia, but according to this article http://www.livescience.com/7360-suicide-common-ho

    "And it's not just an American problem. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Canadian youth and young adults. Worldwide, there are an estimated 10 million to 20 million attempted suicides each year.

    In fact, the suicide rate is higher than the homicide rate: Nearly a third more people die at their own hands than die at other people's hands (the murder rate in America is about 6 per 100,000; for suicides it's 10.8).

    So for every two murders you hear about, three other people killed themselves.

    One reason that people believe homicide is much more common than suicide is because of the news media's selective coverage. "
    So there are other problems in Canada.

  18. Anon says:

    Maybe not Dark Knight Rises though

  19. kcirpgib eno says:

    I don't know if this was Morgan Freeman's words or not. I do agree that the media may have something to do with it but still that is shifting blame. The tendency today seems to be to blame everyone and anything we can for such tragedy's. T
    his form of blame shifting takes away the amount of guilt that should fall on the the person or persons behind these act's of violence. As long as We the people allow it to happen as long as we let it just slid by putting these Evil people in hospitals or locking them up until they seem to be fit enough to turn back out into the world it will keep happening. I say bring back capital punishment and do it the the cheap old fashion way with a rope!

  20. elephantjournal says:

    12 out of 20 biggest massacres in the last something years are all in the US. Commonsense precautions are commonsense.

  21. DEF says:

    I agree, one should also look a little at the stats. I did a little mining for data that you can look at here: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/compare/194/rat… . It shows the top 25 countries for the rate of gun deaths. Actually, the US is below the top 25, but the page wouldn't let me drop them from the list. It would be interesting to look at homicide rates, gun deaths, etc. as a function of social control by the government, the wealth of the people, gun ownership rate, etc. I think these types of tragedies have a much more complicated set of reasons than people are willing to try to understand. People want easy answers…

  22. artistrose says:

    Has anyone wondered why there has been no investigation into the psychosomatic drugs the perpetrators are on?
    This is a common thread & no one seems to wonder about it or ask the shrinks who are treating these people when
    the atrocities occur.