Mum's the Word?

I can't account for the quality of the science behind this new study reported in the Washington Post contending that media coverage of terrorist attacks leads to more terrorist attacks which leads to more coverage of terrorist attacks which leads to...well you get the picture. Apparently paraphrasing the study authors, the story characterizes this pattern as a "mutually beneficial spiral of death." (That's grossly unfair to the media in my view.)

I've heard this theory before. But the bottom line is -- so what? While it's certainly important to keep terrorist attacks in perspective, it's not the media's job to censor important news because of a fear of the consequences of doing our job. That's utter nonsense.

I'm a firm believer in not writing about Ann Coulter in the hope that a widespread media blackout might cause her to go away. But that's not an option when it comes to covering acts of terrorist violence.

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