Friday, August 28, 2015


The murder of two reporters and the wounding of the one being interviewed in Virginia on live morning television was shocking and newsworthy. Reporting the facts is necessary.

But as usual, the 24 hour news stations have turned it into a reality show. CNN seems to be the mot exploitative. I have to wonder if it isn't this kind of reporting that motivates the mentally imbalanced with a tendency toward violence to commit such heinous crimes?

The first full hour yesterday and then throughout the day of the  news on CNN exploited the grieving fiance of the woman reporter who was murdered. It was as if Chris Cuomo wanted to make the man cry, as this is supposedly good television, by the inane, ridiculous personal questions that were asked.

This poor gentleman, clearly in shock and denial about the implications of what had happened and thus unemotional about the death of his girl friend, weakened throughout the day and by the afternoon it was sinking in and he was actually crying on camera, which made the afternoon anchor feel good--it was good television and good show and good for the ratings!

I doubt that these reporters exploiting the tragedy of other reporters realize how exploitative they are and idiotic their questions are of a grieving person! Contempt for the grieving and the privacy those who grieve need and must be given is par for the news these days.


Calvin of Hippo said...

Someone should start a widespread movement to stop watching TV. It would be the greatest revolution in the history of the country. People would rediscover each other, as well as family life and clear thinking.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Good Father, your capacity for misdiagnosis is just unstoppable!

You assert that CNN and its reporters are exploitative, that they motivate people to commit acts of violence, that they invade the privacy of the grieving, that they are idiotic, that they have contempt for those who are suffering, that they are driven by the quest for...ratings.

Despite yourself, you have stumbled upon the real issue that should be troubling any pastor. Ratings. Ratings that are driven 100% by viewers

CNN broadcasts what its viewers want to see. If viewers turned off CNN and FAUX News, and MSNBC, and ESPN, and Univision and any other broadcast or internet website because they didn't want to see what is being broadcast, guess what would happen....

As the sage philosopher Pogo said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

Don't blame the messenger, in this case, CNN.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Former PI, you are pointing out the obvious but using the wrong word, I did not stumble onto anything about ratings and viewers. CNN knows what it is doing and is pandering to the base instincts of its viewers, pandering, which in its true meaning would lead to the arrest of the one doing it. Yes, we blame the panders and those who are pandered to (or should I write grammatically correct, those to whom are pandered).

As usual you miss my implied points but at least got one part right, except I didn't stumble on it, I made it clear!

Anonymous said...

Of course nothing justifies the killings in Virginia yesterday, which occurred only about 50 miles from where I went to college, but more subtle and disturbing (signs of our ever-accelerating moral decay), well, I don't know if anyone noticed that the reporter who was engaged to the woman reporter had said they had jointly moved into an apartment, supposedly to save money to buy a house, but I think we would call that "cohabitation". And the Atlanta paper reported that both slain reporters were "romantically involved" with other staff at the Roanoke TV station. Don't think we needed to know all that in this tragedy, but it leaves me to wonder how a TV station, whose reporters obviously would be well known in that city which is not very big (about the size of Macon), would not be concerned about their image in light of such revelations. I guess we would say, it is widely going on anyway, so what's the shock?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes, the glib way that their non-marital union is described would have been unthinkable to do so over the public airways 50 years ago, unless it was pertinent to the reporting of the story, which in this case, it isn't.

Love triangles at the studio, though, could have some bearing on this, I don't know if the murderer, felt left out or even jilted.

But we are in an amoral situation now with the media and they don't even know it. Post Christianity and even post-agnosticism.

Calvin of Hippo said...

All TV news is exploitive. FOX is no better than CNN...

A man was sitting at the bar all depressed and tearful. His friends hurried over and asked, "Charlie, what is wrong? Why are you so down and out?"
Charlie replied, "Guys, my wife ran off with a child molester journalist."
All his friends cried out indignantly, "No, not a journalist!!!!??"

Anonymous said...

As usual, conservatives are more upset about coverage of gun violence -- or the living arrangements of the victims -- than by the gun violence itself.
More Americans have died from gun violence since 1968 than in all of our nation's wars.
As a Catholic, that disgusts me.
Having attended weekly Mass for 40-something years, I can tell you the next sermon I hear about that topic from a Catholic priest will be the very first.

Anonymous said...

So, are we blaming the guns?

Anonymous said...

No, I am blaming the people who own them, promote them, glorify and worship them.
There is no point in delivering a sermon to guns, is there?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I have never and will never give a sermon on guns. In a classroom situation I might make my opinion known about assault riffles and things like that.

However, while I have had funerals of parishioners who have committed suicide by gun or have been murdered by a gun, I have had many, many more parishioners die in automobiles, young and old. I've never given a sermon on automobiles either. And as we have seen in the news lately, these can be a weapon more deadly than any machine gun in a crowd of people. Usually it is related to mental illness or road rage. Oh wait, the same is true of gun violence.

And on top of that, if a deranged or malicious person or criminal wants a gun, even if these are banned outright, they will get a gun, just like people got alcohol during prohibition and illegal drugs today! And I think people without drivers' licenses still drive cars but they ain't suppose too! Should I preach on that too!

Anonymous said...

Ah, just another anti-gun nut, then. Ok.

Anonymous said...

By the same logic, you could argue that people will get abortions whether or not it's legal.
In fact, people do make that misguided argument.

Anonymous said...

And most likely, nobody in your parishes has been part of a same-sex marriage. Why sermonize against it, then? :)

Calvin of Hippo said...

These anti-gun nuts are the same people who stand on a chair and shriek when a mouse or a roach runs across the floor. Any male should be familiar with and know how to use firearms, should have one in his home for protection, and be willing to use it if necessary. He should also be able to use hand tools, change a tire, make minor home repairs, clean fish, at least dress small game, and cook. He should also know how to throw a punch with some authority and protect his family with common sense and good judgement. We have a society that is inundated with faux males prissing around, their only weapon their mouth.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Same sex marriage makes a mockery of the Sacrament of Marriage and thus is a sacrilege. Owning a gun is not opposed to Church teaching. Using a car to kill someone breaks the 5th Commandment.

Anonymous said...

Calvin, I sadly suspect you are in some way inadequate -- emotionally or perhaps physically -- and that owning a gun and boasting about it provides a little something that you lack. Guns were created for such manly men who can't face life's challenges without them. When such men play the "My gun is bigger than yours" approach (just as when people overdo the "More pious than the Pope" game), you're usually looking at a creep, a freak or a phony.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Guns, while a secondary issue, should be addressed.

Cars and guns are not comparable. How often does someone aim a car at a person, hit the gas, and, with malice aforethought, kill the person they're aiming at?

The NRA, masters of ginning up irrational fear, and its mindless minions tell us that "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." Nope. Four good guys without guns just stopped a bad guy with two guns on a train in France.

The NRA tells us that more guns, and more people carrying them around, leads to fewer gun deaths. Nope. The three states with the highest rates of gun ownership, Alaska, Louisiana, and Alabama, also have the highest rates of gun deaths.

The primary issue, which underlies the gun problem, is our fascination with and acceptance of violence. It starts with our acceptance of the violence of abortion. It spreads to the violence of bullying with parents telling their children, "If he hits you again, smack him back harder." College students riot when their teams win tournaments. Fans cheer with every bench-clearing brawl. Revenge-minded people cheer when a convicted criminal is execute. Political pundits revel in being foul-mouthed, heaping slurs on their opponents.

We choose to be a violent society, yet we recoil in horror when someone ELSE acts in a violent way.

Calvin of Hippo said...

Anonymous at 10:18, That is a pretty typical response from anti-gun nuts. Anyone who owns a gun must be somehow making up for an inadequacy, etc, etc. Well, let me fire back in the same stereotypical manner: Anyone who does not own a gun must be gay.

Calvin of Hippo said...

Fr. Kavanaugh, Our society's fascination with violence has nothing to do with owning guns. I agree with all of your last paragraph and final line. But, the issue is larger than the Second Amendment right...the issue is personal freedom for law abiding citizens. The government and the Left use gun control as a foil for erasing individualism, independence, regionalism, and free expression. We should not allow the vast majority of law abiding citizens in this country to be controlled by the few or by an over-expanded government. We simply do not enforce our own laws nor make provision for the criminally insane, retarded, or isolates in our culture. The do-goods got all the institutions closed, the schools tolerate anything, and the parole boards open the gates. Any effort to crack down on these things is jeered at as racist, Nazi, etc. Our society is crumbling from within and it has nothing to do with law abiding citizens owning guns...indeed, given what I just said, they'd damned well better own one.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Cal - Yes, the violence/gun matrix is real. The fascination with violence often is expressed in the use of guns.

Guns and gun violence can be addressed without erasing individualism, independence, regionalism, and free expression.

It may be necessary for the greater good, however, to limit Second Amendment rights through a variety of measures needed to reduce gun violence.

Every right guaranteed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is, in some way or ways, limited for the purpose of serving the greater good. There is no reason why the right to keep and bear arms should not also be so limited or circumscribed.

"They'd damned well better own one" is exactly the kind of emotional, irrational response the NRA has programmed into people.

Anonymous said...

Calvin of Hippo: By showing us what you're really afraid of, you've supported everything I said. I rest my case.

Calvin of Hippo said...

Anonymous, you mean, you are not concerned about these things? And, no, my statement does not confirm everything you just said. Your statement is pretty much irrational nonsense.

Calvin of Hippo said...

I distrust anyone who begins to suggest limiting any Constitutional is usually Leftists who want to make the country socialist/collectivist. It is not the greater good we are talking is a minority of criminals and crazies that we are allowing to erode the greater good. The greater good is a slippery slope, often used as an excuse for further erosion of freedoms. But, many of your posts on here make me suspect that you are a collectivist, anyway, so I am sure that does not bother you. Many seminary educated Priests and ministers still think that the early Church was a communist organization governed by hippies and that Jesus was some wild-eyed man of sorrows from Woodstock-on-Galilee. Sheesh!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Cal - ALL the rights enumerated in the Constitution are already limited, and rightly so.

You have the right to freedom of assembly but you cannot assemble on the floor of the US Senate or in the nave of St. Peter's Basilica for a pro-abortion rally.

You have the right to freedom of the press, but you will go to jail for publishing lies intended to harm another.

You have the right to property, but with good reason your private property can be taken to build a needed road.

You have the right to free speech, but you cannot yell fire in a crowded theater.

You have the right to practice your religion, but you cannot sacrifice babies in your religious rituals.

The limitations on every right enumerated is for the protection of the greater good, the Common Good,.

These limitations on rights are not socialist/collectivist ideas nor are they hippie notions about the early Church.

And no, what you think about me does not bother me at all.

Anonymous 2 said...

Father Kavanaugh,

I admire your tenacity and wish I still had the energy to join with you in this particular dispute. But I am on the point of giving up on the issue (at least today). If Americans want to go to hell in a hand basket and continue to tolerate this insanity of violence that so thoroughly corrupts the culture (from Animals to Zygotes), then who am I to judge and stand in the way of them getting their jollies.

Speaking of Jollies, I can’t quite put my finger on it but there is something eerily familiar about Calvin of Hippo.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, your statistics about gun deaths since '68 are simply wrong...this has been debunked many times. Liberals lie and tweak stats to suit their agenda all the time. Quit swallowing it.

John Nolan said...

As someone who had weapons training at the age of 12 and have subsequently fired everything from a 9mm Browning pistol to the Divisional artillery (in a military context) I can't help noticing a profound difference between British and American attitudes. Here one is trained in firearms for the defence of the realm. Americans believe that individual holding of firearms and unlimited ammunition for them is in case they have to resist their own government.

However, one has to wonder why a female junior school teacher, whose son went on the rampage with her firearms and ammunition a few years ago, needed to keep such an arsenal in her own home. Was she expecting an attack from Al-Qaeda?

Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous at 6:38 a.m.

Please give us the correct statistics.

Anonymous 2 said...


If you seek the deeper explanation rather behind the ideological smokescreen and the fear-mongering, it is, as for most things in this country, very simple: Just follow the money.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John - The National Rifle Association, and incredibly successful and politically feared pro-gun lobby, has spent millions of dollars, probably tens of millions of dollars, politicizing guns in the USA.

Forbes Magazine, 16 May 2013: "According to most published sources, the reason is simple: the NRA has tons of money and threatened to “primary” those who voted against their will in the next election."

Because politicians fear the NRA's money, the organization is able to weaken enforcement of existing laws and to block new legislation: "Further details of the N.R.A.’s anti-enforcement efforts were revealed by Dennis Henigan, a former vice president of the Brady Campaign, a leading gun-control group, in his 2009 book “Lethal Logic.” It recounts how the N.R.A. campaigned in the 1980s to weaken the 1968 Gun Control Act that President Lyndon Johnson pushed through after the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. The result was the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986, a misnamed law that has made it difficult to investigate and prosecute gun trafficking to this day. For example, it protects unscrupulous gun dealers by prohibiting A.T.F. agents from making more than one unannounced inspection a year. It also makes it hard to revoke their licenses."

The NRA has also blocked efforts that would allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)to research gun violence. From Business Insider 16 January 2013: "The CDC isn't allowed to pursue many kinds of gun research due to the lobbying strength of the National Rifle Association.

As a result of the National Rifle Association's lobbying efforts, governmental research into gun mortality has shrunk by 96 percent since the mid-1990s, according to Reuters.

Prior to 1996, the Center for Disease Control funded research into the causes of firearm-related deaths. After a series of articles finding that increased prevalence of guns lead to increased incidents of gun violence, Republicans sought to remove all federal funding for research into gun deaths.

In 1996, Republican Rep. Jay Dickey removed $2.6 million from the CDC budget — the precise amount the CDC spent on gun research in 1995 — at a time when the center was conducting more studies into gun-related deaths as a "public health phenomenon," according to The New York Times. The NRA and some pro-gun Congressmen perceived this as more of an attack.

The mother did not "need" the arsenal she had in her home. She, and others, have been manipulated by the NRA and its minions. Sadly many of those minions hold political office and bow to the NRA because they want to keep those positions.

Anonymous said...

And you trust CDC? I certainly hope the NRA continues to block and impede and manipulate. God bless the NRA lobby...I send them all I can.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"And you trust the CDC?" is one of those throw-away phrases that is intended not to develop a thought or underpin an assertion, but to divert attention further from the issue at hand.

Nice try, Gene. No ceegar.

Anonymous said...

The CCC tells us that use of a firearm may in fact be necessary to stop an assailant. There is a big difference between protecting our family (in our home)from an armed break-in, (in which I would warn the intruder that he risks being shot)than perhaps a public open carry.
I lived in NYC many years ago when a neighbor scared off a man trying to break in the side door of my house. I was home alone with my infant son. This happened during the day while my husband was working. Thanks be to Our Lord that our neighbor took action. Our Guardian Angels were certainly working overtime that day!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I don't think the CCC speaks of "firearms" being necessary. Could you cite the passage?

CCC 2264 If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one's own life than of another's.

CCC 2265 The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm.

Catholic doctrine requires us to use the least amount of force/violence necessary to render an unjust aggressor "unable to cause harm."

Anonymous said...

Such statement's as Fr. Kavanaugh's are so naive as to be impossible to respond to. The CCC means well, but one cannot leave self-defense instruction up to a bunch of Priests and Bishops. When you are attacked, rational thought goes out the window; you are reacting on training and instinct. Even in a simple fist fight, you cannot hold back trying not to do excessive harm. It will get you killed or seriously injured. There are occasions in which you may be able to acquire a submission hold or technique on a drunk or very unskilled opponent, but those occasions are rare for civilians. If you are attacked with a weapon, there can be only one response...aim for the center of mass and fire until the threat is neutralized, which means the attacker is down and not able to get up. You cannot "shoot to wound" or give warning shots, etc. These are the stuff of imagination, suggested by people who have never been under fire or even in a fist fight. If someone attacks you, you must assume they are willing to kill must assume this or you may lose your life.

Anonymous said...

When seconds count . . . the police are just minutes away.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene, the Catechism does not represent the collective wisdom of a bunch of Priests and Bishops. And just because you chose to be a violent person in word and in action does not make that course of action consonant with Christian doctrine.

As you repeatedly reject the authority of the Magisterium, replacing it with your own pickle barrel truisms and Protestant proclivities, isn't it time for you to come to terms with the Church you never joined but wanted to use as a buffer against the changes in society that you'd rather not acknowledge, let alone deal with in an adult manner?

Anonymous said...

Fr. Kavanaugh, what in the Hell are you talking about?