Which side makes a better case?
avatar
45 Comments
  • Filter by:
  • Pro
  • Draw
  • Con
  • 9 months ago

    Context:

    After the recent shooting incident in Florida, Dana Loesch and the NRA made the claim that the MSM loves mass shootings. This house believes her comments were inaccurate

    • 8 months ago
      • 8 months ago
      • 8 months ago

        (funeral house is my example, it wasn't mentioned in the debate but fits the same category of examples obviously..)

      • 8 months ago

        If the media's style of coverage (sensationalism) causes more or less shootings is debatable, and it might even be possibly true that their style of coverage increases the number of mass shootings!

        but i think those on the ground covering these shootings truly believe, even if they're wrong, that their coverage is spreading awareness and that the sensationalism - to a large extent - increases the sense of urgency for politicians to act (Again, it's obviously debatable if what they want politicians to act on is actually going to increase/decrease shootings, but it might be that their heart is in the right place and they're doing their job for what they think is the right approach, and by their responsibility to the public..)

        It might be completely stupid of the media to think that sensationalism leads to less shootings, but the debate is not about whether sensationalism in media increases/decreases mass shootings.. it's about how they *feel* about these shootings even if they lead to more ratings.

        and that's where i think the empathy argument made and the analogies given show that more/incremental money does not mean more love/desire for the thing that is driving the incremental money (which is why even if this debate was about the shareholders of the MSM, the empathy argument holds strong..

        and the assertion from the Con that the MSM's sensationalist style of coverage MUST be deliberate to exploit and get more ratings, as opposed to, possibly, mere stupidity in how to spread awareness or prevent more shootings.. was presumptuous and not entirely backed up in my opinion (and probably impossible to confirm/prove!)

        Good job both of you!

      • 8 months ago

        @yaz Yeah but in order to say that, you have to intentionally misquote Dana, who specifically said she was NOT saying that people in the media love the tragedy, which the NRA also said in their video, saying they do not think that people in the media wish for this to happen.

        I don't disagree that she could have said it differently, but based on what she did say, it was clear what she meant. The only way one would interpret it differently is if they intentionally ignore everything she's actually saying.

        Edit: Also Nightcrawler is amazing. It was on my mind a lot when thinking about this topic too. :D

        Edit 2: Also it's really easy to prove that literally everything the media does is for ratings. I mean I had evidence on this I could have read had it been more of an issue. I don't think it's intentionally evil or anything, it's just a necessary offshoot of a capitalist media. A for-profit company will nearly always do what is best, for profit, which is exactly why media companies intentionally lead with crime stories. Viewers are emotionally connected, so they tune in. It's always always always about money, since that's the media's business model.

      • 8 months ago

        @sharkb8 fair enough, but one of my main issues was also the presumption that the media covers these shootings the way they do, because of the higher ratings.. or that they deliberately avoid a more responsible way of coverage because they want the ratings..

        which, of course, could be true, but we can't conclusively say that WHY they cover it the way they do.. it might just be stupidity on their part, them thinking this will spread more awareness, when all it does is increase future shootings.. it could also be stupid of them to think it'll lead to politicians increasing gun regulations, when in reality that won't help..

        so ultimately, even if we get what Dana really meant with her full quote, it's presumptuous to say they do it the way they do because of the higher ratings... it's extremely difficult to pinpoint an evil motive behind the media's coverage when they just might be doing what they think will reduce these shootings altogether, even if they're wrong.

      • 8 months ago

        @yaz But you're misquoting me. I never said there was an evil motive. I even told Ben if I was the cameraman I would try and get the most dramatic footage I can, because that's the nature of the business. It's not evil, it's just the business model. In a capitalist society, the media are motivated by the same factor every company is motivated by, making money. Media companies makes money by selling advertisements. The more views they have, the more they can charge for ads.

        Therefore, media companies intentionally make media as attention grabbing as they can to attract the most viewers they can. Then they deliberately pick a specific target demographic who they're hoping to reach, i.e crying white Mother's. This is their business model, and in a capitalist society there's no way around it. That's just how it is.

        When they sensationalize coverage, I'm not saying that's evil. I'm saying it's dangerous. When the media sees a mass casualty event, they immediately rush to showcase the event in the most attention grabbing, ratings boosting way they can. They don't love the tragedy, but they sure as hell do love the ratings they can get out of it.

        We have recommendations from law enforcement and data and studies that tell us how we can remove 1/3rd of mass shootings within a year, but the media doesn't listen to these guidelines. The profit incentive is too big for these companies to change, unless more people were to speak up and make them stop. Until that happens, they will continue to play up every mass casualty event that comes, because they love the ratings they can get out of those events.

      • 8 months ago

        @sharkb8 you’re right you never said ‘evil’, I didn’t mean to quote you when I said it - I was trying to explain my understanding..

        if the media seeks more ratings , which I agree with u is their main objective as a for profit company, and if they do so at the expense of being irresponsible in their coverage, it would make them evil/bad in my opinion. Seeking ratings without causing harm is obviously fine, but seeking more ratings at the expense of causing more shootings is bad.

        While it’s possible that they’re primarily seeking the ratings with their style of coverage, I think some or most of the reporters actually believe they’re spreading more awareness and getting the public emotional in order to put more pressure on politicians to act, etc.. whether they’re right or wrong about that is a different debate, but it would be presumptuous to say they must be doing it for the ratings first and foremost, at the expense of more deaths, when in reality, the journalists might think they’re actually doing a public good by getting the people emotional to put more pressure on politicians to act, etc.. and the high ratings they end up getting are just a required byproduct to do this public good.

        Now if it’s up to me personally, I would tone down the sensationalism and seriously consider the 1/3 increase you mentioned because I can see how sensationalism can lead to unintended irresponsible consequences. But that’s different from making an assertion about their true primary intentions when covering mass shootings with sensationalism

        Let me put it this way: I don’t think anyone in the media covers shootings with sensationalism truly believing it causes more shootings, or believes it’s doing more harm than good. I also don’t think the NRA wants to sell more guns at the expense of more deaths, I think they actually believe more guns lead to more protection, and I think the left also believe with conviction that taking guns away is better for everyone.

        I don’t think any stakeholder in this debate actually want the excess profit or ratings if they truly believe it comes at the expense of more deaths..

    • 8 months ago
      • 8 months ago

        @ninadabit hi nina, I'm just wondering. In the last sentence you say "even though they dont love covering it...."
        How does a con win when the you agree with the words of the motion. I get that Daniel talked about responsible media coverage, but its just a different motion. You can do your job poorly and still not love it ( as I pointed out). Hoping you can clear this up

      • 8 months ago

        @benmouse42 @ninadabit I also wondered this after watching your adjudication. I understand where Daniel was coming from and his whole case about showing profit and what Dana really was meaning, but as Joseph said in his video Dana literally contradicted her original statement in this new quote (with the resolution being the original statement) so at the end of the day regardless of the context ultimately if you believe what's you said at the end of your video then you agree that the Pro has proven the resolution true.

      • 8 months ago

        @the_chosen_one @benmouse42 I think a lot came down to that there wasn't a clear conclusion on what was entailed in love, and that there really couldn't be for either side's line of argumentation to have reasonable ground. I wasn't able to find that sentence in the adjudication and I don't really want to watch a video of myself completely over, but I think the crux of that is that journalists may not love covering the actual stories and does not wish for more to happen individually in the moment but the mainstream media as a collective looks to capitalize as much as they can when one does happen, which is able to negate the motion. Does that clear things up? I did this adjudication fairly early in the morning so I apologize if something was unclear to begin with.

      • 8 months ago

        @ninadabit yer I guess I agree that despite not loving mass shootings they still capitalise on it, but that isnt the motion.
        The motion is just do they love it, I even said explicitly, look ppl can profit from things they dont love.

        I guess if the motion was "all people love their jobs" would you come to the same conclusion based on the fact that they profit from them

      • 8 months ago

        @benmouse42 Neither side in this debate agrees on a conception of love. Given the context that is also brought up by the con of the surrounding messaging, love isn't targeted towards the individuals, but the mass of the mainstream media. I think the con is able to use this to his advantage in bringing up the widespread knowledge of how saying a shooters name impacts future shootings, yet media continues to do it because they love the additional attention as a conglomerate. I only have so much I can do as a judge without an agreed upon definition, and this was the more middle ground I found to weigh from.

    • 8 months ago
    • 8 months ago
      • 8 months ago

        @elomtet thanks so much for this! I think this is a really well laid out analysis. I agree with you that the fact that the media seeks out ratings doesn’t necessarily mean they love the tragedy of the mass shootings, but I do think it means they love to utilize mass shootings for their own ratings, which is what Dana was saying and the stance I was taking in the round.

        I’m really glad you were moved by the evidence I was presenting! I spent a ton of time compiling quotes and evidence for this round, so I’m glad it was impactful to your decision. Again, thanks so much for your judgment!

    • 9 months ago

      Good Debate Daniel! At times it felt like we were debating different topics haha, but I guess we'll see what the judges think

      • 9 months ago

        Great Debate. I think you both are wrong lol. My personal feelings that was attached to this debate, and I think would have been more in line with the spirit of the motion is summed up by the band Tool in the song Vicarious.

        Verse 1]
        Eye on the TV, 'cause tragedy thrills me
        Whatever flavor it happens to be like
        "Killed by the husband," "Drowned by the ocean"
        "Shot by his own son," "She used a poison in his tea
        Then kissed him goodbye," that's my kind of story
        It's no fun 'til someone dies

        [Verse 2]
        Don't look at me like I am a monster
        Frown out your one face, but with the other
        Stare like a junkie into the TV
        Stare like a zombie while the mother holds her child
        Watches him die
        Hands to the sky cryin', "Why, oh why?"

        [Chorus]
        Cause I need to watch things die
        From a distance
        Vicariously, I live while the whole world dies
        You all need it too - don't lie

        [Verse 3]
        Why can't we just admit it?
        Why can't we just admit it?
        We won't give pause until the blood is flowin'
        Neither the brave nor bold
        Will write us the story, so
        We won't give pause until the blood is flowin'



        [Chorus]
        I need to watch things die
        From a good safe distance
        Vicariously, I live while the whole world dies
        You all feel the same so...
        Why can't we just admit it?

        [Solo]

        [Bridge]
        Blood like rain fallin' down
        Drum on grave and ground

        [Verse 4]
        Part vampire, part warrior
        Carnivore and voyeur
        Stare at the transmittal
        Sing to the death rattle

        La, la, la, la, la, la, la-lie
        La, la, la, la, la, la, la-lie
        La, la, la, la, la, la, la-lie
        La, la, la, la, la, la, la-lie

        [Verse 5]
        Credulous at best
        Your desire to believe in angels in the hearts of men
        But pull your head on out your hippie haze and give a listen
        Shouldn't have to say it all again

        • 8 months ago

          @alot_like_locke Nice way to make a critique. There is truth there... at least for me, and likely for many. Though, I try to limit my real enjoyment to make believe vionece and mayhem and strictly be sad about the real thing.

      • 9 months ago

        Fascinating topic for the final showdown, and with two of my favorite debaters on Qallout. I'm going to enjoy I think!

        • 9 months ago

          Was gonna vote for Ben but he wants to ban our guns...

        • 8 months ago

          Very good debate gentlemen!

          This is a tough one to decide. I felt like both sides had the truth on their side.

          If we take Pro's understanding of the resolution, and the meaning of Love as it is commonly understood, It is pretty clear that the people who comprise the mainstream news are not so cynical that they actually want more mass shootings to cover. They are in a position where their mission compels them to cover these events.

          On the other hand...

          If we are looking at the inspiration of this resolution, the statements made by Dana Losech and the context in which she made them, we can see that there is a dark side to shootings as a drama that the news media profits from. And Daniel gives us a very concrete way in which the media could actively deter such crimes by an omission of their coverage, aka not giving the perpetrator attention.

          Both sides trade back and forth on many related lines of argument. I thought Pro got the better of points regarding coverage of body counts and victims. I thought Con got the better of arguments reguarding whether individuals are motivated by ratings and profit. (the answer being that they indirectly are in an effort to further their careers and to be loyal to their organization's goals) I felt Ben had the better of the exchange about providing solutions.

          The final Q&A cut to the heart of this debate. It exposed the idea that behind Dana's quotations was a valid and vital critique of the mainstream media's coverage of mass shootings. Whether it's Daniel's specific critique of celebrating shooters, I'm not sure, but he certainly presents it in a compelling way. But at the same time Ben correctly highlights that the use of the word Love is a piece of emotional rhetoric, that instead of offering a rational critique as Daniel does, simply villifies and demonizes the NRA's "opponents."

          Bias talk: My overall sympathies lie with pro's position. I think the media is not so cynical as to love mass shootings. They know that they make money covering violent conflict and they exploit that to some degree, but I think it pains them that this is the case much of the time. Ultimately they try to serve what their audience wants and demands. I also want to see Daniel win because I love the way he argues and he hasn't gotten a win yet.

          FRD: Shit, this is difficult. Both debaters are correct. And both have competing frames, but neither really attacks the other's frame. Both are valid frames. Pro is strict resolution, Con is looking at the context from which it springs. OK, I have my reason... It's a doozy in that I'm really reaching for a justification here...

          Voting Con for this reason: Both debaters give great debate and neither missed a beat. Both made a powerful case and supported it. Both have reasonable frames I find equally compelling. However, If I accept Con's argument, I have a critique of the media that could well lead to less mass shootings if it is taken to heart. If I take Pro's side I essentially accept the status quo of reporting, which may well be what the public deisres, but is probably ultimately bad for everyone. So I've voting Con because I feel the call to action implicit in his case is the best course of policy. The media should take the responsible step of downplaying the identy of the killer, and possibly even their motivations in an effort to reduce the motivation and inspiration for such events.

        • 8 months ago

          Hands down one of the greatest debates I've seen. Both sides did as great a job as possible making their case. Initially I though it was just going to be a quibble over the definition, but it branched out to much more and was a thoroughly entertaining debate. I'm going to lean Con on this for the simple reason of context, which Con pointed out. Dana explained very well what she meant when she said the word love, and in that context Con made a great case. Great debate!

          • 8 months ago

            This was a tough one, but I think you are right, Dan, and the simple proof is that these shootings keep happening. They've gone viral, so to speak. Guns have been around for awhile, but this was never a problem until recent years. This is America's form of terrorism, and it isn't motivated by religion, so what is it motivated by? I believe it must be notoriety. Why else would these people do this? They want fame and notoriety, they want to go out with a bang. Serial killers want to be caught eventually, they want people to see how ingenious they were, how they killed so many people and hid it for so long, and I think this is a similar phenomenon. The shooters are isolated, lonely, angry, twisted people who believe they are nobody and want to be somebody, and this is their way of becoming somebody. Right now gun control is a hot topic, and every shooting fuels America's rage, which makes for more gun policy debates which people love watching. The simplest and most effective way to curb these shootings would be to change the way the media covers them, like you said, not showing the shooter's name or face.

            • 8 months ago

              @elizabethaflood Thanks Floody! That's a great point about how it hasn't been a problem until recent years. It's certainly not entirely the media's fault that mass shootings are on the rise, but it is something that could be contained were the media to be more responsible in how they handle this issue. As long as each individual shooting is inspiring more shootings, the problem is going to grow.

            • 8 months ago

              @elizabethaflood My reflection on it is this. Every culture has a way of expressing that you feel completely alienated from society and are full of rage and/or despair. This has become the American expression of that. In different cultures, you will find different acts of outrage against society (though they often have some reflection of society in them).

              I think a combination of gun culture and the rise of terrorism has given us this mass shooter phenomena. And while it's been around for some time, it's reached a cultural resonance. And the media is part of how it resonates.

              The problem I see is twofold. You need something that can lessen the attraction of this form of expression, and you need to try and address the underlying experience that leads people to this state.

              But even if you do address the root causes, I think some people will always find themselves in this kind of place, feeling utterly alienated. So what form of expression of that could we channel people to?

              Macabre though it might be, we may need to consider some means of expression that we can all find shocking but is ultimately less destructive. And it may be that our culture, which has moved to have less be considered shocking, needs things that are shocking and essentially harmless.

          • 8 months ago

            One of the best movies ever:
            http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2872718/

            • 8 months ago
              • 8 months ago

                @lewisoflime ok now that the judges have gone I'll respond to this.

                So I recognized really early on that this is an "all or nothing" rez. If we interpret Dana's comments as she meant them, it's impossible for Ben to win, because Dana is right. If we interpret Dana's comments as the technical meaning of that one line, it's impossible for me to win. It's why I spent two minutes of my opening speech reading the actual quotes so it was clear what the quotes meant in context.

                Now let me defend my interp here. When Yaz first proposed this topic to us, it was that “The comment made by NRA’s spokeswoman was inappropriate”

                I already knew what her comment was, because I had seen the articles about it and I had listened to her speech to see what she meant. We wound up modifying the wording of the rez, but it was always supposed to be whether or not what Dana said was accurate or not. It wasn't limited to the technical wording of that one line, it was whether or not her comments were accurate, and her comments in context are accurate.

                What Ben is responding to is one specific line "The media loves mass shootings" as opposed to the full quote, or the actual meaning of what that line was saying. Dana was using a colloquial to say "the media utilizes mass shootings for their own good". If we want to get grammatical, the real word to focus on to understand her context would be "media". She's not actually referring to individuals in the media as much as the overall structure that allows for media coverage to report the way it does. She also phrased it in a way that is intentionally confrontational, which is part of why I didn't want to defend the idea that her comments were "appropriate" just that they were "accurate". Because when you understand her point, it's really clear that her point is accurate.

                The thing that really made me certain I was right was that even in her quote, she specifically says she's not saying that the media loves the tragedy. In the NRA video they released afterward, they specifically say they are not saying individuals love the event, but that the media as a whole utilizes these events for their ratings when they shouldn't. I 100% agree with those statements, as does all the evidence. That's why I collected all those studies, because the real question of the round is "does the media intentionally dramatize mass shootings in an irresponsible way to attract ratings". If yes, then I win.

                Also, I'm really glad I didn't debate you on this topic, because you would have spent 10 minutes hammering your interp, which wouldn't have left me any time to provide all the quotes and studies that led the judges to my side. I probably could win this on a 100% definitions debate, but I'd have been at a disadvantage in that debate.

              • 8 months ago
            • 8 months ago

              I actually think Joseph hits this one right on the nose TBH

              • 8 months ago

                Pardon me if this is an exercise in utter point-missing, but it's kind of killing me:

                Why is the resolution phrased as a "not?" Why isn't it "The Mainstream Media Loves Mass Shootings" with @sharkb8 on the Pro and @benmouse42 on the Con?

                • 8 months ago

                  @citizenthom actually its cuz the original topic was “Dana Loesch’s comments were inaccurate” and then we phrased it this way.

                • 8 months ago

                  @sharkb8 was it? The topic suggestion from the beginning was the msm loves mass shootings was inaccurate...

                • 8 months ago

                  @benmouse42 when Yaz first suggested it to us he said “The comment made by NRA’s spokeswoman was inappropriate”

                  We then modified the language, but it was always that the Pro side was gonna say Dana’s comments were wrong and Con would say they were right.

                  Edit: oh this makes a lot of sense actually. From the beginning I’ve been addressing this topic according to what Dana Loesch meant. But you thought it was just generically asking if the mainstream media love mass shootings, regardless of the context of what she meant. That’s why we had different interps of the rez.

                • 8 months ago

                  @sharkb8 yer I guess if I thought the topic was "the media profits from mass shootings " I would have gone with that wording

              • 8 months ago

                @gigi do we have another judge (or two) coming?

              • 8 months ago