Description: Viral quote / Online hoax
Circulating since: Dec. 2012
Status: Falsely attributed to Morgan Freeman
As posted on Facebook, Dec. 17, 2012:
TURN OFF THE NEWS.......
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."
Analysis: Morgan Freeman has denied making the above statements, which apparently originated as a Facebook status update by a non-celebrity user which was shared under false pretenses and went viral within a day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings on Dec. 14, 2012. Freeman's publicist, Stan Rosenfield, says the actor has made no public statements about the tragedy to date, according to TheWrap.com.
More dubious quotes:
• Ben Stein's Christmas Confessions
• Bill Cosby: "I'm 76 and I'm Tired"
• Hunter Thompson: "Where Thieves and Pimps Run Free"
• Andy Rooney on Prayer
• Robin Williams' Peace Plan
Sources and further reading:
Morgan Freeman Blames Media for Recent Shootings? Not So Fast...
E! Online, 16 December 2012
Morgan Freeman Denies Making Statement About School Shooting
Reuters, 17 December 2012
Debunking Morgan Freeman's Viral Newtown Quotes
Atlanticwire.com, 17 December 2012
Last updated 12/17/12