The media says, "Jump." And the public responds in unison, "How high?"
"As high as you ever have jumped before, except maybe after 9/11, or the Kennedy assassination."
Of course, when there is news, it should be reported. Today it is reported sensationally, as entertainment. Is it meant to inform, or induce?
Which came first, the media's obsession with violence, or the public demand for violence? In the 1990's as violent crime in America dropped, the media filled more and more time slots with stories about violence.
By the end of the 90's the public was clamoring for the government to do something about what they assumed was a rising trend in violent crime.
Was that orchestrated? The government certainly benefits from a hysterical public begging them to help. It certainly gives the government an important role in the daily life of an average citizen. But this alone doesn't mean that it was a conspiracy. Acknowledging that the government benefitted from the media's overreporting of crime is not the same as suggesting the government actively pushed the media to do so.
But why not wonder? Exercise those thought processes.
It is a known fact that thousands of journalists were at one time on the payroll of the CIA. It was called Operation Mockingbird, and agents would place false stories in publications like the New York Times, and Time.
So when it comes to the case of the fake 90's crime wave, it makes sense to wonder if a similar program still exists. The courts have ruled that FBI agents can legally impersonate journalists in the course of an investigation.
Do we need to discover the actual program in order to speculate? Well, I certainly wouldn't say that it is happening without knowing for sure. But we can acknowledge a historical fact and draw a parallel between that and a similar contemporary trend. In such circumstances, it makes sense to be skeptical.
Either way, we shouldn't fall prey to the media's manipulations about such things, regardless of the catalyst. So why not remind people that in the past, lies from the government shaped public opinion?