"A media narrative of a mass shooting generates quasi-religious loyalty for three main reasons. First, it gives people what they want: a patsy and moral reassurance. Once the patsy is identified and either killed or captured, the narrative then acts as a form of catharsis by providing closure, commiseration and reassurance. People accept it because they want to.
"Second, a media narrative is championed by political interests that 'decouple' the narrative from its putative cause so that it takes on a life of its own. The narrative then becomes its own justification. The shooting, once a horrific crime, becomes a de facto positive event, an act of sacred violence that justifies the existence of the political crusade.
"Third, loyalty is magnified when converts, attracted by the political crusade, self-identify with its black-and-white morality and help stifle dissent. Typical is the resort to tired, risible epithets like 'conspiracy theory,' 'Putin apologist,' 'Russian bot,' and the caricaturing of critics as right-wing kooks and disinformants."
Is Greg Felton right? In this interview we agree on some things and argue heatedly about others. Listen and make up your own mind!