All day long I’ve been hearing about the Arizona suicide guy, and what a terrible thing it was for Fox viewers to have witnessed a real suicide on live TV, and how a mortified Shepard Smith profusely apologized for exposing viewers to such horror. But viewers only saw a long-lens helicopter shot of a guy apparently shooting himself in the noggin and then pitching forward, but with no evident gore or cranial blowout of any kind.
For all the camera was able to see it could have been a kid shooting himself with a plastic toy gun. It was nothing.
The bottom line is that TV news stations love entertaining viewers with live car chases, and viewers are always drawn to this crap as long as it’s shown in PG form. Obviously the guy who shot himself injected an ugly human reality into a form of entertainment that most people regard on the same level as Daytona stock-car racing or the Keeping Up With The Kardashians. In movie rating terms he took things into a PG-13 realm, at most. If we had seen blood or brain matter or fluids of any kind, it would have been R rated…but we saw nothing except a guy performing a suicide pantomine.
So what was the big deal? TV stations and viewers love these stupid, low-rent animal spectacles as long as the helicopter camera is four or five hundred feet in the air and those little stick figures and thimble-sized sedans and SUVs and cop cars are seen as video-game abstractions and no real-life pain or shock or anguish is shown. This rule was broken when the guy shot himself…whoops! We just like the fun action stuff but not the sad or horrid or appalling facts behind these chases! Could you guys please cut to a commercial?
News flash: There are no car chases involving cops that don’t contain some kind of sad or horrid or appalling aspect as the ones being chased are almost always unstable, low-rent, substance-abusing, law-defying types. But cameras never take in these aspects when they’re several hundred feet above and not capturing any sound.