More Madness in the World Today Than the Paris Massacre

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Eight days into the new year, and I was struggling with a topic for the first post of 2015.  Then I woke up to read the report in the Chicago Tribune about the terrorist attack at a Paris magazine office that left 12 people dead — magazine staff and two police officers.

The current web site masthead of the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo.

The current web site masthead of the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo.

The front-page report described a “military-style, methodical killing” at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a periodical that satirized politics, culture and religion.  It was the latter — commentary and cartoons on the Muslim faith — that apparently drove three men to madness.

The Tribune featured two photos that summed up the “before” and “after” of this tragedy: A gathering of Parisians mourning the brutal attack, and a still photo of footage of the alleged murderers, brandishing rifles as they fled in a black sedan.

As I leafed through the Tribune Section 1, the main news content, I found another story — a report of an even more gruesome and deadly act. On page 11, I read a report of how a vehicle loaded with bombs was detonated near a police academy in the city of Sanaa, Yemen.

The story said the bomb killed “at least 35 people, injuring dozens of

Sanaa, Yemen.

Sanaa, Yemen.

others and leaving a trial of mangled bodies and twisted wreckage.” The accompanying image shows an obviously distraught man near the scene, his hand to his head, flanked by two nearby authorities.

The similarities:

  • Both mass murders reportedly were the result of Muslim extremists.
  • Both were planned executions.
  • Both took place in capital cities.

The differences:

  • One took place in one of the great capitals of the Western world.
  • One took place in an ancient city on the Arabian peninsula.

The question I have is why does the murder of a dozen people in Paris “rank,” at least in terms of news coverage, above the murder and maiming of 35 people in Sanaa?