By Todd Cunningham
Turns out Morgan Freeman hasn't spoken his mind on the school shootings in Newtown, Conn.
Having played all manner of heavyweights -- even God -- in his career, Freeman commands attention, and we he speaks out, people tend to listen. So Saturday, when a statement blaming the media for sensationalizing the shootings was attributed to the respected actor, it quickly became a Facebook and Internet sensation.
But he never made or posted any statement, his publicist Stan Rosenfield told TheWrap Sunday. He said the actor's camp was trying to determine the origin of the hoax statement.
"It's because of the way the media reports it," the phony statement read in part. "Turn on the news and see 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 basement 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."
The statement also takes CNN to task over its use of the phrase "body count" in relation to the Newtown shootings and said the news coverage would incite more killings.
"So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or maternity ward next."
Reddit users pointed to long Facebook post by "Mark" of Vancouver that is identical to Freeman's "statement," according to the Inquisitor. "Mark" later commented on his own post, "If I know the Internet, someone will attribute the quote to Morgan Freeman or Betty White and it'll go viral."
Piano - I think the point is every story or newsast will make sure to mention the shooter by name as well as plaster his picture everywhere. The true focal point needs to always be those that were taken from family and friends.