Comparison #3- Shooter- Crazy-Depressed-Mental or Sane

Paulo Coelho


One of the most talked about news reports this week is the shooting that took place at Fort Hood in Killen, Texas. Unfortunately, this tragic situation was a case of friendly fire. Specialist Ivan Lopez, was being “evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder” in the weeks prior to the incident. I read about this story on two major and reputable news broadcasting websites, and Both article demonstrate extremely contrasting views on the issue while holding similar facts.

I begin by comparing the titles of each article, both of which bluntly voice their opinion. CNN:“Fort Hood shooter was Iraq vet being treated for mental health issues” (CNN, 2014) as you can see this is very objective and directly portrays Lopez as a mental patient destined to institutionalized. On the other hand, the New York Times’ title says: “Fort Hood Gunman Was Being Treated for Depression”(NYT, 2014). Both titles are very contrasting, of which define the incident in a similar way but place different emotional perception into it.

First, the CNN article repeatedly references the mental state of the shooter saying things like, the specialist was undergoing “treatment for mental health issues” (CNN, 2014). This compared to the New York Times article, which advocated tremendously the effects of fighting the war in Iraq. Further, The New York Times refers to his mental state as a case of “post traumatic stress disorder” (NYT, 2014). I see this as a better way of presenting the data found regarding Lopez. We must take into account that he did in fact fight in a violent war, this which may have caused him to open fire on “his own”(CNN,2014). The CNN article, as you can see continues to use language that will shape the shooter into a much worse person then he already is being seen as. I am not saying what he did was ok, but we must not exclude all other factors leading to this incident. Moreover, although the CNN article provides a bias slur into their article, they do however clearly state all of the information regarding the case. This includes Lopez’s’ family, specification on the weapon as well as his work, medical and combat history.

Both articles are extremely informational, but it is up to the reader to pick out the real evidence rather then the reporter’s interpretation. CNN did however have more thorough and organize information as compared to that of The New York Times. This comparison has made me realize to take extreme caution when reading articles about such controversial and upcoming news stories, as they can be extremely bias.