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Why does the media call the Las Vegas mass shooting the worst?

Medics treat the wounded as Las Vegas police respond during an active shooter situation on the Las Vegas Stirp in Las Vegas Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Multiple victims were being transported to hospitals after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

James wanted to know why the media calls the Las Vegas massacre "the most deadly mass shooting in U.S. history."

He complained that the media refuses to acknowledge all the minority murders that have happened in the country.

I always make it a point in stories I'm writing or reading on-air to call the Las Vegas massacre the most deadly in “modern” American history.

That’s because there have been more deadly massacres in our nation's history, including the mass murder of Native Americans and African Americans.

For example, in 1873, during Reconstruction in Louisiana, a group of white people killed 153 African Americans at a courthouse.

During the Civil War, Confederate soldiers in Tennessee slaughtered nearly 300 African American soldiers who had fought for the Union, and U.S. troops killed as many as 200 Native Americans in 1850 on an island in Clear Lake, California.

But we bring viewers a daily newscast, not a history program.

You have to go back to the 19th century to find a mass shooting that has a death toll similar to Las Vegas. That's why I use phrases like “modern American history" or “in recent U.S. history.”

Journalists try to keep in mind the time frame and the kind of killers involved in the nation's mass killings.

The modern era of mass killings really began a little more than a half-century ago in 1966 when a lone gunman opened fire on people below from the tower at the University of Texas in Austin. He killed 13 people and wounded 43 others before police killed him.

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