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image is everything ... unfortunately


A shock jock gets fired for making a stupid racist joke, but NBC has seen fit to give the VT killer the publicity he wanted. I just heard some of the family members of his victims cancelled their appearances on the Today show. I hope there is an appropriate backlash, although I know that there is a ghoulish to rubberneck at the scene of an accident.

NBC’s excuse for showing the rantings and images of a mass murderer was that it was “as close as we can get into the mind of a killer.”

I disagree.

The “multi-media manifesto” was an instrument of propaganda, simply the twisted fantasies of an apparantly sick deranged hateful cold-blooded piece of human refuse. He ended his pathetic life and 32 other innocent lives to create the persona and legacy he craved and, in his own mind, live on as an inspiration to others like himself. He was unable to take responsibility for his own failures and, as so often is the case today, blamed everyone but himself. I do wonder what effect the barrage of violence and venom, the demonization of certain segments of society that we see and hear on a daily basis, had on his disturbed mind.

I'm sure the stories will surface about how he was picked on and laughed at and how this was the reason he did what he did. Some will no doubt sympathize with him and stories of the abuse he endured will run rampant. I'm sure his bizarre behavior over the last few years was seen by many of the mental professionals who dealt with him as a cry for help.

Fed by a society that excuses twisted behavior, he was, in my opinion, simply a cowardly disturbed and dangerous individual who was incapable of adjusting to civilized society. Modern psychiatry has probably thrown out such terms but, as a layman, I can only surmise that he was probably a paranoid schizophrenic with a persecution complex and severe low self-esteem. It is unconscionable that he be declared to be mentally ill in 2005, a danger to himself and others, and be allowed to attend classes when apparently everyone who saw him knew he was severely disturbed.

There are many lonely, disaffected, alienated young persons in the world with mental disorders and a desire to get attention who will no doubt take inspiration from the images that are being broadcast. Too bad there are no images of him with his hat pulled down over his eyes, whispering one word comments, taking pictures of girls in his classes with his cell-phone camera, salivating, no doubt, over the images of violence and rage in popular movies and news clips and stories about Columbine and 9-11.

I have a feeling there will be a lot NBC and others will choose not to tell us. Perhaps tops on the list is the “puzzling” use of the name Ismail Ax, found written on his arm and two other places to my knowledge. Ismail or Ishmael, of course, was the son of Abraham by a concubine, and you can easily check up on the obvious significance yourself. It is we that are the ones responsible, the story will be repeated, and those who hate this country will hold his name in high regard. I'm sure he'd be proud, and I’m sure that the minds of copycats are spinning with every replay of these images and words.

No, I still believe in the First Amendment. However, news outlets regularly censor themselves, as in the case of the brutal beheadings of innocent Americans and others like Nick Berg, Daniel Pearl, and, I’d imagine, probably certain of the VT killer’s references that might “offend” or create backlashes against certain groups. On the other hand, we've heard just about enough demonization of hard-working people, Christians, the rich, morality itself ... targets the killer no doubt sought to help bring down. But look, NBC ... when are you going to tell the truth? It is we, with all our flaws and failings, still the law-abiding hard-working citizens of this great country, that have been and continue to be under assault from the forces of evil and hate.

I can only imagine what’s ahead. I am not optimistic. I do hope NBC will be happy with their ratings spike and their "thoughtful" actions. Freedom of the press you know.

Oh, and thanks so much, NBC, for protecting us from "insensitivity" and those who would "coarsen the culture".


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 19th, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC)
something about your posts reminds me of Rush Limbaugh
Apr. 19th, 2007 08:11 pm (UTC)
You mean the posts I've been writing in the last month about current events and the media, I suppose. You know Kelly, I've spent considerable time trying to make people feel good, with mixed results, and am currently indulging myself in discussing some of the worldly things of concern to me.

Recent events have merely awakened interests in subjects I explored in college when I was a moderate-liberal democrat, political scientist grad student, and student editor - media bias, party politics, misinformation, public opinion, etc. I always attempted to delve into the core of issues, and not simply to repeat the same tired old cliches and party lines. Without considering all sides of an issue, one is not truly educated and informed.

Do you listen to Limbaugh? I'm not a Rush fan myself, but confess to be a news junkie, and someone who has a love for objectivity, intellectual honesty, and the search for all things that are real. I rarely discuss issues with friends although we occasionally engage in stimulating dialog. Some of what is written here reflects that. I occasionally resort to tongue-in-cheek but, basically, try to be serious about subjects I take on.

Thanks for the observation.

Apr. 19th, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC)
I agree
I was just saying the other day that I think the constitution needs to be re-written for 2007.
Apr. 19th, 2007 11:03 pm (UTC)
Re: I agree
Can you imagine what the response would be if an American student living in a foreign country had done something like this? I don't have all the answers, but at least I have the sense to ask the right questions. The way this is being spun is really mind-boggling.
Apr. 19th, 2007 11:15 pm (UTC)
I think I recall correctly that the Unabomber, Ted Kaczinski, had demanded that his manifesto-screed be published as a condition of him turning himself in and/or admitting his crimes, and that the media outlets denied him that request, but, of course, that was a time just before the internet information explosion, and the dominant media outlets didn't feel quite so threatened at losing their captive audience.
Apr. 19th, 2007 11:27 pm (UTC)
The ignoring of the "puzzling" Ismail Ax reference and the two "plays" that were posted on the internet astounds me. While the focus has been on gun control, how he was supposedly "teased", compassion, and gratuitous images, these clues to his mind set are apparantly either too controversial, or the media experts too dense to realize what they might signify. As an English professor, you may or not have picked up on them. If not, think "McBeef" in the context of a work of The Bard, as well as another of his plays involving a famous son with father issues. People are apparantly happy with their heads in the sand.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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