Thursday, April 19, 2007


. . . that the maniac we'll forever know as Cho was a miserable, suicidal, self-loathing lost soul. Who felt that half the world was out to get him, and the other half ignored him. And like many lost souls, he wished he could do something that would cause the world to know him: to understand his pain, to know his name, to remember him.

And in the irony of ironies, he's succeeded in that regard beyond his wildest expectations. I'm not saying the networks shouldn't have run the videos and showed the pictures, etc. But the fact remains, they're doing for this lunatic exactly what he'd hoped for in the depths of his sickest fantasies. Like Charles Whitman, like Idi Amin, like Adolph Hitler, a lonely, deranged individual has earned eternal notoriety by committing the most depraved acts imaginable.

We'd like to snicker at his call to "all my children," but deep down we know there are others like him in the world. Perhaps they've now heard the clarion call. Perhaps they now know there is a way to be noticed, to be heard.

I won't say I'm scared or even very worried, but I've never feared copycat crimes as much as I do now.

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Blogger Marked Hoosier said...

I heard I think the president of NBC on MSNBC last night, and remember him saying that the news folks "sat on" all the stuff in that package for two hours... while they pondered if they should show it or not.

Frankly, I call Bull S**t. There was no way such a big sensationalist story like the stuff in that package was not going to air.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

I call Bull S**t.

Count me in with you on that one, Marked.

(Except, I say "shit," not "s**t." I'm bad in that way.)

7:54 AM  
Blogger fridge said...

agreed. There would have been a bidding war, were it an open market.

11:20 AM  
Blogger George said...

Two whole hours--what restraint! My guess is that meant they got it at 3 pm and wanted to wait until 5 pm for biger impact.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Mort said...

The media whores are short stroking this one all over the place. You can't keep 'em out on something like this, even if you wanted. Obviously VT wanted as much press coverage as they could get, because they made no effort to keep those hounds at bay.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous wfta said...

I am not (only) playing devil’s advocate here, but:
1. People, the public, want to know what motivates or informs someone who does the unthinkable.
2. The story is going to break with or without me (the network / publication.) Do I want to be second guessed by the stockholders?

In addition to the rationalizations above:
1. Knowing the symptoms of a heart attack, we go to the E.R. when the angina strikes. This kid did not live in a vacuum. People saw symptoms but no one connected it to a thirty-two murder disease.
2. Does anybody think the coverage of Abu Ghraib has or will lead to an upswing in copycat torture?

Look on the bright side. Maybe it will take Anna Nicole out of the news cycle.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous wfta said...

Okay, the line about Anna Nicole was uncalled for, but while we are on the subject of violence, two items:

I am having a hard time imagining how this guy managed to kill thirty people with two hand gun and one of those a .22. Up close and personal, the 9mm would do a lot of damage. I have very limited experience with firing pistols, but to hit something more than a few feet away, you have to take pretty careful aim. To fatally shoot thirty in fairly short order is phenomenal shooting. I am not trying to compliment this guy, but this is a Sergeant York-Medal of Honor caliber performance.

I was thinking about Iraq yesterday, when it struck me how quickly ordinary people develop the capability to inflict unspeakable cruelty and death on their neighbors: Spain, Rwanda, the Balkans, Ireland, Cambodia, Iraq. I’m sure the list goes on and on. People go for decades, generations, tolerating, living next to, marrying people of other religions and ethnicities. Then in a flash almost, they start slaughtering each other. It is remarkable to me. It seems subhuman.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Comandante Agí said...

I just heard that NBC's ratings went through the roof. That alone explains their decision to air this crap.

11:28 PM  
Blogger Mike said...


Does anybody think the coverage of Abu Ghraib has or will lead to an upswing in copycat torture?

I'm not sure that analogy hold, WTFA. Abu Ghraib was a manifestation of American policy, and all citizens have the right, and the need, to know what's done in their name.

A lunatic going on a killing spree? Everyone has the right to know, but the need's hardly on the same level.

Lot's to learn from Abu Ghraid; nothing to learn from Cho.

And I was thinking the same as you re the effectiveness of his rampage. He hatched a plan, and executed it with stunning discipline and "skill." That part, alone, is as disturbing as everything else.

7:01 AM  
Anonymous wfta said...

I have to admit that I did not and still have not seen the video. Maybe copycatting is a valid concern. I hear the term often enough, but I wonder if people who commit these acts would not have reached the same bad idea independently. The “fact” that someone had shot and killed thirty-two people on a college campus was already in the public domain and available to any unstable, potential copycats. I have doubts as to whether the “marketing” will provide much “pull-through” as they call it in retail.

Mostly I just come down on the side that opposes censorship, either imposed or voluntary. Once we decide some censorship is okay, whom do we anoint to decide what and how much? The news is what it is. The “media” have been popular whipping boys for a long time and I doubt that will change any time soon.

Have a great weekend

10:54 AM  
Blogger Mr Furious said...

My take? Once they realized they had to hand the stuff over to the FBI, they had only one shot at "exclusive"...

It was too soon.

12:58 AM  
Blogger Mike said...


I'm also against censorship. I certainly wouldn't wanna see the networks "prevented" from airing the video, especially since Cho sent it to one of them. It's their video. I'm not even saying they shouldn't have shown it. I'm just wondering if they thought about the fact that weren't only sensationalizing, but that they gave this kiler his wish.

Furious - Sounds right.

7:10 AM  

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