Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Virigina Tech

I didn't want to write anything on this subject until the media furore had died down. In fact I didn'treally want to write anything on this subject at all, I really didn't think I had anything to add to the discourse and there were already enough people out there with nothing to say yet saying it way.

But then I had an interview yesterday where they asked me, in a fairly general way, what I thought. I don't think I explained myself very well; I don't think I had it completely clear in my own mind then but figured it out later. What I told them was that I thought the coverage of the killer's "media package" was handled very badly. I said that it was not in the public interest to show it and and amounted to nothing more than quenching the public's macabre voyeuristic lust (i wasn't quite so eloquent at the time). The argument, which has been put forward, for showing the footage, was that it enables us to get inside the mind of a serial killler and understand why he did these horrific things. I said I didn't buy that.Where I failed yesterday, was in explaiining why I thought this, and producing some evidence to support my opinion.

What I should have said was that the value of showing his video, reading his letter and reproducing his photos, should be measured by the value of the commentary and analysis that followed. Absolute zero. if you look back on the newspapers and remember the tv news coverage of last week, can you see anyone anywhere saying anything other than: "He was a nutjob", "total whacko", "what a faaaakin' lunatic". No, because it wasn't said. Because that's exactly what he was. We learned nothing form any of this and therefore the public interest argument crumbles.

I didn't watch any of that by the way. Yeah, I'm standing on some high ground.

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