Wednesday, April 18, 2007

You got the wrong guy!

I would like to amplify my criticism of the press and their propensity to turn every tragedy into a sideshow feeding frenzy...

The bodies of the victims shot in cold blood were hardly cold themselves before the accusations began to fly. The fickle fingers of FOX et al. weren't being pointed at the the culprit (identified already in earliest reports as "a Asian male") but instead at the police and university officials who failed to shut down the entire 40,000 member college community after the initial incident. "Parents Demand Firing" screamed the headline. (Faux News found a grieving mother and father willing to call for heads to roll, so the headline is infact truthy.) All the rest of the networks joined in the criticism.

When the identity of the killer became known on Day 2, the media couldn't even take the time to agree on just how to mispronounce his name before cranking up the in depth speculation machine. Cho Seung-Hui. Or is it Jo Song-We? Chow Sung-He? Nevermind the fact that Koreans tend to reverse first and last names, showing that the news models really had no idea who they were theorizing about. The bell tolls now for Pop-Psy 101.

It's ironic that the 24 hour news cycle brings us now little more than a voyeuristic recycling of other people's feelings and the senseless specualtion ad nauseum of "experts" on the payrolls of corporate media. I recall a recent gym visit where FOX and CNN were both staked out with video cameras rolling in the Bahamas, waiting for the Danielynn Smith Gabor Birkhead Stern paternity results. Time stretched on and the talking head just gabbed and gabbed. Finally, CNN had to break for a commercial. Seconds late the baby daddy emerged and declared live on TV (except for CNN), "I told you so!" It wasn't Zha Zha's husband. This i had to learn Live? Meh...

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