Making a Star Out of a Pathetic Killer

Yesterday’s backlash against the over-exposure of the Virginia tech killer has had an amazing effect. Last night’s TV news and the morning shows today have been virtually wiped clean of his video "manifesto" after saturation airings for the prior 24 hours.

I wasn’t sure what to make of all this until I walked into a gas station convenience store yesterday afternoon to buy a newspaper. The entire section "above the fold" of the Detroit News was devoted to a photo of a snarling Cho Seung-Hui, arms raised out, each hand clutching the guns he would use in his bloody rampage. A huge banner headline, in red, proclaimed "KILLER RANTS."

As I flipped the newspaper onto the counter and reached into my pocket for change to pay for it, the young convenience store worker glanced down at the paper and grinned. "Have you seen his video?" the clerked asked with a creepy enthusiasm. I just grunted, "yeah," and left, but later I wished I’d asked him what he thought of all this attention paid to a sad, pathetic loser who has done nothing remarkable except kill.

Today, several of our area schools are closed because of threats, notes left in bathrooms saying "Virginia Tech Comes Here Tomorrow"’ and the like.

- Jon Harmon


  1. Beaman says:

    I was surprised and somewhat disgusted that the media filled their pages and airwaves with the killer’s manifesto. Big bucks transcend sympathy for the families and those involved.
    Terribly sad event.

  2. Mihaela Lica says:

    Hi Jon,
    For making me think, for being a force fo good and for being Jon, I’ve awarded you yesterday the “thinking blogger” award. :) Don’t change, Jon! You are a real inspiration.

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