Sunday, April 22, 2007

NBC News and Seung-Hui Cho

This is off topic, but it was the biggest story of the week, and the criticism of NBC News for running video of the Virginia Tech mass murderer bothered me. This is my take:

We created Seung-Hui Cho. We created the mental health system that allowed a madman to walk the streets. We enacted the system of gun control laws that allowed a crazy person to buy guns. I could go on. Somehow we've taught parents to believe whatever ails their kids will be fixed once they're shipped off to college, when an antisocial nut like Cho should have been kept home and given help.

I was offended when I heard a critic say this morning on CNN's Reliable Sources that we learned nothing from NBC showing the video of Cho. Who the hell is he to tell me what I will or won't get out of a bit of film? Show me and let me decide. I think NBC News showed good restraint, airing only a fraction of the material they possessed.

We created Cho, and maybe, before we're moved to fix those things that enabled him, we have to look into his eyes and see what his victims saw as he pulled the trigger. We are a society that would rather have its mistakes swept under the rug, in the name of protecting the victims or protecting our children. As a result we don't face up to our problems, and we'll rehash these same arguments the next time a psycho goes nuts with guns. I applaud NBC News, and I hope the current criticism won't make our news media timid. Now let's do something about Cho.


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