Tuesday, April 17, 2007

V Tech

The full horror of the Virginia Tech massacre hasn't hit me yet. I'm sure it will when the breathless survivor stories are told, and we know more about the gunman. Right now I'm too busy being disgusted by the media coverage, which included custom graphics and theme music before the bodies were counted.

Brian Williams was particularly appalling on the NBC Nightly News last night, with his fawning interviews of students and paramedics. "Virgina Tech will always be known as the site of this horrible massacre" said Williams, thus making sure the Virginia Tech will always be knows as the site of this horrible massacre.

It also bothers me that violent death by crazed gunmen happens everyday in Baghdad, but doesn't warrant a tenth of the US media coverage. Thirty-two dead students is "Another bloody day in Baghdad" the talking heads will tell us, then quickly move on to more Panda videos, or a story about Prince Harry's jilted girlfriend.

ABC News shows off its math skills.
The number of dead is almost twice as high as the previous record for a mass shooting on an American college campus. That took place at the University of Texas at Austin on Aug. 1, 1966, when a gunman named Charles Whitman opened fire from the 28th floor of a campus tower. Whitman killed 16 and injured 31.
Actually, 32 is exactly twice as many as 16. Is ABC hedging on whether to count the shooter among the dead? Strange.

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