One network was sent a package of images and audio...and one network had the ability to make it available only to family--to just provide a description to the public, instead of creating a posthumous forum for a dead murderer, perhaps creating future murderers out of angry desperate young people who will now see an opportunity for further glory following a heinous crime.
No, not "perhaps." It WILL happen.
NBC, you had a chance to do something no other network has had a chance to---to choose NOT to provide a criminal with a forum for glory. It was mailed only to you. You had an unprecedented power.
But you missed or turned away from that opportunity. Had you said "We have chosen to take a stand against violence and not distribute the imagery" you would have created history in media, and perhaps changed the course of our culture. Suppressing this one package would not have crippled the future of media, nor shackled freedom of speech. It might, however, have saved lives.
The true terrorism of this attack was not in the killings--which were heinous enough--but in the package sent. We released the true terrorism ourselves by distributing its contents. It was bad enough that someone might think: "People will talk about me after I die." Now we have assured them they can speak for THEMSELVES after they die, in their own words, with their own pictures, to an international audience. They no longer have to worry that their direct message may be corrupted through the interpretation of others. We have moved beyond the suicide note. We have taught future crippled, angry, lost youngsters how to become true American terrorists.
Opportunity...gone. I suppose it was too much to hope that any media outlet would make such a difficult decision.
And we wonder why the young, frustrated, and ill---kill.
We are a culture that not only slows down on the highway to view accidents, but stops dead in the roadway to watch, causing more accidents all around us.