Friday, April 20, 2007

A Graduate Takes on the Media and VTech

From the New York Times' student journalist blog:

There has been some debate on campus about whether or not anything can be done to prevent future school shootings....As students, there is only so much we can do for one another’s psychological well-being....We need to forgive ourselves for the things we can’t control and take responsibility for those we can.We need to forgive ourselves for the things we can’t control and take responsibility for those we can.

More tangible actions can be taken, too. I realized this Wednesday night when I went online to watch Seung-Hui Cho’s videotaped confession, or what has been deemed by many media outlets “the gunman’s manifesto.” (I am sure Cho would be pleased with that title.)

I found the link to the Internet broadcast, braced myself and clicked “play.” At first I was startled by the high production quality of Seung-Hui Cho’s videotape. The sound and graphics seemed professional, and it troubled me that he had invested so much effort in glorifying his hateful announcement. When I finally realized what I was watching, I was even more disturbed.

It was a Bank of America commercial.

I tried to fast forward, but couldn’t. For 30 seconds before Seung-Hui Cho’s violent drama faded in, I was forced to watch a bunch of people saying no to unfair mortgage rates. I, too, would like to take this opportunity to say no. The deadliest school shooting in our nation’s history should not be a means of making money. For my own sanity, I will suspend logic and believe that money was not a factor in NBC’s decision to fulfill a murderer’s dying wish.

What if the video had been withheld? What would have been lost? Perhaps American audiences would not know the “whole truth” behind Monday’s events. Truth is one of those noble causes we rightly worship. But along with “the whole truth,” a pretty sick marketplace has been exposed to the world. This marketplace is predicated on violence in American schools....

A thoughtful, rational and sincere voice. Worth reading in full.

No comments: