I am so sick of it. Every time some homicidal maniac does maniacal homicide, the media falls all over themselves trying to implicate others in the crime.
I am not referring to the the reflexive political posturing in which political opponents try to implicate each other in the doing of dastardly things.
I mean the implication of ordinary people. Why do we always seek other people to blame?
When that idiot shot up the movie theater, within hours headlines implicated a psychiatrist loudly touting a reprimand received long ago as some sort of suspected proof of malfeasance. Her reputation sufficiently destroyed, time to move on to other targets. Then it turns out that she contacted the University police in advance of the rampage. Well, the University must be to blame…and so on.
Again, after the Sikh Temple shooting, headlines tout that the murderer is an ex-Army vet. Aha!!! Proof that the army manufactures psychos in Iraq and Afghanistan!! Except it turns out he joined in ’92 and was dishonorably discharged in ’98. No Iraq, no Afghanistan, and the Army threw him out.
Ok. Next target. It turns out the Feds looked into him. They should have known!!!
I just do not understand this willingness to drag people’s reputations through the mud based on no evidence. Is it just to keep the story alive?
The guy who pulled the trigger is to blame. If someone else might have reasonably stopped it, that will come out in the end. Why the rush to reputation destroying judgment?
Maybe having somebody other than a cold-blooded psycho to blame is easier for us to understand. We can understand negligence and incompetence much easier than we can the mass-murdering impulse.
But when the media destroys people’s reputations for the sake of a few hours of news cycle, they embody the same negligence and incompetence they desperately seek to point out in others.
When you risk other’s reputations lightly, you earn yours.