NBC News’ Brian Williams breathlessly resurrected a killer before our eyes last night in the visceral perversion of airing the pornographic rantings of a madman — under the guise of news and beneath the veil of human contempt — thus guaranteeing a shooter’s immortality while completely burying the names and the accomplishments of the real and undeserved dead.
I have purposely avoided using the Virginia Tech shooter’s name on this blog because I don’t want to give him any sort of new life in his deathly deeds, but NBC’s broadcast of a killer’s rantings is sickening and the fact that NBC plastered their logo all over his images for publication forges a disgusting connection — “He’s all ours!” — between a killer and media news whores who obviously adore him with 24/7 television and internet coverage.
In the image below, the NBC News logo has been positioned — just so — in order to semiotically suggest the killer is bowing down and hailing praise on the NBC News logo.
I think there is something wrong in the veneration of a killer. Do we, as a society, have a need to viscerally view 45 images, read 23 pages of rantings and witness 25 minutes of hate video from a mass murderer?
If so, for what purpose? Are we trying to understand the killer?
Or are we cruelly seeking entertainment in the murders of 32 students? How can the propagation of Hate Speech be considered news? Should there be a limit on what is considered news-for-profit and materials that should only belong to the eyes of the FBI and police investigators?
Why do we make stars out of murderers? Only the most effective murderers get this kind of coverage: Manson, Bundy, Gein, Berkowitz and the rest of murderer’s row are all unwillingly ingrained into our American consciousness.
In order to separate NBC news from any taint from a murderer’s hand — I’ve never understood the psychic appeal of Brian Williams as a news anchor; I’ve never seen a more repressive and haughty presentation and I now understand why the avuncular and touching Charles Gibson at ABC News is gaining quick ground on Williams in the ratings for the evening news — NBC News president Steve Capus just said on MSNBC the reason NBC News is salaciously publishing the rantings of a dead tormentor was to “take us inside the mind of a killer.”
Why NBC News feels that is an important path for us to take is one that damns them into the same grave as the shooter — but, then again — NBC news has become “The Pedophile Network” where they provide us ongoing and neverending coverage of pedophiles trying to hook up with 13-year olds.
Even MSNBC news commentator Clint Van Zandt said on air yesterday that, as a former FBI hostage negotiator, he was sickened that NBC was giving lift to the killer with their extended coverage.
Then, turning on a dime and losing his soul and his moral authority in the change, Van Zandt confessed that, as a guy hired by the network to comment on the Virginia Tech story, he understood why NBC wanted to air the new material. Van Zandt sussed it out for us: NBC is all about the money and not about the suffering of the dead and the survivors.
The most interesting aspect for me in this NBC News gewgaw fawning over a killer is how they have come to believe they have the the right to publish the killer’s work and slap their logo on the material. Does NBC have the legal right to do as they wish with the material without clearing the rights for the material from the shooter’s family? Just because the shooter sent the material to NBC, that act alone does not give them license to publish at will without written consent from the author, right? Can a mentally ill murderer even provide legal consent for the user of material?
Can NBC invoke “The Doctrine of Fair Use” in publishing all of the killer’s manifesto and supporting material? As I understand Copyright law — I think NBC did not have the right to publish the killer’s work. Will the shooter’s family step forward at some point to seek legal action against NBC for the illegal publication of their son’s work without their permission? Will NBC have to pay the family of the killer for Copyright infringement?
When do we, as the public, have the right NOT TO KNOW the unnecessary and despicable details of gory killings glorified on national television where the intent in sharing is to only earn ratings and provoke advertising?