Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Another random thoughts post

The news glut regarding the VaTech Massacre from the major media outlets has been waning in recent days, which is curious when you compare it to the coverage of Columbine, which was "four walled" for weeks after it occurred. It’s easy to blame the current world events for this, with wars being conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan and the constant political scandals. But the current events of spring 1999 were not much different than today.

At the time of the Columbine massacre there was growing anger and outrage from the political right over the US involvement in Kosovo peacekeeping activities, especially the bombing campaign. In one of those bomb runs the Chinese Embassy was attacked. And let’s not forget the Monica Lewinski story and the impeachment of President Clinton. The 2000 Presidential Elections were just around the corner as well. So the environment was somewhat of a mirror image of what we have today. Political scandal and US military operations being conducted overseas were the top stories of the day.

Claims are being tossed around that NBC took a lot of heat for showing “too much” of the documents and videos sent to them by the shooter. Yet the shooter sent approximately 26 minutes worth of video footage and NBC only aired about 1 minute, or 3% of that footage. Not all of the photographs were released and even on their websites where NBC blacked out vulgar language, very little was actually shown. The 1800 word manifesto hasn’t been published. So only a fraction of the information was released.

And yet NBC posted enormous TV ratings from this data dump and I can say that the hit rate for this blog, which is still less than 3 weeks old, skyrocketed. NBC may say that they have come under fire from the public but from the eyes I see through public interest in this event is enormous. Our short attention span will cause this event to eventually fade away, only to be studied by people who have specialized interest in the case, but this is normal.

There has still been no media discussion about the stunningly well skilled and methodical action shown by Cho during his attack. To the Big 5 of the mass media he was just a disturbed and mixed up college kid, to those looking at his capabilities as a shooter we are left with very few explanations for such a high level of skill. And now I have even read comments made by someone who supposedly saw him shooting at a local firing range that Cho was an awful shooter who wouldn’t even use a target at the range. The source says that Cho would just shoot downrange at safety berm. Statements like that contradict what we know and I can’t help but wonder about the true nature of such “witness statements”.

I’m still looking more in depth at the connections between the US Intelligence Community (IC) and the extreme right wing religious movement to Cho. The more I look in that direction the more I see that is troubling. Collecting the data is a tedious process, weaving the connections is confusing and I’m only able to maintain the connections by using Visio to create flowcharts.

Its times like this that boost the appreciation I have for the late Danny Cosolaro and Gary Webb. They unpeeled much larger onions than this and in the glare of attention that makes blogging the equivalent of hanging out in an alley on the outskirts of town.

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