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I watched (part of) the national news this evening.  I almost never watch the national news.  It’s bad for my health and the continued viability of my TV as a functioning piece of electronics.  ABC (yeah, I know; compound error) was running their obligatory coverage about the Aurora shooting “suspect.”   They were talking about his problematic behavior in jail (spitting on guards at every available opportunity), showing his strange affect in the courtroom, and digging up all sorts of little nuggets of anomalous behavior from his life (like postings from dating sites).

First off, I don’t care.  I don’t need or want to know the gory details and/or trivial minutia of this guy’s life.  I object to the face time he’s getting.

Second, why don’t we do everything possible to pollute the jury pool?  At this rate the only way anyone in Colorado will be eligible for jury duty is if they are Amish or lie about owning a TV and computer.

Third, and this is my 30+ years of working with criminals talking, this looks like an insanity defense in the making.  Spitting on every guard in reach in jail, to the point they put a mask on him when they are moving him, but no mask in the courtroom and no aggressive behavior combined with strange expressions and weird brow movements and blinking in front of the camera?  Really?

Look, the guy may, in fact, be mentally ill.  I don’t know.  Not my problem.  Somebody else has to figure that out.


If I wanted instant notoriety and the adrenaline rush from planning and executing a mass murder, but wanted to avoid any nasty long-term (and potentially permanent) legal entanglements, I would for damn sure go about leaving cryptic and/or vaguely (or not so vaguely) ominous messages in places accessible with a little digging on the internet.  I would make sure my neighbors, folks in bars and other places noticed my “not dangerous but not quite right” behavior so they would be able to tell about it after the fact.  And, after arrest I would string together as much inappropriate (for place and time) behavior as possible, especially in front of the news cameras, so my defense attorney would have plenty of fodder to work with.

And the media feed this behavior by publicizing every little bit of it.  One could almost come to the conclusion that they were trying to make him look as crazy as possible.  But that would mean they were trying to help him get away with mass murder via an insanity plea, and that’s just crazy talk.

Unless it was part of an ongoing narrative about crazy people being able to get guns so we need gun control or something.

(Sorry, my inner conspiracy theorist got on a roll there.)

There’s a much simpler explanation (Occam’s razor and all).  The media are falling all over themselves to publicize every salacious detail of this guy’s life in the hopes that something they dig up will help them grab a slightly larger share of the dwindling pool of viewers who still watch the national news on MSM outlets.  Just like they do with every other story.

Except those involving Fast and Furious.  Or pretty much anything else that might be damaging to our Dear Leader.

Besides, why go to all the trouble to develop the crazy guy/gun control meme when you can just lead with the gun control meme and not waste the effort to look for facts?

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