Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Who Says You Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover?

I don't want to sound as if I'm making light of yesterday's tragedy at Virginia Tech, dear readers, but you know, I really have to wonder how journalism works sometimes.
It seems that every time someone commits some random, senseless act of violence, the newspapers manage to track down some perfectly ominous photograph of them that really sums up the story in one haunting image. The gunman from Virginia Tech, for example, is pictured here:

Well hell, I could have TOLD you this guy would do something crazy. Honestly, if I'd seen this picture somewhere - or seen this guy walking across campus - I would have taken one look and said, "Oh yeah, man, that guy is TOTALLY gonna go nuts someday. It's written all over him."

Seriously, where do these pictures come from? Does every psychotic nut-job just instinctively know they're going to need a picture like this to go in the newspaper? Does the Sears portrait studio have a special rate for this sort of thing? I don't get it.

If I ever committed a violent act - and I wouldn't, this is just hypothetical - I'd want my picture in the newspaper to look like this:

Or, even better, like this:

Just try to imagine the words "Last Known Picture of the Suspect" or "J.Wiltz, just 2 hours before gunning down 92 circus clowns and turning the gun on himself" under either of these pictures...You never saw THAT crime coming, did you?
Again, I'm not making light of this. I just don't understand why we can't call a spade a spade and a nut-job a nut-job.


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