Even a lunatic like James Holmes had to know that the media extravaganza was inevitable — and even the media should have known their hype would produce something like this:
BuzzFeed’s Ryan Broderick has unearthed a small group of “Holmies,” die-hard James Holmes fans who gush supposed love for the alleged killer on Tumblr like he was a teenage vampire. Not just that: Holmies are fixated on every minute detail of Holmes, from the plaid shirt Holmes was caught in to his bright-red hair, to the few childhood photos that have surfaced. Holmies post pictures of themselves drinking Slurpees, inspired by a video of an 18-year-old Holmes that shows he’s a Slurpee fan; they pass around instructions for sending letters to Holmes in jail; there is the requisite bad anime-style fan art and animated .gifs (“hugs for holmies!”).
Run onto the field at a baseball game and the cameras will shun you, lest others be encouraged. But kill a bunch of innocent people and the media goes into a feeding frenzy, apathetic about the consequences.
Instead of focusing their righteousness on exploiting the killings to attack the Second Amendment so that we will be even more vulnerable to maniacs in the future, journalists ought to give some thought to their own responsibility.
On tips from Anthony D and AC.