Why, Mainstream Media, Why

Ordinarily I wouldn’t comment on something like the VT shootings, because (a) it doesn’t involve gaming, which is the usual subtext of this blog, and (b) it’s such a horrible tragedy that anything I would have to say about it would be obscenely, inappropriately, not nearly important enough.

Unfortunately, Jack Thompson doesn’t share my ethics. Assuming he’s familiar with the term to begin with.

Wall-to-wall coverage on all the 24/7 cable networks, and, of course, anti-gaming crusader Jack Thompson pops up on Fox News Channel as a “specialist” in school shootings.

Forget that the details are hazy; we don’t even know if it’s one person, what his name is, what his motive was, etc. Crazy, facing disbarment, Jack Thompson is an “expert” who is ready to immediately blame violent videogames for allowing this shooter to “rehearse” the incident.

Admittedly, the demands of the 24/7 news cycle is such that Benji the Wonder Puppy probably could have gotten face time on MSNBC, being earnestly interviewed by Brian Williams. “Come on, boy. One woof for the shooter using a 9mm pistol, two woofs for a rifle.” And to be fair, comparing Benji to Mad Jack Thompson is unfair, as Benji is probably very personable and most probably neutered and toilet trained. That being said, we expect Mad Jack to froth his usual froth around spraying Jack-bits everywhere. He’s an ambulance chaser, and that’s what ambulance chasers do.

The media that continues to give him a platform to spread his misinformed hackjobbery has far less of an excuse. I know that it’s the American way to find blame well before solutions can be found, and given the demographics of engineering schools, it’s more than likely someone will find a game or two among the shooter’s personal effects. It’s also more than likely that they will find textbooks and warm clothing, but of course, the games are far more relevant. And Lord help us all if they find, say, a copy of Guild Wars or Everquest II.

But could we at least wait until the bodies have finished being counted before someone gives Mad Jack a platform to spray spittle over whatever press release he wants to send out this morning? It’s only fair to the deceased. Give the bullet wounds a chance to cool before making your career off the remains.

You know, show some class.

I’m thankful that the only links to Thompson’s wackjobbery have been a New Zealand radio station, a blog, and a Slashdot comment. Let’s hope that that’s where the damage is contained, and Foxnews’ airing of Mad Jack is a temporary goof, something a panic stricken producer greenlit to fill the dead air between reporters trying to make undergrads cry on camera again. Maybe then we can start to work on the incredible growing alienation within our society that causes its most maladjusted members to suffer their demons alone, until they finally enter the “How Many People Can I Go Out With In A Blaze Of Glory” contest.

I know, wacky thoughts. Let’s just get Mad Jack on TV again, he’s always good for a sound bite. Right before the Anna Nicole/Howard Stern story for today, too. Roll tape.