The events in Norway are horrific, heartbreaking and incomprehensible. How a person can hold that much hate, contempt, disregard… I don’t even know what to call it… is unimaginable. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families as we try to understand how one person can feel justified in claiming the lives of so many.
Of course, it calls to mind the attacks of 9/11, 3/11 and others here in the States and around the world. It also reminds me of the Virginia Tech Massacre and how that assailant vied for attention – and got it – long after he’d been killed.
I can’t help wonder why news outlets feel the need to air the ramblings and rantings of attackers like these. The same happened/happens with Islamic terrorist videos. A new one comes out and it’s translated into every language, aired on TV and radio, uploaded to the internet and printed in newspapers, giving voice to these criminals. And now, the Norway attacker – whose name along with the other’s will not be mentioned here – wants to use his time in court as a platform to explain his actions.
Part of me wants to know why he did this while part of me doesn’t want to grant him the opportunity to tell us.
Of course, the public has the right to know what goes on inside the minds of people like this. We need to understand what causes a person to act this way so we can recognize the pattern should it appear in our lives. We also need to know what, if anything, we can do to prevent things from going this far.
But… I also feel the voices of these people should be silenced. That we should not give them the attention they so deeply crave. To deny them of that attention is, perhaps, the worst punishment of all. And that, I should add, is what the Norwegian courts are doing as of now by having a closed-door hearing for this man.
As you can see, I’m torn. So I wonder… how do you feel about this? Should murders – regardless of the size of their attacks – be permitted to share their story, their rationale, with the world or should they be given only a small ‘audience’ of judge and jury?
Well…the news media is in business to capture the interest of as many people as possible. If they think people will look, they’re going to put it out there. When my mother-in-law was killed in a car wreck in 1998, they local news channel showed a shot of the car with blood dripping out of it. No kidding.
Remember “Dirty Laundry” by Don Henley?
Is it right? I don’t know. People seem to need answers to close things out in their minds. Maybe it makes the world a more logical place (and less scary). Maybe it makes survivors know what change they need to fight for.
This is a though provoking question, and I don’t know the right answer.
I’m stunned by what you just said here – about what the local news channel showed. Tragic and sad.
I don’t know the right answer either. You’re right, though. the news business is just that – a business about selling news and the mindset of a murderer is newsworthy. But, for me, it’s hard to balance the need to know with the hope that attention seekers don’t get that attention. No easy answer, I suppose.
Oh my goodness, Catie! I’m so sorry about your mom-in-law. How horrible of the local news channel!
Good points all around. Truly appreacietd.
I think that people need to know that something like this happened, yes. And I bet most individuals want to know “why” the person did this, i.e. they want to see into his mind to perhaps recognize such behavior if they see it in the future. But I believe that the media ALWAYS overdoes it, by going over it a gazillion times until you’re so sick of hearing it, it’s like ENOUGH ALREADY. And kudos for keeping the court proceedings closed because yes, these murderers crave the attention and we shouldn’t feed that. I think, like most of us, we’re intrigued by such a thing happening in a supposedly “civilized” world. But the actions of these people are not civilized. They are sick. I believe our social media teeters on the edge of making these sick actions “cool” when they give them way too much attention.
“I believe our social media teeters on the edge of making these sick actions “cool” when they give them way too much attention.”
Yes!! Exactly, Patty. There has to be a compromise of some sort. A way to get the information out without sensationalizing it.
The entire situation makes me sick at heart. I am no help because I’m confused about the best take on this.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’m sure they echo what most of us feel.
But I want a solid answer! Guidance! I jest, of course. Thanks, Sandy. It seems we’re all torn about this issue.
It’s a really sad situation. Yes, the news media is there to tell the story, but so many reporters have very little respect for victims. They love to play up the drama and talk some good game, but things are usually taken way too far.
You’re so right, Stacy, they do take it too far. I’m glad that, for now at least, the coverage hasn’t been as obsessive as some others.
I think people are interested because they want to understand how someone can do such an awful thing and they wonder if someone near them could behave similarly. But I hate the constant conversation about these people. Let’s report the facts and move on. The endless speculation and 24/7 coverage is not healthy for our society, in my opinion.
That’s what makes me uncertain about my feelings toward this issue. People do need to understand, and to understand, we need to hear the ‘reasons’ for these kinds of attacks. Yet… ‘enough’ can turn into too much very quickly. And I agree, 24/7 is not healthy for our society.
Catie I’m so sorry about the insensitivity of the news. That waas digusting behavior on their part.
I have to agree with Patricia and Julie. Society would like to know and understand the workings of such minds but please don’t keep hitting us over the head with it.
It’s almost as if there’s no other news to share – when we know for a fact there is. What the media decides to highlight – and why – is a mystery to me.
Yeah, I think we’re all in agreement with this one, more or less. There’s value in knowing, so you’re not eternally wondering why and can maybe recognize manifestations of such an act early on. But SO not necesary to over-sensationalize it.
True. Too bad we and the media haven’t yet found that balance.