Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Rewarding Villains, Forgetting Heroes

I'm so ashamed of NBC for giving a mass murderer the soapbox he wanted by playing his insane video clips for all the world to see. How many other psychopaths out there will now feel motivated to make similar videos and get international fame and attention? Will the NBC business model call for a minimum number of dead bodies before they will broadcast the killer's video?

There are aspects of the story that deserve much more attention than a lunatic's video. Why not focus more energy on the story of Professor Liviu Librescu? I refer to the 76-year old Jewish professor and Holocaust survivor who sacrificed his own life in blocking the gunman at the door of his classroom, giving precious time to allow the students in his class to escape through windows. What heroism! But his courage didn't suddenly materialize in that moment. There was courage throughout his life (see the Wikipedia entry for Liviu Librescu). Surviving the Holocaust, then later putting his own career at risk in Romania by refusing to swear allegiance to the Communist Party. This man's life is filled with strength and courage, culminating in the ultimate act of selfless bravery. A decent media would be playing clips of his life, digging into his story, rather than rewarding a mass murderer and encouraging others to follow that path to fame. Wouldn't this be a better world if the stories of men like Dr. Librescu were given more attention than the rantings of insane villains?

Thank you, Liviu Librescu, for your faith and courage. You were a tremendous credit to your religion and a true hero. May we not forget!

2 comments:

Aric said...

There is an excellent book written that touches on how the media perpetuates such villains by plastering their story/picture all over the news ...

"The Gift of Fear" by Gavin De Becker.

He runs a company that specializes in understanding human behavior, and assessing who is a real threat to someone's safety, and who is not.

Excellent read.

Robert said...

It's sad to say, but I suspect the reason Cho chose NBC to send it to is because he knew they would air his video. It's possible others would have, too, but I was also saddened when I saw them give him what he wanted. I thought the story of that professor was similarly heroic and would love to have heard more of it. The professor who proclaimed "We Are Virginia Tech" at the memorial service was also apparently one of the ones who asked Cho to get help. Why not give her more air time, rather than continuing to focus on his tale? I did see a story of one of his victims and all that was lost by her death. Such is the world we live in, I suppose, but I definitely agree with you about the better way to tell this story - how to help people find the good in it, and help them remember what was lost in a positive way, and thereby to mourn properly.