Monday, January 24, 2011

NOT his mug shot...

Most of you have heard of the shooting of US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and many other people during her political event in Arizona earlier in the month. Updates of the story is plentiful, and most of it (except for Rep. Giffords' amazing recovery so far) has been rather depressing, so I haven't been keen on mentioning it. One thing's been nagging at me, though. Why is it that almost everyone is still calling that psychotic skinhead shot of the gunman Jared Loughner his "mug shot"?

It is NOT the official mug shot! There has been at least 2 court drawings of Loughner released since the shooting, and both of them show him with hair (here's the latest one). Loughner still seems obviously guilty as sin.... so there is really no need to embellish. Misidentifying this strange shot and keeping on repeating the mis-identification is just overkill and will probably prejudice all potential jury members for the upcoming trial. And who does that serve, really?

Another thing that sucks about this is that now Loughner will be a big media draw. What good did he do to deserve the attention? A lot of good folks go around doing good deeds everyday without ever being offered fame. Then people like this dude (or like Timothy McVeigh and Ted Bundy, etc) go and kill a bunch of good people and all of the sudden everyone wants to hear what they have to say. I still remember how disgusted I was that some a media channel even sued the government to broadcast McVeigh's execution live. That jerk killed babies and a bunch of other innocents in search for attention... And news outlet couldn't fall over themselves fast enough to give it to him. What he deserved was to be locked up in isolation without being paid any attention to ever again.


Georg said...

Hi Smorgy,

One of the viles people on earth are those mud-raking journalists, ready for absolutely everything to get a scoop.

Can't help it but everytime a journalist gets his head cracked during disturbances I feel like rejoicing: equilibrium is reestablished. And anyway, freedom of the press (or the media) means generally only the scribbler has to work according to the tune and the whims of the owner.

The first in this long line of publicity addicted slubberdegullions was this Greek 2500 years ago who burned the Zeus temple. May his name be forgotten.

What is the meaning of "mug shot"??


Smorg said...

Hallo Georgy,

A 'mug shot' is the official police photo of a crime suspect. It is usually taken with the suspect holding up a booking number (identification number) and has a scale on one side of the photo (so you can see how big the suspect's head and facial features are)... and they usually come in pair: one direct frontal shot and one in profile. They are taken at the police station right after the suspect is arrested (and so usually sort of look like what the suspect looked like when he committed the crime).

This particular photo of this Loughner guy is particularly psychotic looking and probably wasn't taken right after he was arrested (I don't think hair grows that quickly). I think it tends to prejudice potential jurors. Not that there is any question of his guilt, but all the same... why embellish a case like this, ay? :o(

The weird thing is that when I was younger I was taught to have admiration for 'journalists', but back then I don't think they were so keen on digging up private matters and tabloid dirt like they do today. But then perhaps they were and I just didn't pay enough attention.

The US television reporters today do seem to have the need to be the first to report stuff even if they risk getting the facts wrong, though. There are some exceptions, like Ms. Maddow here. She drives me nuts with her attempts to overestimate some politicians' shrewdness at times (sometimes people just do stupid things without being intentional.... Like GW Bush, for instance. He did a lot of stupid things because he isn't a very thoughtful man. She likes to think that he was being intentionally devious, though), but she is one of the few reporters today who are really good about making sure that they have the facts straight before reporting them. I like that. :o)