I'M not even bother asking about the wingnuts: the Sadly, No! Institute observes the raging lunacy that is Debbie Schlussel; Roy spots both the Your Problem is Obvious Ace O. and the Your Obvious Problem Has Been Compounded by Years as a Carnival Charlatan John Derbyshire; T.Bogg lands us D'nesh D'Souza, possible winner by acclamation, who manages somehow to recast the Virginia Tech massacre as an excuse for 19th Century British Colonialism and 16th Century theology (of a sort). We simply note--we're reaching for plaintive here--that the damage is obviously irreversible and whether it has as its root cause the "conservative" self-commitment to that isolation ward in the clouds these past twenty-five years, or that has merely somehow bumped the blender setting from "Aerate" to "Frappé". We leave the question to more skilled minds, possibly in the Future, assuming people in the Future would care to revisit, which, on the whole, I don't.
This looks like a good place to note that the various and sundry calls for some sort of Mental Health Industry solution, frequently but not exclusively envisioned as including a 21st Century synthesis of the Soviet system and the biography of Frances Farmer, fall a bit short when one considers that Cho was actually in these people's hands, and a fat lot of good it did anyone.
No, rather, if the Media refuses to share a neck, let's ask now, 72 hours later, "What have we learned?" And let's save time by answering, "Nothing."
Which is precisely what we were going to learn. Okay, there's some possibility he could have been "involved" with some political cause or other, which fact is 1) going to be uncovered by police work, not Tucker Carlson (I mean "Tucker Carlson" as a synecdoche there, but let's add, "especially not" by Tucker Carlson): and 2) if some sort of connection is uncovered it is almost certain to be disputable. And yet the teevee keeps shoveling oats without noticing the horse choked to death some time ago. The wingnuts had their shining moment with the video-game, Shred Metal, and anti-Christian motives of Klebold and Harris, most of it made up on the spot or High-Pass filtered like the smoke from a Baghdad firefight; they'd missed out when Bob Dole's instant Encyclopedia Brown solution to the Murrah Building ("Looks like the work of A-rabs to me,") proved overly optimistic.
If there's anything more unseemly and less indicative of reasonable intellect that the Wall-to-Wall blathering it's the constant leaping at whatever gets spewed out as a result in support of someone's pet Unified Societal Breakdown Theory. If we were to find Cho's writings expressed an admiration for bin Laden, Hitler, or Borat this would mean, precisely, what? And to save time, we'll answer: the same thing as a fourteen-year-old girl scribbling "Mrs. John Krasinski" all over the front of her notebook. When you catch the accomplices, or when you get the wedding invitation, you have confirmation. Before that all you have is a problem managing your hysteria.
He hated rich people! So fookin' what? Half the rich people I know hate rich people. If you hate rich people, debauchery, and indolent Youth, maybe, just maybe, a major college campus is not your ideal spot, and if you choose instead to seethe until one day your head explodes, well, what the fuck does it matter what you were seething about? If Cho had turned out to be gay, would that be an argument against civil unions? (Note I'm not asking here if it would be advanced as one; that's a given.) If he was a registered Republican is that an argument against tax cuts? It's bad enough looking for an elephant in a matchbox. We find a matchbox and shout, "Hey, now we know the elephants have been here!"
Still, NBC broadcasting that Manifesto crap could, conceivably, be in the running for New Low if such a thing were still possible. I'm not arguing that it shouldn't be shown. I'm arguing that in a just world it wouldn't be Steve Capus' decision to make, as he would be a regional talent coordinator for Girls Gone Wild or somesuch. It's not a question of its newsworthiness, and I reject the idea this somehow "rewards" the killer or "encourages other budding nutjobs". It's that no decent person or organization would have broadcast this stuff, if at all, before people had the chance to bury their dead. NBC did so because it had had to turn the materials over to the police, and it suspected it would lose its Exclusive in short order. We are not merely ill-served by this sort of thing in an information sense or by its lack of human decency; we are choking the life out of the ability to respond rationally and with due deliberation. I realize that the combination of cupidity, stupidity, and the Cult of Perpetual Grievance once looked promising, but it's past time to move on.