ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Monday, April 23, 2007

Va Tech - Time to Move On

It's good to see that the students of Virginia Tech have a higher maturity level than those in the MSM that continue to swarm around the events from last week, hoping to feed the ratings beast on the dead bodies in Blacksburg.

University's Student Leaders Ask Media to Leave Campus by Start of Classes Monday

Blacksburg, Virginia (AP) -- Still grieving and increasingly wary of the media spotlight, Virginia Tech students returned to their beleaguered campus Sunday, preparing to salvage the final weeks of a semester eclipsed by violence.

The scene on campus resembled move-in day in late summer, with parents helping their children carry suitcases into dormitories.

There were tears and hugs goodbye. But instead of excitement for the year ahead, there was simply determination to endure and regroup in the fall.

When classes resume Monday, the university will give students three choices: They can continue their studies through the end of the semester next week, take a grade based on what they have done so far, or withdraw from a course without penalty.

``I want to go back. It's just really strange to just stop going,'' said Paul Deyerle, a sophomore from Roanoke who was helping a friend move belongings from the dormitory where another close friend, Ryan Clark, was among those killed in the worst shooting massacre in modern U.S. history.

A number of students living in West Ambler Johnston Hall have asked to be relocated elsewhere.

``I need to keep going back,'' Deyerle said, struggling for words. ``It seems like every other facet of my life is different now, so I have to.''

A number of students said they had been drawn to the comforts of home immediately after the shooting, but now were drawn back to the tight-knit Virginia Tech community.

``When we hit (Route) 460 and we could see the campus, we both started crying,'' said sophomore Ashleigh Shifflett, eating a picnic lunch with her sister Regan near memorials to the victims on the central campus lawn. ``I was happy to see my family, but I felt like I needed to be here, and when I came back here, it was like I'm home.''

Virginia Tech officials say their top priority is the victims' families, and they have given each of them a private e-mail address and direct phone number for President Charles Steger.

Administrators have canceled big events such as the spring football game and postponed a fundraising campaign. The goal is to begin restarting academic life but without pushing the university's 26,000 students too hard.
Students say they welcome the outpouring of support they have received, but they have grown noticeably weary of the news media. The Student Government Association asked reporters to leave by the start of classes Monday.

``Our students are ready to start moving forward, and the best we can do that is to get the campus back to normal,'' Liz Hart, director of public relations for the SGA, said in a telephone interview. Students don't want ``anything external remind to us it will be a difficult road. We know that.''

Jonah Goldberg echoes my sentiment on Friday at NRO:
Emotional Vampirism
Tragedy becomes feeding time for the press.

By Jonah Goldberg

I’m sick over the Virginia Tech story. But I’m sickened of the Virginia Tech “story.”

That is, it’s at moments like this — the “aftermath” stage of some horrible event — when the press, particularly television news networks, are most proud of themselves that I find them the most repellent.

To be sure, it’s difficult to see the line between enough and too much when journalists go wild, “flooding the zone,” competing with each other like starving dogs for the slightest new morsel of information they can then put on a permanent loop on cable TV, until the next fragmentary detail is pried loose by a reporter desperate to be first, for 15 minutes.

Because there isn’t enough new information to fill the infinite void allotted to these stories, the press quickly succumbs to a kind of emotional vampirism, feeding off the grief, fear, and anguish of victims clearly incapable of understanding their own feelings or of finding meaning in events that defy either understanding or meaning.

Just as with the Columbine massacre, the Oklahoma City bombing and countless other slaughters whose names tug at our memories - as well as our guilty consciences because we cannot quite recall the details of those “unforgettable” events - we can be sure the media will continue to milk their role as remorse voluptuaries for as long as conceivably possible.

You see, Americans don’t watch news that much anymore, preferring Oprah, The View, Grey’s Anatomy, and other soap operas fictional or otherwise. So long after the shelf life of the facts has expired and the news is no longer new, the networks will try to keep their swollen ratings by making their “extended coverage” as engorged with mawkish sentimentality as possible before giving way entirely to recriminations, self-congratulation and navel-gazing about how they handled this latest challenge.

Perhaps just as gruesome is the race to assign a politically palatable meaning to the calamity before the clay of first impressions hardens into the granite of conventional wisdom. After all, we must have a controversy over this event; how else to justify the return of the pundits, like an aristocracy in exile, to television studios everywhere?

Of course, people on the Left & Right have attempted to assign blame for Cho's insanity. OliverWillis has put the blame squarely on "The Gun Industry and the NRA," but not without first demonstrating that he has absolutely no clue about firearms ("No, we need hollow points for target practice and hunting.").

Meanwhile, Newt blames the liberals and their acceptance of violence in media and the constant attacks against belief in a higher power and moral standards. (Of the two arguments, this seems to be a more comprehensive one, but it does leave out important aspects - such as issues with our mental health system.)

There are a myriad of reasons for Cho's insanity at Virginia Tech... But, it's time to move on.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler