Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My latest letter to the editor.....

Dear Editor:

When our American-Statesman was delivered on April 17 , it was arranged so that the top half of page A1 (first-day coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting) and the bottom half of Life & Arts (a feature on the movie "Hot Fuzz") were the first two things you saw when you flipped the paper over.

The image of the gun-toting Simon Pegg from the movie "Hot Fuzz," with a caption that says "irony is not lost on American audiences," is particularly apt today. It's ironic that newspapers that flash images of men with multiple automatic weapons in the entertainment section will produce splashy front-page coverage when our latest national gun rampage tragedy strikes.

I know all about the argument that guns don't kill, people do, but feeding our society graphically violent images surely has an effect, as well.



Statesman's photo caption from today's letters to the editor page:
The violence at Virginia Tech dominated the cover of the American-Statesman on April 17. If subscribers holding the entire edition of that day's paper flipped it over, they were met with a photo of actor Simon Pegg, armed to the hilt for his role as a cop in the movie 'Hot Fuzz.' The movie was featured in Life & Arts that day.

They even responded to me (and another reader whose letter got published with the same general gripe that I had):

Editor's reply

I certainly understand how readers could have been disturbed by the image of an armed policeman from the movie "Hot Fuzz" in light of the tragedy at Virginia Tech on April 16.

In hindsight, we should have pulled the page back at the last minute and replaced the photo, but further complicating matters was the fact that April 16 was our department's first day using a new computer system, so it was quite a hectic day for us as we learned how to do our jobs in a new way.

This slipped by us, and we do apologize.

Kathy Blackwell

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