There’s a trial going on over in England right now where a teenager is accused of not only plotting to attack his school but also theaters and mosques.
While reporting on this the Daily Mail calls the suspect a bullied school boy in the above headline then goes on to describe him not only as a self-avowed neo-nazi but also as a racist, a fan of the English Defence League, and a mutant. Well they didn’t use the M word per se but did add that he was a fan of Columbine.
Yeah, if you’re going to be a neo-nazi racist you’re probably going to draw some negative attention to yourself so if this kid was bullied he more than likely brought it upon himself.
When large publications use the word bullied in a headline like this it’s not only a pathetic grab for attention but it perpetuates the myth about school shooters being bullied when the majority of them were not.
UPDATE 11/3/2013: While I expect this kind of thing from the Daily Mail it seems the much vaunted BBC has gotten into the act as well. Here’s the headline they went with recently.
That headline is supposed to catch your eye and I would assume most people would take the headline at face value without further reading the article where they would find this quote.
The defendant told the Old Bailey he had been called a Nazi, a fascist and a racist, at school.
That’s because he is all of those things. If you publicly embrace these kind of ideas you’re inviting abuse on yourself and you don’t deserve any sympathy.
UPDATE 12/8/2013: Back in November the jury deadlocked and a retrial has been ordered.