Home // The Myth // Lessons in journalism and The Myth courtesy of the Daily Mail

Lessons in journalism and The Myth courtesy of the Daily Mail

Actual Daily Mail headline

Actual Daily Mail headline

Bullied schoolboy, 16, ‘plotted British Columbine-style massacre targeting schools, mosques, cinemas and 19 teachers and pupils’:

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.

bbcheadline

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.

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  • Muggle

    I’m sorry, if you’re a neo-Nazi, you deserve any “bullying” you get.

    Okay, I’m not sorry. He probably wasn’t even bullied anyway, just an asshole who picked fights with the Muslim immigrants.

    • http://trenchreynolds.me/ Trench Reynolds

      Thank you. Not to mention that bullying is not an excuse for mass murder or a get out of jail free card.

      • Muggle

        I guess it makes a nice story. The bullied kid suddenly finds a way to get some epic revenge, takes the chance and nobody ever laughs at him again…

        Except it never works that way. Bullied kids just do their best to stay hidden and lose any confidence they had, while the bullies are the ones committing and plotting violent crimes. Takes a horrifying sense of entitlement and delusions of grandeur to try to commit a mass murder.

        • http://trenchreynolds.me/ Trench Reynolds

          Exactly, in most cases I find information that shows the shooter as the bully rather than the bullied.

          • RadioChuck

            Columbine being a prime example, despite the mutants desperately clinging to the myth that Harris and Klebold “only killed the kids who bullied them”. In fact, victim Isiah Shoels complained of having been subjected to racial harassment by them in the weeks before the tragedy, but his complaints were largely ignored by school officials, who insisted Columbine had no such problem.

          • http://trenchreynolds.me/ Trench Reynolds

            You should see one of the mutants on tumblr that’s having fits over me.

          • RadioChuck

            Nice to know you’re really sticking in their craws…must be doing something right! LOL

          • http://trenchreynolds.me/ Trench Reynolds

            Going on 12 years now. lol