There is a line in society that I believe is being blurred by the media. It’s the difference between fame and infamy, where criminals are crossing over into a low class celebrity status. A young man Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allegedly conspired and helped commit an act of in-house terrorism, the tragedy we remember as “The Boston Bombing”. Tsarnaev is being kept in solitary confinement in a prison near Boston. On the outside; however, there’s a group of supporters on Facebook and other social media pleading his innocence.
The was a series of Facebook pages (one of which had over 12,000 “likes” before being removed) that had post after post of people’s feelings toward Jahar with #freejahar with them. One of the deluded teens saying “I think I’m on teem #freejahar. He is hot. That’s a good enough reason to keep him on the streets.” For many of these members it seems to be fandom rather than support. Even though he and his brother killed a police officer the night before Jahar was captured these people still shower him with love. It’s a lot like another man still alive and still in jail today getting fan mail be the dozen every month. Charles Manson the cult leader of “the family” organized multiple murders to try and insight a revolution. He convinced men and women across the US to follow him and do as he said to the letter. His insanity live on today through the stories of his case and people admire and look up to the mad man.
Amanda Marcotte of slate.com states “Unfortunately, there’s nothing new about this. Every reasonably good-looking, famous criminal can count on getting a fan club of excitable women who justify their affections by denying his guilt or rationalizing his crimes—or both, since we’re not talking about rational people here. Olympian Oscar Pistorius, accused of murdering his girlfriend, has a devoted fan base that swings between claiming he was framed and hinting that his victim had it coming. Ted Bundy had scores of groupies, and even managed to marry one of them. And there are so many rabid fans of the violent Chris Brown (notably, not a killer) that even the object of their affection has asked them to cool it with the constant haranguing of whoever he’s currently beefing with.”
When things like this happen I feel like pictures of the culprits shouldn’t be publicised when they are already in custody. We shouldn’t give them the attention that some of them are looking for. Some try to send a message committing a crime because they know they will become “famous”. Like James Holmes the Aurora Shooter there is evidence he had planned to do this for some time and even posting on two different dating websites in his profile “will you visit me in prison?” over a month before the shooting. It could be insanity or even despair be the bottom line is the media can give a monster a spotlight and let them play with it as they please.
Since his capture Jahar has gotten a ridiculous amount of attention. Much more than the survivors got. His face and name was on every new station, social network, and online new source something the survivors deserved but were overshadowed by the fear-mongering media. He even made it onto the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Usually hosted by musicians, artists, and the occasional politician but the Jul 17, 2013 issue featured this “terrorist”.(In 1970 during his trial Charles Manson also made it on the cover)The article that went along with it was written to humanize Jahar but I feel the court should be the one to decide whether he innocent or not.
I feel that media outlets race to be first to report on big new to hastily. All this does is create an up roar, a blast of news saying the same thing with different words and angles. It confuses the public and they have many opinions simultaneously created because of the madness this “race” causes. Giving a face to a name isn’t always necessary, it’s not like this guy was dangerous and on the loose for very long. Nobody even knew his name till he was captured. If the media were to focus less on a criminals personal life and not plaster they face everywhere they could just report the facts of what happened. I feel we should leave the investigating further into the matter the police and courts job.
Innocence till proven guilt can only work if the culprit is given a chance. All news outlets do is delve as deep as they can go and report the story till it dies. They love stories like these where they can spin in to every witch angle to get the most coverage they can. It gives the public mixed signals of the person in question, opinionates them and makes the public become the judge and jury. If we would just step back and let the authority’s do their jobs we could let the trial go through and with that we can get the story.
- Geis, G., & Hudson, T. (1971). Charles manson and his girls: Notes on a durkheimian theme. CHARLES MANSON AND HIS GIRLS: Notes on a Durkheimian Theme, 9(2), 342-353. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.kwantlen.ca:2080/ehost/detail?sid=dd336b1f-e017-4cf8-9614-e1e1bbd6c8a6@sessionmgr115&vid=3&hid=118&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl
- Professional Safety, P. (2013). Preparing for a crisis. Preparing for a Crisis, 58(6), 34-34. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.kwantlen.ca:2080/ehost/detail?sid=99ae0ee4-4df7-4700-80d7-5bd23ffe7c83@sessionmgr4003&vid=3&hid=118&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl
- Coates, T. (2012, 07 18). The problem with ‘rolling stone’s’ dzhokhar tsarnaev cover isn’t the image — it’s the reaction. Retrieved from http://flavorwire.com/404630/the-problem-with-rolling-stones-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-cover-isnt-the-image-its-the-reaction/
- Greenfeild, B. (2013, 05 13). Boston bombing suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev’s disturbing female fan club. Retrieved from http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/boston-bombing-suspect-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-s-disturbing-female-fan-club-191627312.html
- Salek, C. (2013, 05 13). Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: #FreeJahar Movement Claims Boston Bomber Too Beautiful to Be Terrorist. Retrieved from http://www.policymic.com/articles/41503/dzhokhar-tsarnaev-freejahar-movement-claims-boston-bomber-too-beautiful-to-be-terrorist
- Goldstein, S. (2013, 07 21). Rolling Stone Wasn’t Glamorizing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, It Was Humanizing Him. Retrieved From http://www.policymic.com/articles/55807/rolling-stone-wasn-t-glamorizing-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-it-was-humanizing-him
- Benett-Smith, M. (2013, 05 15). Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Fan Club: Boston Bombing Suspect Gets Support From Girls, #FreeJahar Following. Retrieved From http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/15/dzhokhar-tsarnaev-fan-club-teen-girl-following_n_3275653.html
- Marcotte, A. (2013, 07 12). Why Does Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Have So Many Female Fans?. Retrieved From http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/07/12/free_jahar_why_does_boston_bomber_dzhokhar_tsarnaev_have_so_many_female.html
- THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (2013, 07 18). Why did James Holmes do it? One year later, accused ‘Dark Knight’ killer remains a mystery. Retrieved From http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/year-dark-knight-killer-remains-mystery-article-1.1402893
- Healy, M. (2013, 05 19). Boston bombing suspect has his defenders, many of them female. Retrieved From http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/19/boston-bomber-support/2164605/