The biggest non-exclusive exclusive in Monday’s news cycle was New York Daily News sports columnist Mike Lupica’s one-source article blaming the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre on video games and Adam Lanza’s seven-foot-long spreadsheet of death. The story is thinly-sourced tabloid fodder at its worst, and, worse than that, it paints an unsubstantiated portrait of Lanza as “a deranged gamer like this little bastard,” just when the mental-health community and Congress are seeking answers on Lanza, video games, and truth in the face of NRA talking points and the bad newspaper stories that seem based on them.
Lupica describes his anonymous law-enforcement source as “a tough career cop who did not wish to see his name in the newspaper” but did attend a meeting of the International Association of Police Chiefs and Colonels in New Orleans last week, where a Connecticut State Police colonel apparently spoke and revealed that Lanza had a 7-foot-by-4-foot spreadsheet documenting body counts and attempted killings from other mass murderers throughout history. To be sure, the state police investigation has been shrouded in secrecy — out of respect for the victims and a state of constant misinformation after the December shootings as anonymous law enforcement officials spoke to the news media, Lt. Paul Vance doesn’t plan to release his team’s full report in June. But stoking the fear factor isn’t helping a frenzy that has forced Vance to debunk rumors started on morning shows — especially when it comes to video games and mental illness, especially still when you combine all those with guns and dead little children.
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