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An Appalling Lack of Judgement
In November 2002, a police officer in a California town was brutally murdered, leaving behind a widow and young child. In April 2005, the Style section of The Washington Post devoted almost 4,000 words to the criminal along with a number of color photographs.

The only reason why the Post's Style section editors elevated the murderer to celebrity status appears to be that he posted an incoherent, pseudo-political diatribe on the internet. The Post's rambling article seems to discuss the issue of politics versus mental illness although it is quite difficult to discern any point to the article, other than to provide substantial publicity to a cop killer who is seeking just such notoriety.

The article makes sure to include extensive remarks from the criminal's family, attorney and assorted other persons. You can learn much about the perpetrator's life from the article, but nothing about his victim. Apparently the family of a slain police officer is not considered important enough by the Post to be worthy of much mention. If the officer's family has any views on the killer, they went unnoted. Meanwhile, the Post does make sure to discuss various internet postings praising the murder of a police officer.

The Washington Post's reporters and editors, well protected by the police, have the right to print any story they want. However, Winston has the right and the duty to point out the shame that is inherent in glorifying a killer. Winston also needs to point out that the publicity provided by the paper could, tragically, encourage disturbed persons to follow in the killer's footsteps.

The Post article concludes with a comment about the criminal, "He just thinks differently from you and me." So to do at least some of the reporters and editors of The Washington Post.

Winston extends his deepest condolences to the family and friends of Officer David Mobilio.


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