I was watching Up with Chris Hayes this morning. David Cullen, author of Columbine was talking about how people built up false narratives about the Columbine tragedy based on misinformation that circulated immediately after the shootings.
For example, people still believe that the Columbine shooters were "Goths", that they were retaliating against those who bullied them, and that they targeted athletes selectively. According to Cullen, none of these is true.
Now we are witnessing the same creation of urban legends in the case of the Sandy Hook shooter.
On local (ABC) affiliate news last night, on ABC network news, on MSNBC, I heard over and over that the the shooter targeted students in his mother's kindergarten class. Such a feast for the imagination. As the child of a teacher, who grew up eating tv dinners in front of the television set while my single mother graded papers, my mind took off on all kinds of scenarios.
Apparently these scenarios are as fascinating to the public and the news media as they were to me because they cannot let it go in spite of the fact that a staff member at Sandy Hook says that Nancy Lanza was not a teacher at the school, a former school board member says that no one has ever heard of her, and the superintendent of the school district says that she is not in their employee database.
I am still hearing on MSNBC this morning that the killer shot up his mother's kindergarten class. I guess if the fictional story is compelling enough, the facts have to be set aside.
According to a diary by Troubador currently on the rec list, "they" are also saying now that Adam Lanza had Asperger's. I am not inclined to give any credence to anything I hear about this most egregious case of mass murder in a long string of mass murders. Perhaps storytelling in the face of tragedy is an atavistic response to a feeling of horror and helplessness that is as old as human language, but we don't have to give in to it.