With the 11th anniversary of the iconic Columbine High School shooting coming up tomorrow, some media coerage of the event continues to be uninformed, says Jeff Kass, author of a book on the case, in the Huffington Post. Kass says that many journalists have bought into a new myth that the Columbine killers were simply ordinary, popular teens. But do ordinary teens really commit school shootings? If so, why don’t we have thousands of school shootings a day? School shooters are a disaffected, but thankfully rare breed, he says.
Another false buy-in on last year’s 10th anniversary was that the Columbine “myths” were just now being debunked. In fact, plenty of media in the days and months after Columbine did get many aspects wrong, but corrected it later, Kass says. The errors were not necessarily due to sloppiness, laziness, or pursuit of a neat story angle. In part, it was inaccurate information accurately reported. Columbine students, for example, repeated error-filled stories to reporters either because they didn’t know or made honest mistakes.