This week was going to be “feel good” time. You know, one of those conversations with an admirer we tend to favor when in need (of an ego boost). But there was so much left at the table last week: A four-star general lost in a political morass; a well-financed but questionable campaign for L.A. County sheriff; puzzling media coverage of the Isla Vista shocker.
Beleaguered VA chief Eric Shinseki is allowed to resign rather than be ousted. Resignation saves face, ethnically if not ethically. The sad part is his legacy will forever be headlined by two misfortunes, his achievements beclouded by systemic woes not of his doing. Remember, folks, his military career came to an unceremonious end because he publicly exposed VP Dick Chaney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as military dunderheads. When they underestimated troop needs for the Iraq War, he embarrassed them with true figures and was forced to leave the service for his honesty. Now he goes down a second time.
Sad, not because a Buddhahead bites the dust, but another example of a dedicated public servant KIA on a Capitol Hill battlefield. As newsman Mark Shields lamented on PBS’ “News Hour” last week, “Gen. Shinseki deserves better.”
And we have a professional basketball team selling for two billion dollars! Check out what Steve Ballmer is buying: A team of overpaid athletes that has won absolutely nothing and doesn’t even have a home. Supply and demand again is the answer. With only thirty franchises and second-largest television market, there appears to be no ceiling. Phil Jackson inadvertently wins again.
Guess what the Knicks are worth now? The Lakers? Roundball isn’t alone: Matt Kemp makes $21 mil and he’s scrambling to survive; Pete Carroll is an overpaid pro football genius because he fled the collegiate ranks before getting Bushed. Pseudo-celebrities and (some) performers should also be questioned for worth. I don’t have the facts nor desire to cite examples of excess, but I have a commentary to make: A long time ago in Judge Lance Ito’s courtroom, Robert Kardashian was a defense attorney for O.J. Simpson. He was married and had a wife and three little girls. The only positive to evolve is O.J. in prison.
In this crazy world of 24-hour news cycles, there are now zillions of amateur reporters armed with iPhones and numerous social media outlets. Having a weekly and monthly journalism background, my challenge has always been to look for subtleties and greater insight; old news to be probed and prodded. The Isla Vista tragedy is an example. Twelve days and the public’s attention is already elsewhere. Unless you’re CNN months into finding a downed airplane in the Indian Ocean or a Republican who won’t let go of Benghazi, we soon forget the past and focus on the most recent headline.
The reason I can’t let go of the massacre is because of media coverage; more to the point, the lack thereof. A strange statement to make since most believe the opposite, there has been too much press commentary. How many times have you seen the stark video of Elliot Rodger’s bombast?
But what happened to his 137-page “manifesto,” the rambling critique that preceded the murderous rampage? Why has it not been parsed? After a week of waiting in vain, CR2S has a theory:
The media couldn’t figure out how to handle the anti-Asian expressions made in writing by Rodger and simply disregarded it. The easy way out was to ignore it completely. How do you explain the complete lack of detail and background of the three who were stabbed to death? While declaring his roommates as “both very ugly with annoying voices,” he added: “I knew that when the Day of Redemption came, I would have to kill (them) . . . If they were pleasant to live with, I would regret having to kill them, but due to their behavior I now had no regrets about such a prospect. In fact, I’d even enjoy stabbing them both to death while they slept.”
He goes on to express his rage when he sees an Asian man talking to a white woman at a party, “The sight of that filled me with rage . . . How could an ugly Asian attract the attention of a white girl?” He then wrote about forcing a confrontation with the Asian/white duo while in a drunken rage. Other than last Wednesday’s Rafu, have those statements seen print or commentary elsewhere? From TMZ to Time Magazine, zilch, nada.
The killer’s father is a famous Hollywood figure, the mother is Chinese. That makes the killer a Eurasian hapa, for what it’s worth. A distraught father of a shooting victim leads thousands of mourners in decrying, “Not one more (shooting death)!” A small detail: Half the deaths were by stabbing. Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, and George Chen, 19, were San Joseans, Weihan Wang, 20, was from Fremont. CR2S believes their names deserve to be mentioned one last time. By the way, were they from China or locals?
Volumes have been written about the shooting trio and the 13 who were injured; why not them? Would the picture change if the shooter was Muslim and the roommates Jews? Think about it.
W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.