Sunday, August 13, 2006

Cold and dead

I guess I have no news sense, but this strikes me as the most overblown story in years.

Somewhere deep inside, I suppose I should care whether David Dawson lives or dies, but the fact is that I don't. He died unrepentant and unmourned. Let him lie.

UPDATE: In comments, Dave Rye makes good points about the newsworthiness of the event, but he doesn't change my assessment. Too much, too often. Where it started to run off the rails for me was with this story. The lead story in the City-State section was that Dawson wasn't giving interviews. That isn't news. That's milking the story.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Once again you have hit the nail on the head. Yesterdays continuing coverage was too much.

As far as I know, Steve Lund is still an FBI Agent. He left the Billings Police Department after to Rodstein murders and joined the FBI. He was a rising star in the BPD but had more ambition that to be a flat footed beat Cop.

david said...

Right on. I was nearly nauseated to hear the reporters go on about his last meal, and what music he listened to, and other bullshit that nobody needed to know.

Let him rot.

Pete Hansen said...

I cannot agree more! It is a pity that this scum's victims are mentioned so casually and merely in passing and then, paragraph after paragraph are written about their killer! These people, a good man, his faithful and giving wife and a young boy who, having reached the advance age of 11, has no future other than being in a grave for eternity have been there for 20 years already, while this scumbag has existed on death row. I recall a quote from the movie "The Unforgiven," when Clint Eastwood says, "When you kill a man, you take away everything he has or ever will have." Too bad the ACLU and church groups didn't have the empathy for this scum's victims as did for him! Would the continued paying for his maintenace and his attorney's incomes had satisfied them? If so, how about them kicking in to support his support, for another twenty years. I'd suggest we spend some of the money we'll now save, not having to support him, by hiring yet another out of state "consultant," to help us move things along with the other life takers still on death row. I'll bet you'd get a lot of competent help from Texas!

Anonymous said...

I am not too keen on the death penalty, but Dawson was no poster child for its abolition. It is over and done. Let's move on.

Dave Rye said...

I respectfully disagree, folks. The story was supremely interesting for several reasons: (1) as part and parcel of the ever-continuing debate over capital punishment, (2) as part of our unanswerable bewilderment as to why some people can do such thoroughly evil deeds of which most of us aren't capable (thank goodness), (3) as a look at how someone acts and reacts in the rare instance of knowing precisely when and how he or she is going to die, and (4) because if a working definition of "news" is "what's unusual or a departure from the norm," executions in this state are rare (none for 50 years, and three in the past 13 years). Dawson himself was even more unusual, and newsworthy, for not pursuing every possible legal avenue to avoid execution--in fact, the precise opposite.

The major clinker, from a news point of view, is that he was such a blah and uninteresting personality. Maybe that gives some credence to the old line about "the banality of evil."

Anonymous said...

How may years since Dewey Coleman was sentenced to die?

Ed Kemmick said...

Dave Rye: I was going to chime in but you said it all and said it well.

Mark T said...

Funny that we can and do do things collectively that we regard as abhorrent when we do them personally. We even hold parades...

Better yet, the further distant we are from an evil deed, the more noble - ie - a bomb dropped on a village is OK, but individually machine gunning villagers is not.

Go figure. But I'm glad Dawson is gone, even if he had a future in the military...

Anonymous said...

"The major clinker, from a news point of view, is that he was such a blah and uninteresting personality. Maybe that gives some credence to the old line about "the banality of evil."

so true.

He never did give us any insight into his personality and according to the dailies he was a "model prisoner" and had a total of 13 visitors in 19 years.

Ed Kemmick said...

Mark T.: I don't see how the distinctions you make are funny, and I don't think they are at all surprising. Of course it's easier to bomb people than it is to machine-gun them. I don't know that anyone considers it more "noble."

By extension, it would be more awful to individually gouge out the eyes of each person in a village than it would be to machine-gun them, and maybe it would be worse to bite the nose and ears off each villager than it would be to gouge their eyes out. Your distinctions don't help much.

Mark T said...

But Ed - my point exactly! The distinctions don't make sense.

US killed millions of people in Vietnam, most from on high by bombs dropped from fighter jets and B52's. John McCain was part of that - in fact, he was shot down after he blew up a light bulb factory.

But he's a hero.

Lt. Calley killed villagers face-to-face rather than from on high. He's a goat.

Same function, different outcome. I agree with you that we make odd distinctions.