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Sucked in by Bad Fact-Checking

She’d lie in bed while on the other end of the line he played Halo 3 on the Xbox, and they’d go for hours like that, with Rob whispering about his shitty childhood and his fickle mother as he mowed down virtual enemies on the screen.

The Phrase that killed a whole article for me

Everyone will remember me as a monster

If you want to include some color about your subject, make it facts, not plain fallacy.  Halo 3 came out in 2007, this phrase was about a time period on or around late 2006 – mid 2007.  While it is possible that it’s about September, I don’t think it is.

Little details like this kill these long “story-style” narriative pieces in newsmagazines, it’s small and easily overlooked, but since the devil is in the details, how many other details are misquotes or possible prosaic fabrications?

Here’s the quote that confirms my suspicion about the time-frame (it comes later in the article)

It was in this tenuous position that he reached out one last time to his mother. Last September, just as he had two years earlier, he picked up the phone and called her out of the blue.

He had been with his GF for a while, he was feeling depressed so he called his mom, mid september, before the release of Halo 3. It’s a minor point, but still. Gah!

All of that being said, the comments on the article really missed the point; this kid and the kids like him could have been stopped/saved if the people around them had just understood them a bit better.  I don’t know if that is true, and the facts presented are suspect at best (and under researched at worst) but I can’t see for a moment that “Rob” is being held up as a hero, if anything he is presented as a wretched, victim who couldn’t look beyond himself for help, but depended totally upon others to get by.

It’s just another opinion peice-cum-narriative that masquerades as journalism.  I’m happy to see someone take an interest in the kid, it’s just too bad it’s post-humously.

Published inCommentary