EDITORíS DESK: Unused pictures
We censored ourselves this week. We did not run any photos of the Holland Park spray-paint church vandalism. It wasn't from lack of choice. The good folks in
Holland Park, although shaken by the incident, had taken a wealth of pictures afterward and told us we could run any of them we wanted to. We didn't want to. What
kind of message does it send to the twisted brains out there? Do something outrageous and hateful and get a picture of your misdeeds in the newspaper? I sometimes
wonder, as many do, just how much that kind of fawning over criminality encourages more of the same. Oh sure, I suppose there have to be exceptions. If some
heartless nutjob burned down a historic building (knock on wood), it would be hard to ignore the loss. But in this case, it was just spray paint applied in a disturbing
manner - something that could be easily painted over (though not easily forgotten). The same kind of philosophy applies to people who call in false alarms or bomb
threats. You know that they're watching with secret glee as everyone evacuates the threatened building - which is bad enough, but I've noticed in recent years that the
everyday media has even started running photos of such events. There once was an unwritten rule that newspapers did not cover such things; I don't know what's
happened, but sick minds do not need that kind of encouragement.
Getting back to the Holland Park vandalism, it seems worth noting the efforts that Mark T. Smith, the Holland Park Community Association's outgoing president, took on behalf of his neighborhood to get appropriate police response. When police at first balked at taking a case report (an apology for that mistake was issued later), Smith marched down to the "Takin' It to the Streets" at the Gold Hill substation and laid it before City Council members and staff. The effort worked. Moral of story. If you're feeling powerless, get active with your neighborhood association. You'll find it has some clout!