The old saying goes that when you’re explaining, you’re losing, but Hornaday — the anti-science Washington Post film critic who blamed white male Hollywood for Elliot Rodger’s deadly and tragic weekend rampage — is now saying that the “quality” of Rodger’s confessional video (well shot, lit, etc.) is what prompted her to lay some of the blame for the murders at the feet of Hollywood.
In the end, other than the production value of a YouTube, Hornaday admits that she has absolutely no evidence to support her hare-brained feminist rant against white male Hollywood. “I’m just a hammer looking for nails,” is what she should have said:
“As a film critic, what I wanted to do was think about what echoes we heard from the larger culture and maybe post some questions that might be useless. At least judging from my inbox today, a lot of people do think that those are questions worth asking.”
1. Just because you’re a film critic does not mean you have to find an angle that fits your particular beat every time a big story breaks. Like I said, this is Hornaday pretty much admitting that she’s nothing more than a hammer in search of a nail.
I’m a film and culture writer who happened to be sitting at his desk when the news of this massacre hit. And there’s nothing I enjoy more than to expose and fight the entertainment industry at every opportunity. But it was OBVIOUS then and even more OBVIOUS now that Rodger was a sick, twisted young man fueled by a diseased narcissism and sense of entitlement, not Seth Rogen.
Rodger also left behind a TON of video and scribbling evidence where he attempts to explain and justify himself. So far nothing mentions a motive involving the entertainment industry. And this was an individual who loved to lay blame on others.
If Rodger had written, “If fat, dumb Seth Rogen (sorry Seth) can win a girl, why can’t I?” Hornaday could at least hang her hat on something. It would be dumb, but it would be something.
But he didn’t. And yet, with zero evidence, Hornaday writes, “It’s just as clear that his allusions were inflated if not created by the entertainment industry he grew up in.”
Actually, according to Rodger’s own ramblings, it was seeing couples together at coffee shops and on campus that fueled his rage. He never mentions movies. Ever.
Should we close down coffee shops and colleges?
Now that’s a debate worth having.
2. The “just asking questions” excuse is a sorry refuge. Sure, Hornaday’s inbox was full of people who agreed with her. I’m guessing when preachers blame hurricanes on The Gaaaaaayyyyyzzzzz, they get a pretty good response, too. Anti-science is anti-science.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC