James Holmes is a human earthquake. We are as ill-equipped to predict the eruptions of such human beings as we are to predict the eruptions of the earth.
But that doesn't mean that nothing meaningful came out of the Aurora tragedy.
Something quite important did, though few Americans are aware of it because it has already entered the mainstream media's memory hole.
On ABC's "Good Morning America" on Friday morning, Brian Ross, chief investigative reporter for ABC News, announced to George Stephanopoulos and millions of viewers that there's "a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado page on the Colorado Tea Party site," which mentions Holmes "talking about joining the Tea Party last year."
Ross acknowledged that, "We don't know if this is the same Jim Holmes, but it is Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado."
As the Baltimore Sun's TV critic, David Zurawik, wrote: "So, why put it out there in the first place, if you don't have it nailed down?"
While blaming ABC News and Brian Ross for besmirching reputations and irresponsible reporting, Mr. Zurawik doesn't answer his question.
I will. The news media -- as there are almost no non-liberal mainstream news media, the term "news media" means liberal news media -- believe they have a higher calling than reporting news.
In order to understand this, I offer this anecdote. A number of years ago, I was asked to moderate a panel of judges that included a former, very liberal, California Supreme Court justice. At one point, the justice said that his role as a judge was to fight inequality, poverty and racism. I respectfully disagreed: if that is what he wanted to do professionally, he should have chosen another profession; his role as a judge is solely to administer justice in his courtroom.
People on the left think the way the judge did. The primary purpose of every profession, as they see it, is to increase what they call social justice.
Thus, the purpose of college teachers (and increasingly high school and elementary teachers as well) is no longer merely to teach. It is to improve society by teaching students, for example, about global warming. And the purpose of history textbooks is not primarily to teach history, but to make female, gay, black, and Latino students feel good about themselves. (California just passed a law mandating that textbooks include stories of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people.)
And the purpose of the news media is not primarily to present news as impartially as possible. It is to improve society -- which to liberals means, above all, fighting the right.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”