[Update: OK, it's the AP's fault, not entirely CNN's]
Ok, CNN.com sucks.
A few weeks ago a story popped up on cnn.com, yahoo.com, and a couple other
places about a teenager who committed some crimes and then told officers who
arrested him that he was inspired by Grand Theft Auto 3. This story was of
a great deal of interest to me because I have known the kid in question for
most of my life.
Anyway, CNN's article was so sensationalized and misleading that it distorted
the truth entirely. The article's wording leads readers to believe that the
teenager stole over 100 cars and then blamed his actions on the video game.
What really happened is that around 150 cars were broken into and one was
stolen. Property from the cars was stolen, which apparently totalled less
than $1000 in value, since a better (yet still sensationalized) article
stated that "At the three teenagers' homes, police reportedly found hundreds
of dollars worth of stolen property."
There is a difference between blaming something and getting an idea from
"He freely admitted to the crimes and gave us a very lengthy statement
implicating himself and two other people," Pleasant Prairie, Wis., Police
Chief Brian Wagner said.
This does not sound like someone who is blaming his actions on something else.
Just because he got the idea from GTA3 does not mean that he's trying to
put the accountability for his actions onto GTA3, as CNN implied.
I'm not going to defend my friend's actions, and I offer my condolences to
the victims of his crimes, some of whom I may know. Still, CNN has caused
a rush of reactions based on their crappy reporting, and it pisses me off.