British sailor Ryan Donovan recently went on a shooting spree inside a nuclear submarine. According to the Daily Mirror, Grand Theft Auto was an accomplice.
Donovan is staring down 25 years in prison for his attack on several crew members while the sub he was assigned to was docked in Southampton. According to his superior officers, Donovan was angry that they had denied his request for a transfer to a different vessel.
Petty Officer Andrew Love claims that Donovan said he was planning a “Grand Theft Auto-style massacre.”
Likewise, Prosecutor Nigel Lickley said Donovan “… just giggled and said he was thinking how to start a massacre.”
“He started talking about Grand Theft Auto where you start a massacre and rack up points by killing,” Lickley adds.
For the purposes of this article, I’m going to give the Daily Mirror the benefit of the doubt and believe that the above quotes actually took place. However, I feel I should also point out that the Daily Mirror immediately capitalized on these comments, almost to the exclusion of the actual violent shooting rampage.
Have a look at this image thoughtfully captured by CVG. That’s from the front of the paper itself, and it’s not alone. The article is emblazoned with the words “It was like he was playing a video game” and includes a sidebar dedicated to describing Grand Theft Auto.
According to the sidebar (which bears the heading “Cyber Kids Dabble With Death”), “some critics have dubbed it a ‘killing simulator,'” and “it is accused of inciting vulnerable youngsters to commit horrific crimes.” Granted, the Mirror isn’t exactly lying, but they also completely fail to point out that they themselves are these “critics.”
And why was that sidebar necessary anyway? Do the suddenly terrified geriatric readers of the Daily Mirror not know what Grand Theft Auto is? You don’t see an aside explaining “Gordon Ramsay,” “badger” or “sex dwarf” in that recent Sunday Sport piece, do you?