If only I’d been taking notes. I post this in the hope that some sharp-eared Media Nation reader will be able to expand on what I heard yesterday while parking at Target to run a few errands.
Howie Carr was hosting his WRKO Radio (AM 680) show, and the topic was the killing at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. Some of Carr’s observations were sensible. You do have to wonder what the parents of suspect John Odgren were thinking as he went off to school wearing a Columbine-style trench coat.
But then a caller opined that Odgren ought to be executed. I’m not making this up. Odgren is 16 years old and living with Asperger’s syndrome, a serious mental disorder, and some know-nothing know-it-all was ready to strap him into an electric chair as an example to others. I believe the caller also described Odgren as “an animal,” and “not a human being.”
And Carr agreed.
Then, within moments, Carr sounded like he was ready to change his tune. Those of us who’ve been reading and listening to Carr for years know there’s a good Howie and a bad Howie, and that occasionally he’ll remember that he’s supposed to be the adult in these exchanges. Or perhaps the producer was screaming in his ear, relaying orders from Entercom to inject a little sanity into the proceedings.
But alas. All Carr did was point out that you can’t reinstate the death penalty and use it on someone after the fact — a state of affairs he lamented. He further observed, bitterly, that Odgren would probably serve just 11 years or so, unless someone kills him in prison.
Maria Cramer reports in the Globe today that Odgren has a troubled history — so troubled that you have to wonder why he was allowed such freedom of movement at Lincoln-Sudbury. If he had been more closely supervised, James Alenson might be alive today.
There are plenty of questions about the way Odgren’s disability was managed. But for some mouth-breathing talk-radio caller to demand his execution — and for the host actually to agree — is so reprehensible and irresponsible that Carr, on reflection, would be deeply ashamed if he were capable of such an emotion.