YouTube gets Va. Tech shooting footage

YouTube gets Va. Tech shooting footage

Staff and agencies
20 April, 2007

By JAKE COYLE, AP Entertainment Writer 1 hour, 14 minutes ago

NEW YORK - It was inevitable that the online video world would offer its take on a crime glimpsed as it unfolded most dramatically via a cell phone camera, carried out by a student who put together a CD-ROM of his manifesto and mailed it to a TV news network.

But one of the most-watched videos — viewed by some 150,000 people — is a song dedicated to the families of the 32 victims. Playing keyboard, Kojo Best sings: "God bless your family, and your community, through this insanity."

Also posted, though, are dramatizations of two of killer Cho Seung-Hui‘s plays, which have become easily available on the Web.

At least four people posted videos in which they either read or acted out "Richard McBeef," mocking Cho and his writing. That play features an "aging balding overweight pedophiliac" stepdad named Dick who abuses his 13-year-old stepson.

A 32-year-old with the username SteveBrandon wrote alongside his two-part video: "This is posted not to make light in any way of the Virginia Tech massacre, I just thought I‘d act out his bad writing to show what a freak Cho Seung-Hui is. Okay, I‘m a fat freak too. But at least I‘m not a killer."

In that video, three costumed men act out the play, barely keeping straight faces.

"When we read Cho‘s plays, it was like something out of a nightmare," former classmate Ian MacFarlane, now an AOL employee, wrote in a blog posted on an AOL Web site.

Responding to a lighthearted reading by two brothers posted under the username taagteam, another person wrote: "Had you known one single person killed or wounded or related to the victims in any way, you wouldn‘t be laughing."

"Clearly there are cases where certain users may post content which is not illegal, but which other users may find to be in poor taste, offensive, or distressing," the site said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. "YouTube has clear content policies which prohibit illegal or inappropriate content to be uploaded."

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