Rush Limbaugh sees a media conspiracy to "define deviancy down" by portraying Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as an adorable kid through teenage anecdotes and photos that make him look handsome. "You notice also that the news media are doing to Dzhokhar what they did to Trayvon Martin," Limbaugh said on his radio show Tuesday. "They're regularly showing a photo of Dzhokhar that was taken when he was about 14. Soft, angelic, nice little boy, harmless, cute, big lovable eyes." Trayvon Martin was the unarmed teenager shot to death in Florida in 2012. His killer was initially not arrested because of Florida's Stand Your Ground law. The only thing they have in common is being young men who are not White Christians.
Limbaugh sees a dark conspiracy in the photos of Tsarnaev. There are only a few publicly available, and those of his bloody capture don't show his face very well. But there's another reason to show photos of Dzhokhar before he was a suspect. One of the eerie things about the younger Boston marathon bomber's social media sites is that he says and does a lot of banal teenager things. Music, TV, smoking weed, sleeping in, pizza ("pizzzzzzzzaaaaaa baaaabbyyy"). One of the most attractive pictures of Tsarnaev to surface since the authorities released his name is a former Twitter profile photo (above at right), which is exactly where teenagers post the most attractive pictures of themselves. We all have the impulse to sift through what we can see of Tsarnaev's life online to find telltale signs that he could commit a terrible crime. They're not there. Journalists have reported that Tsarnaev seemed like a normal kid. "He's not a normal kid," Limbaugh says. "There's nothing normal about this, and we don't want it to be normal." Well, yeah, that's the point.