If a sociopath’s attraction to villainy is partly engendered by hope for celebrity, might a “Herostratos law” take away some of the allure, by ensuring the opposite?
Of course things work differently today. Coerced forgetfulness is out of the question in a free society. Newspapers and journalists would have to participate voluntarily. Instead of suppressing actual facts, which are needed for accountability, good results might be achieved simply by making adjustments in style and presentation. After all, reporters assented, en masse, when Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh asked to be called “Tim” and the Unabomber said “call me Ted” instead of Theodore. If journalists accommodate murderers in this small way — as a reflex of professional courtesy — why can’t they lean a bit theother direction, after someone is convicted of gross felonies in a court of law?