By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – I have my doubts about the overall merits of Twitter, but if what you want to do is start an instant conversation about something, you can’t beat a Tweet.

Wednesday afternoon, as now-former Patriot Aaron Hernandez was being escorted into Attleboro District Court to face murder and other charges, WBZ-TV cameras caught what I referred to in a Tweet as a sad and disconcerting sight: grinning onlookers eagerly shooting cellphone video and pictures of the suspect.

The sadness is the story itself: one young man dead, gunned down and left to die in the dirt, another young man potentially facing life in prison for allegedly throwing away the victim’s life and his own.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

The disconcerting part – that grown men and women with, apparently, plenty of time on their hands, would joyfully snap photos of the scene as if it were a Paris Hilton sighting.

Most of the responses on Twitter seemed to agree with me.

“Sad when people can’t separate sports from life,” read one. “Do people realize that he could be charged with murder?” read another. “What if their family member was the victim?”

But several took a different approach.

“How is it any different than what your network is doing?” wrote one. “Aerial shots of him arriving in a police car? c’mon!”

If you want to argue that the media coverage of the Hernandez case has been excessive, feel free to do so.

But I guarantee you that no member of the media would be down there documenting his arrival if they weren’t being paid to be there, and none of them are smiling and excited about it as they’re doing it.

The involvement of a celebrity brings unusual attention to this case, true, I get that. But this is a story of life, death and senseless violence.

And that is not something anyone should get giddy about.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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