Politicians and citizens alike have taken to social media to express their disgust and dissatisfaction with the Canadian Press' decision to name Luka Rocco Magnotta the 2012 "Newsmaker of the Year."
Magnotta made headlines across the world following the gruesome killing and dismemberment of Jun Lin, a Chinese international student studying computer engineering in Canada, and Magnotta's subsequent global manhunt. Magnotta is at a Montreal detention center, awaiting trial for criminal counts; he has pleaded no guilty on all counts.
Magnotta collected 22% of the vote, beating out Amanda Todd (18%), a Vancouver-area teenager whose online video and suicide sparked an international discussion about bullying, and NHL's Betthman/Fehr duo (15%).
Only two other people have earned votes out of infamy in the poll's 56-year history. High-profile Canadian killers Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka didn't reach the top of the list. And serial killers Marc Lepine, Clifford Olson, and Robert Pickton didn't even make the list.
On explaining why Magnotta was selected, Professor Romayne Smith Fullerton at the University of Western Ontario said, "It had sex, it had murder, it had an ostensibly good-looking (alleged) villain, it had intrigue, it had social media, it had international elements."
But this decision has infuriated many. Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae criticized the decision as "truly disgusting."
Unfortunately, this decision is evidence that the media has dropped to levels of sensationalism, arguably giving Magnotta the attention he craved through all this tragedy. If this was such a newsworthy saga, why not name Jun Lin as 2012 "Newsmaker of the Year?"