“I should be clear that I know and like Ann Hornaday. But this isn’t about having a friend’s back; Ann can definitely take care of herself. This is about the idea that the images and stories we consume matter, that they affect us profoundly, although not always in ways we can see and rarely or never in some clear cause-and-effect fashion. That idea is what Hornaday is struggling with here, and it’s an idea we confront over and over again, in slightly different forms, after every one of these mass shootings that seems to have been deliberately designed by its perpetrator as a media spectacle.

“For Seth Rogen to boil all that down, for his 2 million-plus Twitter followers, to ‘@AnnHornaday how dare you imply that me getting girls in movies caused a lunatic to go on a rampage?’ is a black-comic example of movie-star narcissism. (I originally wrote that Rogen’s phrase about ‘getting girls’ sent an unfortunate signal, and it rubbed a lot of other people the wrong way too. Various commenters have correctly observed that Hornaday put it exactly the same way, so let’s chalk that one up to the endless game of Telephone that is the Internet.)” — from Andrew O’Hehir‘s 5.27 Salon piece titled “How Seth Rogen proved Ann Hornaday’s point about Elliot Rodger.”