Since his capture Friday evening at the end of a long, sad week, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev thankfully hasn't provided much in dramatic news. Hospitalized and in custody, he could barely speak at a court appearance due to a (possibly self-inflicted) gun wound to the throat.
Well, media famously abhors a vacuum. So we're now witnessing a strange new phenomenon: sympathy for the alleged Boston bomber.
A big part of this is an emerging narrative that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two brothers, was the driving force behind the attacks. Consider, for example, the Saturday Gawker post "Did Tamerlan Tsarnaev Pressure His Younger Brother Into Terrorism?" The article seemingly suggests that Dzhokhar would be less morally responsible if the bombings were his brother's idea. Soon enough Gawker commenters were expressing skepticism that such a sweet boy could even be involved, doubtless driven by media reports that his classmates thought he was a " sweetheart," " really nice " or, according to his father, a " true angel."
A greater and bolder array of pro-Dzhokhar sentiment emerged in the days to follow. There's the Amanda Palmer poem mocked around the internet, born out of "empathy and sadness" for Dzhokhar and, according to Palmer herself, composed in under ten minutes. There's a Daily Beast article provocatively titled "The Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Admiration Society," documenting the handful of conspiracy theorists who claim Dzhokhar was set up. Not to be outdone, the Huffington Post ran an America Magazine essay by a Jesuit deacon titled " Dear Dzhokhar, I Can't Hate You." "You are just a kid," it reads, "You must have been so afraid. You were a victim like so many are victims."