Screenshot from Kendall Jones' Facebook page
Kendall Jones has sparked outrage after she posted pics of her showing off a lion, leopard, rhino, zebra, and other animals she dispatched in Africa. We defy the petitions to erase her visage for a number of reasons, but the main one is this: it helps to have photographic evidence of people being jerks.
Why would anyone want to conceal proof of someone's awful behavior? We believe it is tremendously helpful to have the 19-year-old's own statements clearly stated on the record. Statements such as: "As badly as I wanted to shoot something I was just too small to hold the guns my dad had brought."
It's terrific that Jones tells us that she "harvested" an elephant -- she "finished it off" with her dad's ".470 Nitro Express." It's extra-good that she informs us that she was "lucky enough to have all of my hunting adventures professionally videoed and put onto DVD."
Jones' goal is to land a series on the Sportsman Channel, and some news accounts already have her achieving this, but the Washington Post reports that a Sportsman spokesman "was not able to confirm that the show is in the works."
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At first, we thought that maybe that was because this is a hoax. After all, while Jones' Facebook public figure page has become the subject of international media attention, she's barely been interviewed, and so far we aren't aware of any interviews of her friends, family members, or classmates. We held out hope that maybe this was some sort of performance art.
But then we saw that her hometown paper, the Cleburn Times-Review, claimed to have interviewed her. Reporter Matt Smith writes: "'I knew when I posted these pictures that there would be people for and against my Facebook page,' Jones said via email from Africa on Thursday. 'I really am shocked at how rude many people are by name calling and swearing. I have actually had several death threats, which are going to be investigated."
And then we found this 2010 thread for Texashuntingforum.com, with a beaming 15-year-old Jones crouched by a dead rhino. Our hope was finally extinguished.
We know there are awful people out there -- we write about them all the time. And it's better to bring them out into the light. Petitions like the ones against Jones will only succeed in driving douchiness underground, where it not be combated, and, hopefully, one day defeated.