He wanted notoriety. But it is New Zealand’s stoic leader who has become the face of a tragedy
“You will never hear me mention his name,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told
the New Zealand Parliament Tuesday.
“He is a terrorist, he is a criminal, he is an extremist, but he will, when I speak, be nameless, and to others I implore you: Speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them. He may have sought notoriety but we in New Zealand will give him nothing — not even his name.”
Since the massacre, Ardern, at 37 the world’s youngest female head of government, has spoken with emotion and empathy, reassuring families and updating the public with the latest on the investigation.
It has been her face — and not that of the suspected shooter — that has come to dominate media coverage.
As the suspect– thanks in part to a ban on publishing certain details about him — has been forced into the background, facing punishment but denied the fame he desired, Ardern has earned international praise for her handling of the event, which has thrust her into the unwelcome role of, as she put it, voicing the grief of a nation.