July 7, 2011

"News" media convicts, celebrates, repeat.

I'm baack.. and apparently I've missed little.

I watch The Daily Show and follow the news online and in print, but until this week I knew nothing about Casey Anthony or Kim Kardashian (except for the Saturday Night Live "Kardashian" skits). I also don't think my cell phone was ever hacked by News of the World. Fresh back from my vacation, I finally Google-d both ladies and found out the gory details of Casey's notoriety and Kim's celebrity.

I felt the urge to check out the alleged killer Mom because the jury had just acquitted her, and I felt almost guilty (almost) that the story had been dragging on for three years while I skated past it all in blissful ignorance. It is definitely a horrible tale for anyone to absorb, let alone a parent of young children. However, while I do not resent the accused having competent counsel, it is unpleasant to see photos of otherwise ordinary people arriving in court with a retinue of lawyers, advisors and consultants to rival a G-20 leader, and subject to dozens of TV cameras and round-the-clock coverage on cable "news" shows -- only because such people are on trial for heinous crimes. And then a jury has the hutzpah not to convict, which gives license to someone ironically named Nancy Grace...

Kim Kardashian seems like a nice enough person, and her fame and fortune make a cute caricature of our media "culture". The fact that both Casey and Kim seem to be so much in the "news" is a neat reflection of the sick joke that it's all about the hype and melodrama, with very little redeeming information we really need to know. And "News of the World" is a poster child for this sick and sickening industry that used to parallel and now overwhelms serious journalism. Suffice it to say, the British Empire is about to lose one good-for-nothing gossip rag (or Google it).

A criminal case such as the one involving former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is significant because of the prior status of the suspect, and specifically his potential to be the next President of France. Some cases involve police officers abusing their responsibilities, or others breaking the public trust. Don't get me wrong, the Casey Anthony trial should have been a news story, but it should never have been a regular prime-time show. Thank goodness for DVR!

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