Mainstream media at fault for frenzy over high-profile cases
Published: Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 11:07
What is America's obsession with the criminal justice system? "Law and Order," "C.S.I," :NYPD: Blue," "Matlock," "Harry's Law" — the list of crime-based television shows seems nearly endless.
Thus, it is not surprising that high-profile criminal cases receive national media attention. (Think back to the Michael Jackson and O.J. Simpson trials, just to name two.)
In fact, that same media will stop at nothing to be the first news outlet to break "important" new developments in such cases.
The news media also seems to pride itself on providing "exclusive reports" from jurors, attorneys and even the defendants during and after a trial.
Sarcastically speaking, I was somewhat "impressed" to see that some jury members in Casey Anthony's trial were able to stifle their greed for almost a week before commanding "compensation" for future appearances, TMZ reports.
Some might say that Americans are obsessed with violence and destruction. Maybe Americans enjoy seeing others get punished for their transgressions. But perhaps Americans have a mentality that encourages them to seek justice for those who have been wronged.
History would show that America has a strong sense of morality and integrity — and should a fellow American be victimized, the rest of society expects reprisal.
On Dec. 7, 1941, a Japanese air fleet launched a surprise attack on a U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The resulting fallout from the destruction and loss of life led the United States into World War II. The American people expected those who were responsible to pay for their crimes — and years later, the Japanese people paid the ultimate price at Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
After the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., the American people once again cried out for justice. Ten years later, the United States still continues to fight the terrorist organizations in Afghanistan and Iraq that were responsible for the massacre. While popular support for the wars has drastically faded, the fact remains that many people still seek vengeance for the blood spilled on that horrible day.
It isn't much of a stretch to say that one of the main reasons support for the war has dwindled is due to the negative media bias towards the wars.
In fact, the media has an excessive amount of control over public opinion nowadays due, in part, to the fact that information is so readily available. For that matter, opinions in the media are widespread and pervasive. (My article is included.)
Our opinions of Casey Anthony, O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and the like have been formed by the media mostly due to the fact that Americans don't have the time to go to the trials themselves or follow the complicated court proceedings that can sometimes be found online.
The media has a responsibility to report the news and the crimes perpetrated against society. However, when the only sources of information regarding these crimes are syndicated talk shows such as "Hardball with Chris Matthews" and "The O'Reilly Factor," nobody really benefits except for the advertisers who buy air time.
So perhaps it is the mainstream media, not the average "Joe the Plumber" American that is obsessed with crime.
As long as the media thinks that Americans are hinging on every word said during the Casey Anthony trial, they will continue to report on it … and our days will continue to be filled with watching Lindsay Lohan cry in front of the judge for the 9,000th time.