Here we go again.
Roland Martin at CNN, is trying to convince us that the non-stop coverage of a forced entry, by a man who was tried and found innocent of a celebrated crime, is irresistable. Under the title of "Admit it, America -- you can't get enough of O.J.", Martin points out that:
You buy the books about O.J. You watch these TV shows that go wall-to-wall O.J. You buy the magazines that feature him on the cover. And yes, we in the media churn this stuff out like clockwork. We are all rolling around in the slime of celebrity justice.
Present Black Man is the story of the day, and you are to blame. After all, his book is #1 on Amazon...
But, I have a question for Mr. Martin. Is public interest a sufficient excuse for the outrageous coverage being broadcast?
Aside from the lifeless, who are these people who "can't get enough"? Not me. From Gary Condit, convicted without evidence, and driven from the House on the basis of media speculation that he was a murderer, to the recent fluttering accusations against the mother and father of that missing child in Portugal, I find the entire ritual of airing uninformed opinion under the banner of "expertise" to be morally offensive.
It is a very dangerous thing, you know, this "trial by media". The endless parade of "formers" with no information, no facts, and no standing, arguing a case before the cameras. Shaping the opinions of those who have even less information and publically convicting a man, or woman, before they have even arraigned in a court of law.
I just heard a woman commentator on CNN say, "No wonder we are so thrilled with this OJ story. After all, he is a murderer who got away with killing two people. Now we've got him!"
The righteous gleam in her eye, the head lifted in triumph, the fangs exposed, as she projected her personal beliefs on the fate of a man she has likely never met.
MSNBC is no better. They are featuring an "Editor's Pick Video" on their web site under the headline "OJ still in jail". There is a breathless update, every 20 minutes or so on the cable channels, and whole segments of entire programs are devoted to people who have opinions. Opinions grounded in nothing but their personal animus towards this man.
Is this what the Founders intended? Is this what the Rule of Law has become? Is this fair?
There was a time in our country when those who made up stories about others were held in contempt. They were seen as pathetic gossip mongers who contributed nothing to civil discourse. Now they hold center stage, free to ruin lives, taint reputations, and preen before the cameras with their vile concoctions. And, do not think for a moment that all of the lawyers opining on this event are anything more than gossip mongers!
I'll not ask if you find the latest OJ saga interesting. I certainly do not, in as much as I know nothing about what happened - not even enough to know if it is interesting.
I will ask that you protest against the character assassination that has become the standard coin of media coverage of what should be a 30 second update. Protest the "experts" who offer nothin but lame-assed speculation, clothed in legalise, and use their law degrees as a shiv against the latest celebrity outrage.
Drop a note to CNN, and to MSNBC, and tell 'em to knock it off. It is highly inappropriate to spend hours building a case against anyone, in the media. Trial by TV, without evidence, without facts, and without a judge to decide upon admissibility of evidence, is not the system of justice upon which America is based.