Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Spanking The Media

Living in the age of information, we are inundated each day with news stories. Naturally, these are comprised of reports of varying degrees of importance.

Thankfully, most people are quick to recognize those things that are truly important. Putting their priorities in an appropriate order, other lesser events are relegated to another more appropriate time and place.

Accordingly, with news of the birth of Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, an eager and excited public was ready for that first $4 million dollar photo of the golden child. And why not? To do anything less would be almost an abdication of one's civic duties. What! You haven't seen the photo? For shame!

And so it is that our esteemed traditional media have only our best interests in mind when pursuing stories for our daily consumption. Bennifers I and II? Got it. The (former) fat actress? We've got the jowly photos right here. Anna Nicole Smith? Read the full story.

Accordingly, upon arriving the other day at the local courthouse where I work, I knew that all was right with the world. You see, outside was a flotilla of the shiny mobile broadcast trucks, from a variety of networks. Upon seeing the Fox truck, first in line, I knew that I had the rare opportunity to be witness to a truly earth-shaking event. After all, who could rightfully question the attention of that "fair and balanced" network? Certainly not me. And to be fair (but not necessarily balanced), I was not disappointed.

Three photos of the busy press enclave are seen directly below.

In addition to walking by the aforesaid enclave each day, I am treated to a phalanx of reporters lined up behind ropes adjacent to the front door to the building. It's like walking down the red carpet at the Academy Awards, except without the Joan Rivers snark. And without the innovative fashions. And without the red carpet. But I digress.

And what, you ask, is the important event in question? What could be so important that it would draw so many resources to the rural county in which these proceedings are set? Why nothing less than a murder trial, transferred from its original jurisdiction in another county because of a potential conflict of interest.

But surely a murder trial taking place at a local courthouse wouldn't get this kind of attention, would it? Well, not without something more. A hook, if you will. An added twist to fire up one's attention. ( The Laci Peterson matter received national attention. Need I say more? )

In this regard, the facts do not dissappoint. And in view of this, it is no wonder that the networks were more than happy to commit a fleet of 7 or so mobile broadcast trucks and small army of 40 or so reporters and technicians for a period of several weeks. (if not months) Maybe they should have sent more. You see, the defendant is alleged to be an axe murderer. And (take a breath here), he is a young man alleged to have murdered his father with the aforesaid axe. And, then he went after his mother. And, she lived, albeit greatly disfigured by her son's attempts to kill her. And, she is seen daily, seated next to her son, to whom she apparently still provides emotional support. < gasp! >

So, now it is abundantly clear why so many broadcast resources are necessary, this being an event of truly global and universal importance and not just for the clearly secondary sensational nature of this ghastly crime. No, no, it's not that all. Certainly not.

But then again, perhaps I'm just not capable of deciding for myself exactly what is important.


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