Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Post-trial exploitation

It's now a time-honored tradition in media-land: after a trial with national interest has concluded, spend the next week or so putting those participants from it who are willing in front of a camera or microphone, no matter what they have to say. And frankly, the more stupid their opinions are in this regard, the better.

First, we have "Juror B37," who did an interview the other day with the most vapid man on television, Anderson Cooper:

People are now fairly questioning how she ended up on the jury, how she survived voir dire by both the prosecution and the defense, for this interview demonstrates quite clearly in my opinion that Juror B37 wanted very badly to be on the jury because she believed it represented a chance for her to be famous, in one way or another. And people like that are bad news in a jury trial, for both sides, since they likely have no interest in the specifics of the case or the controlling laws under consideration.

Many sites and pundits have jumped on the interview to eviscerate Juror B37 since she comes across as something of a moron. One site is as good as another, in this regard. Here is ThinkProgress on her responses. Aside from demonstrating her lack of intellectual prowess, such pieces also demonstrate Cooper's lack of interviewing skills, but that is neither here nor there.

After the interview aired, four of the remaining five jurors were quick to distance themselves from the inane blather of Juror B37:
"The opinions of Juror B37, expressed on the Anderson Cooper show were her own, and not in any way representative of the jurors listed below," said the statement, signed by Jurors B51, B76, E6 and E40... 
"Serving on this jury has been a highly emotional and physically draining experience for each of us," the statement said. "The death of a teenager weighed heavily on our hearts but in the end we did what the law required us to do." 
They also made a request for privacy.
A more than fair response. Here's hoping the media vultures respect their request for privacy. But we still have to ask why she--Juror B37--was given any airtime at all. Surely she was vetted before the interview; if it was clear she was way out of her depth, why put her on TV when there's nothing significant to be gleaned from her words? Why proceed with the interview--why air it--when it had to be obvious that she would be subjected to massive amounts of ridicule?

Easy, most of the media just doesn't care, as long as what they are doing gets them ratings or creates a little controversy.

Consider example number two, the prosecution's "star" witness Rachel Jeantel. She's on TV, she's on the radio, she's everywhere. And why? Because she's willing to do so and because she comes across as both clueless and easily used. Her time on the stand in the actual trial was painful to watch; she is one of the chief reasons the prosecution failed to make its case.

Now, the vultures are fawning all over, some even promising to pay for her college, just to get her on the air. Why? Because they honestly think she has something significant to say? Because they actually empathize with her? No. She's getting airtime because her interviews are train wrecks waiting to happen and everyone in the media knows train wrecks make good copy. Look at her interview with Piers Morgan:

It's a head-shaking experience, with Morgan eliciting responses from Jeantel about the effects of drugs, when her understanding of such things is sophomoric at best. Again, she has nothing to really say anymore. And let's not forget that she lied in her deposition, claimed--in the trial--that "cracker" was not a racial term (even though she agreed that the term was reserved for white people). She was a horrible witness for the prosecution.

Yet, the interviews with her don't focus on these issues at all; she's presented in a sympathetic light. Why? To provoke outrage. It's beyond disingenuous on the part of people like Morgan and others. It's downright evil. Jeantel is getting used by the people she thinks are giving her an opportunity to speak.

There's nothing wrong with Jeantel; I doubt she's a bad person at all. She's poorly educated, no doubt, a victim to some degree of her socio-economic status. But there's nothing special about her, either. Her friend was killed in what I believe was a senseless shooting. For that, she has my sympathy.

Beyond that, putting Jeantel on TV and the radio accomplishes nothing, other than stirring up outrage for the sake of that outrage alone. Juror B37, in the same way, provides no insights into anything, other than her own duplicitous nature. It's a shame she was on the jury, but her presence there negates nothing, in my opinion.

Both, however, are being used by the mainstream media. And again, this is a fairly typical thing in the wake of big trial. I, for one, am sick of seeing such stupidity. It's a shameful practice by professional media elites who clearly have no shame.

Cheers, all.

1 comment:

  1. I've also noticed that every story I hear is about how Florida's Stand Your Ground Law is what got Zimmerman off, and Something Must Be Done!!!!

    Reason did a good job of pointing out that SYG had nothing to do with Zimmerman's defense.