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Is the media awful? Are you?

April 11, 2008 - Lee Smith
I have been reading a book about the Lindbergh kidnapping that occurred in 1932. A clear theme is that the yellow journalists of the day were not particularly honest, honorable or helpful in the case. Their role might charitably be called sordid, ignorant and low. It is not difficult to tranfer this view into the recent past, or present. The OJ Simpson coverage comes to mind. Or the Jon-Benet Ramsey case. You can probably choose your own. Every night, Greta goes "On the Record" on Fox News to talk about the latest true-crime story. But one has to wonder whether this is all media-driven, or propelled by the public's appetite for the morbid and fatal. After all, there is at least one cable channel — TruTV, formerly Court TV — solely dedicated to stories like these. It couldn't exist if the public appetite went away. There is nothing inherently wrong with court or crime news. People have a right to know how the justice system works, or doesn't. What's over the top? I'd suggest that when Greta, or others, push local stories onto the national scene, this has little to do with the public's right to know and more to do with titilation. Citizens must learn to know better. Elevating crime to such a level does not serve justice or human decency.


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