Thursday, August 05, 2004
Hegemon - Weapons of mass destruction.
Information is a weapon of mass destruction, News media is a weapon of mass persuasion. Well at least the lack of information is a weapon of mass destruction. What happens when someone in the media has a point of view and they want others to share that same point of view? What happens if the same people involved in the media think ethics in reporting aren't worth the breath it takes to utter "umm"? One thing that has bothered me is when an arrest is made, the media shows a photo of the "alleged" criminal and proudly displays their name and picture then goes to great lengths to explain in detail the pain and suffering of the victim and their families. It doesn't matter if you are innocent, guilty or a poop smith, once your name and face has been plastered all over the media you are guilty, the public have a face to associate to a horrific crime. All the media has to do is simply add the word "alleged" before the word criminal and they are doing no wrong. The court of public opinion is certainly not a fair and balanced court nor does it have due process. You are guilty! Why? Because the media said so! Well who tells the media? The police. Are the police ever wrong? Hell no they are perfect human beings. There shouldn't be such a thing as partial disclosure, there should only be full disclosure and because of due process and the need for a fair trial there should be no disclosure of information surrounding a case until it has been through the courts. With partial disclosure the police and prosecutors can use the media to sway public opinion in their favour. And what about simple name recognition? What if the person that the media feels is quilty of the crime has a common name? What if they have the same name as you? I grew up in Kingsville Ontario a small drive from Windsor Ontario. A few years my name was being plastered all over the news and they were saying "Endothermal has been arrested in connection with a nasty child molestation case" (name withheld, Endothermal used instead) or to some extent like that. Now once my family saw the picture of the person in question who had the exact same name as me which isn't all too common they realized it was not me, they (my family) were very relieved. But what about all those people that knew me in passing or went to grade school or high school with me? They would here the name, maybe see the picture but think "hey, I went to school with that guy, what a sick nutbar he turned out to be" but they didn't go to school with that guy they went to school with a completely different nutbar (me) with the same name, that is a very dangerous situation and typically that is why they always use a persons full name middle name included when they are talking about someone who is rather nasty. Think about how all the Lee Oswalds in the USA feel with a recognizable name that are thankful their middle name isn't Harvey.
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