Thursday, August 17, 2006

JonBenet Ramsey and the Media Wolves

We were all surprised last night with the news that the alleged (and now confessed) killer of JonBenet Ramsey has been arrested.

This may sound awful, but I wouldn’t care that much . . . except for one thing. You see, I got sick and tired of the endless media coverage years ago. Yes, it’s awful when a child is murdered. But children are murdered every day and their cases aren’t flogged week after week, month after month in the news media. I particularly got tired of the creepy video of JonBenet in a beauty pageant. The news media was fixated on this case.

And many in the news media were fixated on pinning her parents as the killers. And that’s why I now care. Now, personally, I think parents who put a six year old in beauty pageants need a reality check. But I’d like to give a reality check or two to a lot of parents. That does not justify the relentless media smear job against them.

Now, it appears they may have had nothing to do with the murder. If that indeed turns out to be the case, there are a score of media hounds who should be flogged . . . in public . . . within an inch of their lives.

I’ve had it with news media scum who feel they have carte blanche to act as judge and jury and destroy people’s reputations before convictions and even before indictments as in this case.

I’m hesitant to restrict press freedom, but the founding fathers surely did not intend to protect this kind of press misconduct. And the news media has proven they can not be trusted with the reputations of innocent people.

It’s time to restrict media conduct in crime cases. In Australia, if I’m not mistaken, the media cannot reveal a suspect’s name in a case of a crime against a child until after conviction. That would be good step.

And Australia certainly has robust press freedom. It’s not necessary to have open season on the reputations of the accused but innocent to have a free press.

It’s time to put a muzzle on the media wolves.

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