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by Steve Bennings Jr.
Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 12:38 PM
Even if Michael Jackson is guilty does this mean that he ought be publicly persecuted by Corporate News Media? Does this mean that every rumor mongering media hound and paparazzi person ought indulge their predilection for dirt as they stalk around to find it? Is this not a major reason that many fans are cheering him on against the unfair exploitation of press? We now know the weasel motives of the press corps’ prostration to the Iraq war will no stories or photography.
Janet Jackson’s tit in the recent U.S. Superbowl game did have had an ironic twist given the fact that some people in the news industry have not had much warmth for her brother Michael Jackson for quite some time? There has been an ongoing animosity toward her brother—perhaps because he seldom seemed to come across as a grown man with a matured ego? Assume for a minute that perhaps he is sexually attracted to children—a sort of pedophile—a theme the news media people never tire of publishing since it seems so awful and incomprehensible to so many of us. But if he is of such a bent and is culpable of such violations does this mean his story, that is say, his humiliation of being publicly persecuted from the mainstream news networks, is a public issue? Does this mean that every rumormongering media hound and paparazzi person ought indulge their predilection for dirt as they stalk around to find it?
Should news people continue to get away with this sort of thing (espionage and harassment) because they have traditionally has got away—that is constantly snooping and spying on public figures to a point that they have no right to any sense of being considered private people? There has not been any real law created to protect a person’s right of privacy since Supreme court Louis Brandeis and that was a long time ago. Then news stories engaged their humiliation of rumor for personal reasons of motive—to hurt others. The Latin meaning of the word “persecute” comes from the prefix ‘per’ meaning through plus ‘sequi’ meaning to follow. Is this not what media pack hounds actually do--stalk and persecute people accused of crimes? They never seem to give people, once accused, a break from their own form of harassment (dogs barking), stalking, and persecution, as they fanatically focus on the violations of others—if they think it will sell commercial time or make money, or equally if they can avoid seeing the motes in their own eyes.
Corporate types who run TV stations constantly push the limit on what they think they can get away. Their “Only Money Matters” mentality is literally tearing apart any respect for personal dignity. With their bald crassness they add to the destruction of social mores to a world of social anomie. Now they pretend that they care about a fair trial for Michael Jackson. Linda Deutsch, Associated Press story April 24, 2004 regarding news groups asking judge to lift gag order on Jackson case reports that both certain lawyers and the U.S Media are motivated to ensure an “open” society when in fact the media is motivated to making money just like the OJ Simpson case was squeezed for every nickel it could lure from the viewing public to sell advertising space.
Deutsch reports that Jackson has asked the media people to leave him alone, “As I release this statement, there are helicopters hovering above my residence, reporters staking out, and photographers lurking behind bushes, running rampant around my compound.” Two dirty secrets seem to drive many in corporate and tabloid media: 1. They actively enjoy destroying and humiliating people and their reputations, and 2. It is big buck voyeurism for both them as well as wider public that have little interest in issues they ought and could be concerned. Instead of honesty in the boardrooms they flip their thumb-up-yours kind of capitalism to the world, unable to be concerned about regular peoples because their ideal of power is might makes right; and they, more then anyone, show an active disdain for democracy—respect for the average person.
They practice laissez faire capitalism—the kind that drives too many corporate ideologies in the West, including too many big media and TV companies of the Wall Street variety. It does not recognize any values except money. It is the type of capitalism that thinks it is OK to pollute the environment as long as stockholders can make a tidy profit. It is the type of capitalism that thinks it is OK to sell cigarettes and other harmful products, as if drug dealers (America’s compromise for tax revenues), in their exploitation of people. It is the kind of capitalism that eagerly makes weapons of mass destruction such as those that emit depleted uranium, yet since these ammunitions end up being pulverized to DU dust it cannot be cleaned up during its 4 billion year half-life. Yet let us then understand exactly what laissez faire capitalism really amounts—it is the sociopathology or psychopathology that is often associated with criminality—in another words the only value is money and self gain—as ethics and respect for others are only issues one addresses with slick PR sound bites.
There has been nothing but fear and loathing in the news media for anyone considered a sexual child abuser—today’s supply of witches for our modern day witch hunts. Every day there seems to be media stories about a child sexual abuser or allegation (with picture in paper), or one getting out of prison and communities going crazy as they are now to be hounded as the anathema of society to be tolerated nowhere, save being locked up for life or destroyed—in another words they are really suppose to commit suicide. And this is not to argue that people should not be concerned about sex crimes, justice, or repeat crimes, but who are these news people in corporate controlled industries to decide how much shame and publicity to bring to bear on those of less power?
Yet there is another issue that deserves some serious attention and that has received far too little. Whereas crime and court reporters hide behind their façades of objective judges they continuously play to their audiences their own prosecutions of the accused. They “try” the accused with their public media outlets. They get the public to think it is their right to try cases, that is as to who is and who is not guilty, via the random reporting in the news. Media people are not required to follow any rules or procedures of court! Nor are many reporters, who make their bread and butter on criminal reporting (symbiotic parasitism) trained as lawyers. We, as a nation, then ought be deeply suspect of the motives of those who work the news industry.
Our society does not really forgive criminals in general anyway—hence one reason for a higher male homelessness rate, as well as a high prisoner per capita country, in which the media, particularly editorial boards, have given a strong push in the past--toward our own Gulag system of locking up more and more offenders while playing to the fear-mongering galleys. Sexual offenders especially are not forgiven and will likely be hounded and hated until eternity. Media people make certain.
Again this is not to argue that society should not being concerned about criminality or the sexual crimes of repeat offenders. Yet what media people tend to do is precisely similar to the physical crimes of perpetrators--only theirs are of the psychological nature. News agencies, who, by the way employ a lot of women, focus on sexual crimes like rape as “physical” violations because then they never have to address how they themselves in the media industries psychologically rape people via their power to humiliate through their exposure of lens and print. The reason that we as a culture often assume rape to be so horrible is not so much because of the physical act but rather the psychological damage it supposedly has on its victim.
Then what about those in the news industries that regularly engage, and sometimes seem to enjoy, their power to psychologically rape people with their presumed power to expose people at their lowest moments by social humiliation? The word rape derives from the Latin word ‘rapere’ meaning to seize like in to seize someone--but not only in the physically sense but through the tortuous fears of becoming a public scourge and detested—that is the psychological act of being publicly humiliated and then hated, hounded, chased, and attacked. Like homophobia it is projected as intolerance to others they cannot deal.
Here even women and effete men can engage in the act of emotional torture of another by having the accused reputation with family, friend, church group, social group, work organization, city, town or and even nation destroyed, as people then turn to despise the accused because news media prosecutors have delineated and purported violations against society’s norms and laws—especially in that one arena that seems most sensitive and prejudicial—sex.
Imagine yourself a television-prosecuted male for sexually molesting a child—not by a legitimate judge and jury but by the prosecuting powers of news people that act as if they, themselves, are God’s judges and jury. They pursue their presumed right to focus heavily on sensational crimes and sexual crimes with the zeal of rabid crusaders (yet the war that rages also lives within their minds). Obviously one reason sexual crimes are big news is because such stories are revenue generators—they sell to the fears and anxieties of the public just like so many movies and shows about serial killers—that is anything that continues to focus the message that men are untrustworthy.
Broadcasting cases like pedophilia also allows all in the prison system know that you, the accused, if found guilty of engaging in such a crime that prison populations equally hate and despise, are to be a target. You then can expect to be society’s target of such reverse hate, within the framework of the excess scapegoat alienation that generally haunts such prison populations. Therefore if you, the accused, eventually find yourself in jail and prison, rest assured, thanks to our media people, that some of your prison pals would be patiently waiting to attack you, if you have not committed suicide. They now know how despicable or contemptible you are, or are to be thought, so that there is a very high probability of you being physically and/or sexually attacked once you are with your new peer groups. Thus news people, as well as our condoning society, play a part in continuing violence and sexual violence. And irrespectively of whether you are beaten or raped you will deal with the excessive stress of be hated and likely be in constant fear for life and safety. Therefore even women and self-righteous men in the news industry help assure crimes against you—as revenge--all in the name of Freedom of the Press and the presumed right to stalk court rooms and public files if there is an audience to be had.
At least the Janet Jackson flap then took the focus off her brother for a while, pretty much a boy, who happens to have had a talent to entertain and gain wealth in the music industry. Is he guilty?—perhaps. Should society have mechanisms to deal with his accusations—of course. But is this the entire world’s business? Not really. Whereas perhaps a question we might address is why do not our media people focus on how to facilitate a society that has sexually healthy individuals in the psychological sense—that is with people who have healthy attitudes and good self-esteem? Why does the media not rabidly focus on this important issue?
Did Americans have a need to know accusations made toward Woody Allen and umpteen other people who have become what has been dubbed Public Figures? There is a difference between a person’s NEED to know something verses a person’s supposed RIGHT to know something that news voyeurs do not seem to recognize or care. How far is this blatant behavior of kick them when they are down different from Edgar Hoover’s propensity to spy on and then leak embarrassing details against supposed enemies? Do either Jackson or Woody Allen fall within the class of people who really move or shake this country or the world in politically significant ways? No. In fact how many actors or actresses are people who merely are driven because of an excessive need for attention? How come we never get reports on the sins of newspaper reporters, editors or owners? Do they not affect the wheels of power more than entertainers? Or is it just that once a person is famous as an entertainer or sports star he or she retains no right to privacy in any area of his or her life and livelihood—especially since these same media have a tendency to worship and fawn over actors and sports stars in the first place?
The issue of defamation or humiliations is not trivial when all people are dependent on being accepted in their communities and by their friends and family or where they work. All people need some modicum of respect and civilized treatment by others—even those in prison. Must people fear for life and limb because they are sexual offenders as opposed to other kinds of offenders? When an automobile speeder going 115 miles an hour is stopped he may pay maybe a 50 or 100 dollar fine but there is no social stigma attached on which to worry eternally yet he could have killed or maimed many people—as serious as rape? But when a violation relates to sex in any way--then well it seems infinitely more sensational, gruesome and outrageous—unless you are one who profits in the sex industry. All the more sensational since few are brought up in a healthy sexual environment—much of it society’s fault. Still the fear of disapproval and rejection is excruciating to all people—even those that pretend an openly defiant and nonconformist style. In fact one major reason people generally conform so readily is because they fear the consequences of disapproval and being shunned by others.
What could be more devastating to a person than to have his or her indiscretions and weak moments blasted to the public in the most presumptive of manners? Who would not die of shame as the idiom goes? How shame-based does this society have to grovel and perpetuate itself even in the trivial sense of making a mountain out of a molehill? Do not people presume the worst about a sexual allegation—especially since the accusations are regarding the matters of sex?
President Clinton’s sexual violations were primarily a violation of a personal marriage and family. They were basically family issues. Did Americans really have a need to know the accusations or details of his sexual proclivities? Does not the world know of what then what the news media is composed—violators themselves in the name of money and politics? Was it ironic in this case is that our U.S. Senators and Congressmen were miffed when he lied under oath, given that Clinton’s own Christian ethics vilifies such behavior so it was natural that he would lie in his dragged out embarrassment that was forever spotlighted (media persecution), yet what profession more so than politicians have never fibbed? And now that corporate media people have exploited Clinton’s public humiliation (taken an active and deliberate part in focusing on and broadcasting it--although they say “Hey we were just reporting the news”), along with Gary Hart, etc., the precedent has been set so that everyone and all are subject to the terrorism of this kind of public humiliation. So much so that many generally good quality people will now never run for any public office for fear of even one skeleton found back in the closet (like news media people they will stay at the side lines as back seat critics never having the guts to be a public figure). Yet presumptuous panderers at the fourth estate continuously pretend to be our public watchdogs. But have they yet dealt with their own insecurities and propensities? Do they not recognize their own hatreds and tendencies towards violence? And is it not true that learning to forgive others is one step toward acknowledging one’s own humanity and learning to forgive themselves? Do not some of our harshest critics of others deep down hate some aspects of themselves as they let cultural forces reinforce it?
Hodding Carter III, in a Forward to Media Ethics: Cases and Moral Reasoning by Clifford Christians, et al. writes:
“…It is time that the ethical vacuum that lies at the heart of most media institutions be filled with something better than situation ethics or a value-free approach that substitutes a hazy concept of the general welfare for a more rigorous moral accountability…. In a profession that specializes in bringing judgment to bear on everyone else, this amounts either to hypocrisy or to something worse, a blatant protectionism that tries to silence outsiders’ criticism by claiming there are no agreed grounds for judgment. What the public sees is a vast corporate enterprise of communication, presenting daily critiques of the rectitude and performance of others while refusing to concede that it should be subjected to an identical evaluation based on the same kind of standards.” Amen.
***Feel free to copy, share, email, publish, or plagiarize. *** If you feel this is an important statement then download it and share it with someone or your local newspaper. Feel free to rewrite.
P.S. Some years ago U.S. News & World Report printed an article called: “How Lawyers Abuse the Law” with such jokes as: “What is the difference between a lawyer and a vulture?” The vulture doesn’t get frequent flyer miles. There were more poignantly derogatory jokes. When are legal professionals, such as those of Judiciaries, stop over protecting the News Media’s rights to publish whatever they want when it boils down to exploitation for profit? When will the legal industry stand up to the news empires forcefully and competently?
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