My Confession: Who Is This Woman and Why?

4 Jul

by Roger White

I have a confession to make, and I don’t know if I should be sorely ashamed or downright proud to admit it. My gut tells me “proud,” but every media outlet from Maine to Matamoros screams otherwise. Here ’tis: I have absolutely no idea who Casey Anthony is, what she allegedly did, or why. Furthermore, I do not care a whit. Not even a quarter whit. In fact, if you could shave off a tiny sliver of a whit, place it under a microscope, and observe infinitesimally miniature specks of whit, you would find zero traces of my caring in any of it. So there.

I understand that there are lurid and despicable overtones here; I know something terrifically appalling transpired—otherwise the media wouldn’t be climbing all over themselves to keep the “story” in banner headlines every minute of the day. But I also understand, human nature being what it is, that lurid and despicable things happen all the time. Why, oh why, then, are we being spoon-fed every niggling detail of the sad case of Case—let’s call her CA so I don’t have to mention the name over and over, OK?

Who is—CA—and why should we care?! Has the media gone completely bananas? Do up-and-coming journalists and news types attend the National Enquirer School of Rancid Reporting these days? I do believe that if a national poll was conducted regarding how many ordinary folks were breathlessly following this sensational “story”—and I pray I’m right on this—that 92.1 percent of the good people of this country would respond with a choice expletive beginning with the letter “F” and the word “no” immediately following that choice expletive. If my public opinion antennae are vibrating correctly, I would also predict that 4.7 percent who didn’t respond with the vast majority were in the shower, thus unavailable for comment, and that the remaining 3.2 percent would be either media types themselves, relatives of CA, or utter morons (such as TV executives, politicians, media types, and Glenn Beck).

I don’t have to tell you how bad it is, but I will, anyway. CNN’s web site announced the other day as BREAKING NEWS in that day-glo yellow banner they use that CA had shed tears—no joke!—during defense testimony. Dear Lord. Stop the presses. I didn’t follow the link, but I imagine they had a six-minute close-up video of a tear, meandering from eyelid to chin. Oh, the pathos.

This is all quite tragic and traumatic to me on a personal level, understand, because I am in possession, somewhere, of a (shameful whisper here) degree in journalism. Sigh. I was once extremely proud of this particular piece of paper. Nowadays, I think I’ll roll it up and smoke something in it. Somebody kinda famous once said that journalists have gone from being lapdogs (the time when government press releases were run verbatim, and little was questioned) to watchdogs (the Watergate era and the advent of hard, investigative reporting) to attack dogs (the modern era of mudslinging, innuendo, and very little fact-checking).

Well, to this I would append another canine tag to bring us completely up-to-date: We have entered the era of rabid-dog reporting. If you’ve ever had the sad misfortune of witnessing the effects of rabies on a poor animal, then you can easily see the parallel. Rabid dogs behave incoherently. They can’t be trusted; they’ve lost all their common sense; they’ll bite you if you get too close; they foam at the mouth; and they fall down a lot. I believe this describes today’s media people very accurately. The only difference, I suppose, is that even a miserable old dog suffering the terrible, terminal phases of rabies would not insist on running the Casey Anthony (oops, CA) trial as his lead story every single day and night on his network.

For the life of me, good readers, I simply cannot fathom why every national news outlet thinks that any of us really gives a rat’s—wait, shhhhh, the verdict’s coming in! Yiiiike!

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.

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One Response to “My Confession: Who Is This Woman and Why?”

  1. phd in yogurtry July 5, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    After all that and a not guilty verdict … whaaaaaaat?!?

    And? You said it all right here:

    ” I know something terrifically appalling transpired—otherwise the media wouldn’t be climbing all over themselves to keep the “story” in banner headlines every minute of the day.”

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