The Daily Rant: Court TV

Who was it that decided Dr Conrad Murray’s trial for the manslaughter of Michael Jackson would make compelling television? Does he/she/they know anything at all about how these things work in real life? Court proceedings are terminal bores, even for those who are unfortunate enough to be part of the action.

Unlike films and television, there is very little excitement. We don’t have the surprise factor, where either the prosecution or defense attorney pulls a fast one on his opposite number. There is no drama, just layers and layers of detail repeated ad nauseum. Where is Petrocelli when you need him?

Guilty, your honour. Take them down.

3 responses to “The Daily Rant: Court TV

  1. It seems to me that milking any suspecious action centered around a famous person, dead or alive, is worth more in the stretch. The long you can talk about, the richer some folks get.

    Sometimes I am embarrassed for my race. (Human, in case you wondered.)

  2. I am sooooo with you on this one Seamus! Besides all the reasons you gave for not watching programs such as that, to me even more compelling is the question I have posed time and again about so-called “celebrity” info (or personal info about anybody) and that is: WTF business of ours is it anyway? Seems to me the defendant, the Prosecutor, the Defense Attorney, the Judge, the jury, and the families of the defendant and of the victim are the only people who have any business knowing any of the stuff that goes on in a courtroom.

    Once the verdict is handed down, then the public can know the outcome, in order to determine what each individual response might be; i.e., if s/he, the defendant, was acquitted on a serious offense (rape, murder, etc.) by reason of a technicality, I might want to know if I would be safe in his/her presence. Otherwise, why do I have to know?

    I’ve written several posts about an individual’s right to privacy versus the public’s so-called “right to know.” The fact that John and/or Jane Q. Public feel entitled to know all the details of another person’s life just infuriates (and bores) me!

  3. Oh dear, I think you are all missing the point. And it is one that gets raised every time a US trail is globally broadcast. For one, US trials are broadcast regularly, and most often they go by without notice. The few, like the MJ/Conrad trial gets syndicated and everyone twists their knickers like it never happened before! It happens every week – just like X-Factor – imagine!

    As far back as the 1980’s, from mafia shootings, to Woodward, to Knox, to Murray, this has been the case. In all of these cases, the only ‘right to know’ is what happens in court, and as in many democratic countries, citizens have a right to present themselves in the public gallery. As a journalist, I can say that most of those pews on a wet Monday morning are taken up by journalists, and most cases, there’s plenty of room for the lunch box and newspaper.

    It’s only when the media round up the ‘posse’ do we hear the arguments to how our justice systems work, and how victims of crime and how the accused are treated, do we hear any disquiet from the general public. Take away their their taxes or reduce social security and many are quick to pipe up to ‘institutions’ like Joe Duffy for the daily ‘moan’ quickly swamped by the next social anecdote of falling rain, snow or ice.

    In a court of law, we don’t get to know the personal details of witnesses or the accused, while the media may spend weeks speculating or delving into everyone’s past.

    However, we get breakfast, dinner and tea on the latest x-factor, and get to judge people, often vulnerable, we know nothing nothing about, exploited by ‘judges’ paid millions of pounds, exploited by TV producers who are looking for the best buck and best moment, and all celebrated by the biggest networks and advertisers on the globe.

    I know where I’d rather be to get the best judgement – by my own peers – not by a bunch of fat-arsed, cushion-laden, vacant-eyed Saturday nobodies judging me by how I look, how I sound, and how many laughs I might give them till next week. Yes, I’m talking about YOU viewers – not the TV judges.

    Do yourselves a favour – read a book, talk to your spouse for a change, watch Dr. Who together, have a bath together, do NaNo together, go for a beer together for a change rather than apart, but whatever you do, take perspective, and judge with wisdom if you must, not conceit that you somehow have it all figured out on a Saturday night, and perceived justice doesn’t work in your favour.

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