Saturday, December 13, 2008

Laci and Caylee and the Need to Know

Laci Peterson and Caylee Anthony. Is there anyone in America who doesn't recognize these two faces? Is there anyone in America who doesn't know the names Scott Peterson or Casey Anthony? We may not know who Nancy Pelosi is, or what political party she belongs to, but we sure as Hell know all about Scott Peterson and Casey Anthony, don't we?

All I can watch these days is Fox News, but the chances are that, even here, the lead story this week will continue to be the finding of the gruesome remains of little Caylee Anthony.

Now, here's a simple question: Why on earth do I need to know about these murders? What possible benefit is there in learning all the gory details of these lurid crimes? In what way will it expand my knowledge of this world we live in or increase my wisdom? Did I somehow not learn by now that this haphazard world of ours can be brutal and violent? Have I lived for over seventy years and somehow missed this lesson?

Other than simple prurient interest -- that lowest form of human curiosity -- is there any possible purpose served by swimming in this particularly nasty pond? Any purpose at all?

They say: "The public has a right to know." This is how the media defends their feeding frenzies. They're defending my right to know the details of the tragedies of our poor unfortunate Lacis and Caylees. They're defending our right to sift through the detritus of their lives and endlessly reenact their blood-soaked denouement. All this, they say, because we have a right to know.

But why? Why do we have to know? Who are we fooling by pretending that somehow this is legitimate news and not sordid pornography? At least true pornography is honest, it doesn't pretend to be something else. But most of us would be ashamed to be caught with pornography, wouldn't we? But somehow here there is no shame. Just that endless appetite for more and more. And it will always be the same and we will never change. Will we?

I'm sorry Laci. And I'm sorry Caylee. I'm truly sorry for what happened to you. And I'm truly sorry that we are not higher and finer, that we cannot, that we just will not, ever leave you in peace.


  1. Funny how the media claims "the public has a right to know," when it comes to these sensationalized accounts of tragedy. But, when it comes to Obamessiah's birth certificate or background, apparently we lose that right to know.

    Our media is little more than a National Enquirer type tabloid any more. Either filtering "the need to know" through a libera lens, manufacturing news or ignoring it altogether.

  2. The MSM knows that these sordid stories (always with white women or children) will garner high ratings. You very seldom see reports on missing people who are not white.

    The media will cover only what they believe in and not the truth. They stopped doing that under Clinton.

  3. I believe the stories are legitimate when people are still missing. If it were my child, I would beg the media to keep it up 24/7. I would stop at nothing.

    Sordid and sad though it is, I would care about one thing, and that's finding my child. If I could get television involved, I would.

    The Anthony's must feel differently because not only is a granddaughter missing but their daughter is implicated - and the grandfather is a retired police officer. What a nightmare.

    Another example is Natalie Holloway. Without Greta Van Sustern, there would never have been any justice in this case. Secretly, after all the searches and interviews, Greta kept after it. She got the despicable Dutch boy to talk again on camera. Now Dutch and Aruban officials are accusing some in the Aruban police of the corruption that we've always known existed. Now the Dutch boy's father is implicated, just as we always knew he should be. Greta kept after this because she knew the pain of Natalie's parents and because Natalie deserves justice. How many young American girls put themselves in these situations in places like Aruba?

    Nonetheless, these cases do not affect the masses, as Lew's example of refusing to report on Obama's b/c clearly does. It's a travesty, really.

    I also acknowledge Findalis' comment that seldom are any of these cases profiled unless they are white.

    It's not right. No doubt about it, but if I'm the parent, as I said, I would beg for it, and probably if I were a producer, I would air it.

  4. If it bleeds, it leads. Sex sells; so do emotions.

    It is natural to take more interest in a victim similar to yourself; easier to identify with them.

    Combine sex & blood and you can keep eyes glued to the screen for the inevitable sales pitches for the latest panacea.

    Complex and arcane issues such as citizenship and the details of documentation thereof do not grip the interest of the ignorant masses like bloody murder.

  5. Defending these kinds of stories on the grounds that they are performing a public service would hold much more water if the media attacked truly major issues -- such as the Islamification of the Western World and the DeChristianization of America with the same amount of coverage and zeal.

    It's a matter of proportionality. I am a parent and a grandparent and, yes, I would want my missing child's case covered all over the media. But that doesn't mean it should be. That doesn't mean that we should continue ignoring these major threats to all of our children's lives and devote hours and hours to the plight of one family's ordeal, however deserving they may be.
    The American public knows the facts of these cases in depth but remains woefully ignorant of those things which are truly threatening their whole family's lives. And -- as we have recently seen to our great dismay -- they vote according to their ignorance.

    Our media is at least partially to blame for this state of affairs. They have chosen our presidential candidate for us and they are quite content to have us devote our collective attention to these sensational tragedies.

    As a result, most Americans do not even believe that we are in a serious war against Islam, or that our whole Western Civilization is being challenged. Most of the people remain unconvinced that we are in any real peril. And why is this? It is because our media will not discuss these subjects in any depth, if at all.

    This past election perfectly demonstrated the shallowness of the American public's knowledge of the dangers we are facing. Their incomprehensible choice of Barack Hussein Obama to protect us is a possibly fatal result of this travesty.

    Losing a child is indeed a tragedy, but losing a nation is a catastrophe.

  6. Roger, I agree with you 100%. I don't believe, unless another network in the vein of Fox comes along, that two sides of a political story will ever again be told.

  7. People don't care about people they don't love or know and when the crap falls onto their own doorstep, it will be the only time they will actually care - because now it has affected them. Sure, many people are not like this, but not enough to matter until it may be too late.

    There is no common social cohesion that keeps us tightly bound to one another; the belief in God and in keeping his commandments once was the cohesion that bound us together, but now that has greatly fallen away. It is one thing to believe and another to obey; unfortunately for most, they do not realize both must go hand in hand. When love leaves our hearts, the vacuum left sucks in the hate until there is little or not love left.