Misplaced Media Priorities

If I didn't know any better, I'd think that nothing really important happened today. After all, look at the head graphic from MSNBC.com.

And then this little section right next to it.

• Death for Peterson | • Video gallery
• Obesity may cut U.S. life expectancy
• Senate pushes Arctic drilling ahead
• Sex offender sought in Florida case
• How to win the pool | • Brackets
• No. 1 Illinois ready | • Prediction

I see one, maybe two important national stories there, and neither of them have anything to do with March Madness. One could argue that the ANWR story is one of global importance, considering that it directly impacts the environment, and the obesity story is important to me because, well, I need to drop about thirty pounds and the older I get, the harder that is to do.

I bitched about this sort of thing when the Peterson verdict came back, which is why I'm bitching about it again. Who, outside of the people directly involved with the Peterson case, ought to give one tenth of a shit about his sentence? It's not like he did anything all that unusual--he killed his wife. That happens an awful lot in this country, and yet those cases don't get a fraction of the media scrutiny that this one got.

At least with Blake, there was a surreal sort of celebrity factor at work, although I doubt most of the viewing public so engrossed with this case ever saw "Baretta," much less anything else Blake ever did. I remember "Baretta" vaguely at best, and I'm 36 years old. And yet MSNBC sees fit to not only make it the top story, they give prime space to Michael Ventre to wax rhapsodic on how Blake got away with murder, thus making him into another O.J. Never mind that Ventre admits that the case against Blake was flimsier than Bush's WMD argument (and that's a tough act to top)--Ventre says "Now folks will look at him as somebody who pulled a fast one and got away with it."

How exactly Ventre knows this is beyond me. Personally, I imagine Blake will probably go back to his life the way it was before he was arrested and acquitted for the murder of his wife--he'll go back to being a nobody that the vast majority of the television viewing public never heard of in the first place. And that's just fine with me. I wouldn't even mind it if Ventre took his self-righteous faux-piety act into obscurity right along with Blake.

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