Friday, July 22, 2005

The press sucks: The West Memphis 3 and lazy reporters

(Or: The Bookhouse Boy Loses His Shit)

I can't stand it, people! What is wrong with the fucking press? My interest in the West Memphis 3 has taught me how easy it is for people to lie to the media. Is everybody fucking lazy? Does no one fucking fact check? Doesn't anybody have even a tiny smudge of guilt about not checking the back story of convicted child killers?

I pitched an article on the West Memphis 3 to a major web site, and was shot down. Now, I'll admit that my pitch could have been lacking. I'm not yelling "whitewash" for not getting my own stuff published. But, when story after story after story after ... you get the idea ... comes out that only use sources from one side of the story, you'd think one news outlet would have one reporter on staff who asks him/herself "wow, this seems too horrible to be true? I wonder if maybe there just might be any reasons at all why this terrible miscarriage of justice has been upheld in appeal after appeal after appeal?" You know, maybe just, I don't know, do some fucking reporting?

Do I sound pissed? It's because I find the whole thing insane. Do all these people think that little of the justice system? "Well, sure, you know, Arkansas ... those people voted for Bush, they must be locking up Goths for no reason at all. Nope, i don't think I'll need to do any research on this one."

I'm tilting at windmills here, but let's review a few things:

1). By 1993, the state of Arkansas had more than three metal heads.

I mean, have you ever been to fucking Arkansas, you silly, stupid people? Do you really think that long hair and black t-shirts could get you convicted of murder? Do you think that the 19 million copies of Back in Black were bought by ironic New York hipsters?

Maybe, just maybe, Damien Echols was more than some "darkly charismatic" loner who liked Slayer. Maybe (and by maybe I mean if you'd done any fucking research you'd know) that he was the type of person who had been thrown into mental hospitals for raging outbursts. Perhaps (again, yes), he was the kind of person who told doctors that he felt like he could become another Ted Bundy. Maybe (you get the idea) after the murders multiple people came forward to tell the story of Damien mutilating a dog.

Again and again and again in these stories some dipshit will say, "if it happened to him, it could happen to me." Now I know you think your funny hair and Cure tapes make you a giant threat to the established order (I mean, you guys are subverting the dominant paradigm to Bethlehem and back), but perhaps you and Damien Echols don't really have that much in common. Maybe, just maybe, Damien as a peaceful, poetic oppressed genius is a romantic myth constructed after he was arrested? Oh, and his poetry sucks.

2). Jessie Miskelly's confession wasn't illegally obtained.
Oh, look, a Miranda waiver. But they didn't get a parent's consent! Well, they told his father what was going on twice! Oh, and take another look at that timeline. Speaking of lies that tells on their front page, they make it sound as if Jessie confessed after twelve hours of questioning. He admitted in after four hours. The rest of the questioning ... well, what the fuck do you think cops do when someone confesses? "Aw, we'll just wrap this up later."

Oh, and he confessed again after he was found guilty. With his lawyer present. Did they use invisible hoses?

3). At the very least, they deserve a fair trial!

Well, thank you for your ruling, Justice Dipshit. Here in America, we have an appeals process. This process is especially thorough for people on Death Row. You see, higher courts decide when we have a new trial, not Margaret Cho. This case has been up and down the ladder, and yet the three are still in jail. I guess the whole judicial system hates Metallica, huh? Or maybe the rule of law is a little more important than whether or not Eddie Vedder and "Blessed Be" people have their panties in a bunch. Oh, and those of you moaning about an unfair trial: Maybe defense attorneys want their clients to get off!

"Their defense was so incompetent they had to have a hearing about it."
What else do appeals lawyers do? Of course they say that the judge was incompetent, the defense was incompetent and the prosecutors were shady and underhanded. That is their fucking job. So, maybe, just maybe, if you aren't a lawyer and you haven't read the files, you might want to take the appeals lawyers’ claims of an unfair trial with a spoonful of salt.

You know, let the supporters think whatever they want. I personally find it distasteful to give money to support convicted child killers. At the very least, you should give your money instead to a judicial watchdog group instead of people who have made a living off this single case. But do whatever the fuck you want.

I’m pissed at the press. Don't you understand when you lazily and incorrectly foster stories about the justice system being evil, it hurts our culture? You are filling people's heads with bullshit that makes (or, perhaps, helps them) think that the legal system commits grave injustices because of musical tastes. That is morally wrong, you lazy, biased cocksuckers. I don't understand how you could be a reporter and take everything a defense claims without it ever crossing your mind that perhaps they have a vested interest in lying to you?

(end rant)

Well, that's what happens when I drink too much coffee. But please, if you hear or read something in the next few days about the West Memphis 3, please keep all this in mind. And the first person to send me an example of recent unbiased reporting on the case will win a prize from the Bookhouse.

For general reference, here are a few other rants on the WM3 that I've done.


Blogger Henry Garfield said...

I think at this point the WM3 have gained martyr status among the liberals in this country. Considering that most media outlets (particularly hipster websites) are dominated by lefties, you’d have about as much luck trying to get them to publish an article on how Emmett Till had it coming. As much as I hate to say it, the people most likely to publicize your side of this case would be…Fox News. Depressing, eh?

10:53 AM  
Anonymous HanginAround said...

What's the prize? lol

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it!
» » »

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are the man.

I agree 200%. Don't you think that if people were out for "truth and justice", they'd present "the truth", and let the reader decide?

It's bullshit on a stick they are serving up.

Keep up the good work. Thoroughly enjoyed your post.

8:35 AM  

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