This week was another banner week for the national media, and my former home state of Arizona.
Recently, there was a mainstream media story regarding the "accidental" airing of a high speed chase in Arizona which was carried on the Fox’s "fair and balanced" news media that eventually resulted in a live broadcast suicide.
Just what has our media become?
Or better yet, just where is the quest for sensationalized journalism and ad revenues and profits going to end?
Shepard Smith, the Fox tool, has apparently apologized profusely for thie media faux pas. Several times, in fact.
The tape was "supposed" to afford a 10 second delay while the Fox national media was broadcasting this chase on an Arizona interstate.
Although, after the bucks which were made over the OJ chase, seems to me Fox is merely cashing in on continuing the sensationalized journalism for corporate profits.
Shepard’s apologies sounded hollow, to say the least.
I’m even beginning to wonder if this event truly was a "true" story, or merely one in which actors were used in order to create news, at this point, and thus ratings.
Who’s to know?
Caplitalizing on crime is also a modus operandi at this point with our national media.
With all the competition for those ad dollars, with pay cable you get the news you pay for, America.
So tune in, within a very short time, there will be another "accidental" or innuendo based widespread media story.
I guarantee it.
And if, as I suspect, this man did commit suicide after this high speed chase, in which there were no police at the scene when the suicide occurred, merely a Fox News helicopter, just what would drive a man to do such a thing?
He had several misdemeanor offenses, from all reports.
But misdemeanors are now held as capital crimes in many states, also for state budget and economic purposes. Plea bargained or given mere bench trials in order for most states to raise capital, as it were.
Even non-moving traffic offenses, or any crime for which the punishment is a fine.
With the amounts of those fines also escalating to the point which has created "payment plans" (at additional cost) for many citizens who don’t have much of a paycheck (or any paycheck at this point) left at the end ofthe month.
Which may have been why they committed the "crime" in the first place – as minor offenses increase during this recession/depression.
Crimes such as shoplifting, or non-moving license, registration or insurance violations.
People are having to move from state to state, many times, in order to seek or obtain work and may not have the amounts statutory set for some of those costs in the case of those non-moving registration, licensing and other offenses.
This is how most local governments run.
Through provision by the state general funds (and federal) governments provision which has decreased the local governments share of the pie progressively due to all the extra-Constitutional budgetary items the state and federal government continue funding.
While local governments then are additionally charging the citizens and taxpayers higher and higher fees and fines for petty offenses for using the court or in the statutory levying those fines, which are now set by state law without any citizen input or oversight.
Sometimes, citizens are placed in the position of either payihg the fine (by mail, preferably) or sitting through plea bargaining sessions with the city or county prosecutors before even seeing a judge – yet if you request to see a judge, the amount levied then for "court costs" is equal to or greater than even the expensive fine.
Now most of the punishments are extra-Constitutional "cruel and unusual punishment" under it for low to middle class Americans, without having any real recourse than simply arranging for a payment plan and paying the "fine" other then petitioning the very entity that will profit off these fees and fines.
Taking more work time, or time to find work to go through the process. So lost work time and pay also is part of any traffic ticket, which ups the actual cost tremendously if you must lose a day’s pay or more to argue a traffic citation.
If you do and lose, you have lost a day’s wages, the fine and court costs on top of that. For most petty offenses, figure the amount it would take to fee a family of four for two to three weeks.
But that scenario is exactly what "the State" and local governments capitalize on, right?
Or the sums provided for the head counts in the privatized or public jails, while feeding the citizen detainees moldy bologna sandwiches.
With detainees now incarcerated until that time comes to enter their pleas. Or you pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in bail money which amounts have also increased progressively to stimulate the economies of the bail bondsmen.
No wonder our jails are so very full (with many held without entering their pleas, at this point)
Or a man takes his life in the Arizona desert…