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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Can you believe this is in the news again?

On CNN, it is of course the LEAD story:


Watch this video

Flight 370 search area 'can now be discounted'

A U.S. Navy official says the pings at the center of the search for the past seven weeks are no longer believed to be from the plane's black boxes. FULL STORY

Yet, over at Fox, this is the lead story:

#MarineHeldinMexico: Marine tells Greta, '3 guns, man equals prison'

 Meanwhile, over at MSNBC, this the lead story:

Law and disorder on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation


So, it is still true that where you get your news matters in terms of what you will see depicted as very important.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Which actor has killed the most people in history?

You know that the movies feature a lot of violence, that the violence has become more graphic over time, and that the violence has become more lethal over time.

So this article, "The most lethal actors of all time, by number of career kills on screen" caught my eye.

Here are the results:

No, I am not surprised!

Friday, May 23, 2014

CJ stories you usually do not see in the news ...

Wow, good thing I follow the right people and organizations on Facebook, or else I might have missed these important stories, just as most media organizations usually do.

First, check out this amazing series from PBS titled, "Guilty and Charged" about class bias in the US criminal justice system.

It includes many great stories including this one:

The proliferation of court fees has prompted some states, like New Jersey, to use amnesty programs to encourage the thousands of people who owe fines to surrender in exchange for fee reductions. At the Fugitive Safe Surrender program, makeshift courtrooms allow judges to individually handle each case.
itoggle captionNicole Beemsterboer/NPR

As Court Fees Rise, The Poor Are Paying The Price

Then there is this great story from the National Journal titled, "Treating Prisonsers with Dignity can Reduce Crime." This story notes a recent report from the National Academy of Sciences that notes that countries which humanize prisons actually have more effective prisons! You don't see stories like that in the mainstream news.
Finally, there are these stories about states that are so desperate to keep their executions going that they are having to turn back to historically flawed methods like the electric chair and firing squad.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

What do you get when you cross Newt Gingrich, Van Jones, and CNN?

... a pretty good article, actually. The article titled, Prison system is failing America, starts:

"If Americans under correctional supervision counted as a city of their own, they would form the largest city in the United States after New York.
"The number of people in prison, on parole or on probation, 6.9 million Americans, exceeds the populations of the second- and third-largest cities, Los Angeles and Chicago, combined. Or the size of the next four -- Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix and San Antonio -- put together."
It then goes on to cover the racial biases in prisons, the high recidivism rate for offenders, the high cost to taxpayers, and more importantly, policies and programs ew can pursue to bring about real change.
Check it out.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ah, the news. Today's meaningless crime stories

By meaningless, I don't mean for everyone. I just mean for almost everyone!

  • ACTOR MICHAEL JACE, best known for playing a gay cop on the FX series 'The Shield,' is charged with murder in the shooting death of his wife, April, in their Los Angeles home.

Actor charged in wife's death

Man drugs, rapes wife, gets no jail  Man drugs, rapes wife, gets no jail

Mayor to bullied kids: 'Grow a pair'  Mayor to bullied kids: 'Grow a pair'

Surfer jailed in alleged road rage  Surfer jailed in alleged road rage

Pamela Anderson reveals sexual abuse

 Cop goes for wild ride on hood of suspect's car

Man charged with insulting American flag

Cops: Video shows car-theft suspect dropping off baby
Mom accused of attacking bully may have wrong boy

So basically, these are among your top stories today. And they all relate to crime in some way or another.

Ask yourself this, do you need to know about these stories?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Merger mania

First, we learned Comcast would merge with Time Warner.

Now, it's AT&T and DirectTV.

You read in the book about how these mergers are good for no one other than the companies, who become larger and thus earn more money. Yet, they continue to happen.

The result of large media companies, which are now only a few, is news that looks the same all over the nation.

When it comes to news about crime and criminal justice, expect more of the same: sensationalistic, innacurate, acontextual stories that promote fear and provide no useful information. Only now these stories will be more radily available to even larger audiences.


Friday, May 16, 2014

CNN's "Crime & Intrigue" Videos

Turns out CNN has a video page all about crime. It's called "Crime & Intrigue."

With stunning silliness, CNN has made it possible for a person to go watch videos all about crime. Right now, the site has videos about a former football player who turns out to be a multiple murderer, a current football player who stole some crab legs from a grocery store, and many other stories that do nothing to inform viewers about realities of crime and criminal justice and that serve merely to entertain and distract people.

Want to see how silly it all is? Start here with this video and then look at all the other ones that are there:

If you think this is pretty silly, at least don't be surprised. After all, it is THIS network we're talking about:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Death penalty in the news ...

... sort of ...

Captain, 3 crew members charged with murder
Watch this video

They could face the death penalty

Another 11 crew members have been indicted on charges of abandonment and violating a ship safety act in connection with the Sewol ferry sinking, the prosecutor's office says.FULL STORY
Yes CNN's top story is about how a crew ship captain in South Korea could be executed.
And then its next story is this one:
(a story about a Christian woman sentenced to death for her faith, in Sudan).
I wonder what is making CNN cover these cases. Is there no death penalty news in the US that is deemed worthy of national attention?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

These are your top stories right now ...

These are from Google news, one of the most relied on sources for news in the US:

See realtime coverage

Shelly Sterling accuses NBA of sexism in Clippers ownership fight

Los Angeles Times - ‎1 hour ago‎
Shelly Sterling, center, publicly addressed her husband's controversial comments on the "Today" show Tuesday. (Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images).

See realtime coverage

Seven Ukrainian soldiers killed in ambush - ‎40 minutes ago‎
Ukraine's army suffered its bloodiest defeat since the onset of the crisis in the country's east on Tuesday when seven Ukrainian soldiers were killed in an ambush.
See realtime coverage

2 health care workers exposed to MERS patient had flu-like symptoms

CNN - ‎20 minutes ago‎
(CNN) -- Two health care workers went to the emergency room with flu-like symptoms after coming into contact with a patient confirmed to have Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, officials said Tuesday.

See realtime coverage

New Hampshire House Explosion 'Not Likely' Accidental, Police Say

ABC News - ‎24 minutes ago‎
The explosion that leveled a New Hampshire home after a cop was shot dead was probably not accidental, New Hampshire police said today.

So, the top stories are about racism/classism in professional sports, an international conflict, a deadly virus, and a house explosion and cop killing.

Those are the stories that dominate today.

Monday, May 12, 2014

There are all kinds of important stories in the world today

Stuff like this in the area of criminal justice:

Major Report Urges Reform of US Capital Punishment System

Major Report Urges Reform of US Capital Punishment System

By Michelle Tullo, Inter Press Service | Report

Yet, this is what appears as the lead stories on a major news network:


'I'm asking for forgiveness'

LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling says he's sorry for making racist comments. "That's not the way I talk," he says. Anderson Cooper has more in an exclusive interview at 8 p.m. ET Monday.FULL STORY

My question is this, Why is what a billionaire NBA team owner thinks or says relevant to the real world? I mean the guy is so out of touch with everyday Americans and what they must deal with. So, why is this a lead story in the news?