Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spin Is In

Yesterday I saw a news video air a few times where a cop is trying to arrest a woman and another woman starts attacking him.  He straight punches her in the face and starts trying to arrest her too.

Last night the local Fox station's Lorianna Hernandez plugs an upcoming story as "A police officer punches a woman in the face during a routine traffic stop."

Here's the deal, that's like saying "Tragically, over seven thousand people died yesterday!" 

Technically it's true.  The death rate in the United States is 8.38/1000.  Of our population over 7,000 people die on average each day (by natural and unnatural means).  If you care to fact check me, go for it, I promise I did my best to use my math skills for that analogy, but am not guaranteeing my accuracy. 

What they fail focus on is the fact that it is ILLEGAL to assault a police officer.  I'm not justifying the cop's actions as far as using a fist.  I do think this was an appropriate time to use a taser. 

Austin isn't alone in spinning this story as bad police work and hailing the innocence of a criminal.  I just get tired of hearing the police get bashed every chance the news gets.  Every time a taser is used it becomes a news story for the excessive force by police.  Hell, more than a dozen times since I've lived here a criminal has shot at police (WITH A GUN!) and the police shot back.  Each time the cops are the ones vilified on the news. 

Back to this though:

The whole time in the background
someone filming keeps repeating
"Are you serious?"

This chick was fighting with the cop to make him let her friend go.  Her crazy ass needed to be removed from this equation.  Would a punch have been my first choice,?  Probably.  Should it have been his? Probably not.  Would this have hit the news if he had pulled out his billy club?  Absolutely.  Would it have made the news had he used a taser? Definitely. 

So what should he have done?  According to Austin residents they should have let the jaywalking incident go.  It's such a minor crime, it shouldn't even be enforced.  Therefore the law is actually the problem, not the person who breaks it.  So basically anarchy is the only acceptable answer right? 


  1. Media spin pisses me off. The job of a journalist is to tell the WHOLE story, not just a partial view. Of course, they need to senationalize stories to capture readers and drive up advertising revenue.

    I understand the ad revenue part -- I mean, they have to make money to provide jobs and keep the lights on -- but spinning stories is absurd. Report what is the way it is and let your readers make up their own minds. To do otherwise is insulting.

    Now, I don't think anarchy is the answer for anything, but laws do need to be looked at with regard to practicality, current relevance, and functionality. To be honest, I'm not sure how often, if ever, we -- as a society -- evaluate existing legislation.

    Maybe we need to do it more often?

  2. You're right, it does come down to money and advertising. Spin makes gives things pizazz that other wise we'd never listen to. It'd different when spin comes from a blog, it's kind of our shtick, news organizations should have some obligation to be unbiased.

    With a highly litigious society like ours, we will constantly make laws to prevent another lawsuit. Many creating a loophole for another in the process.

    My wife and I go rounds because she sees black and white (especially with regards to the law) and I thrive in the gray. But neither of us think our system of law and order is working out for the best.