Misery Business

In the wake of the Casey Anthony trail, I cannot truly believe what I have seen on TV the last few weeks, and I am not referring to the trail of the century and the ruling that was dished out. Last week, you could turn on any news station and it seemed like everyone was salivating on what was going to happen to Casey Anthony. Some thought her innocent, most thought her guilty, but nonetheless an astounding number of people watched the trail religiously.

Let us be honest for a second. I am not commenting at all on whether or not I believe Casey Anthony was innocent or guilty—either way there is no perfect justice to what happened to that little girl— but what I am suggesting is that the publicity of everyone’s misery that was involved in this trail was consumed by viewers like a new hit TV show. Tragically, this trail was not “Two and a Half Men.”

So why do we all become somewhat obsessed with trails and public events like the Casey Anthony trail? Maybe it is pure nosiness—although nosiness is hard to blame when every channel you turn to is covering the story. Could it possibly be curiosity? Maybe so. But most would say, “I just want to see that Casey Anthony has justice brought down on her.” This may be true, and I could say a hundred things about judging others but I will not bother because you are responsible people who had heard that too many times.

Okay, maybe I am being a little hard on the viewers, and not so much on the TV stations that utilize events like this to boost ratings. I am speaking of folks like Nancy Grace and others in her field who host entire shows speaking nothing else but opinions and taking callers about events like that involving Casey Anthony. Nancy Grace was actually quoted saying that “the devil was dancing” when the verdict was announced. Talk show host and such are paid hundreds of thousands dollars to talk about other’s misery. They humiliate, trample, and elevate any and every situation that can bring in a buck.

I have a hard time believing some of the stories I hear on TV shows like the ones I have mentioned, but I have an even harder time believing that these people actually care about what they broadcast to the world. These stations and the people (seemingly) intimately involved truly make misery their business.

The truth is that I have become a little resentful to the media that covers such events in America (if you cannot tell). Not necessarily because people talk about things though. Heck, look at what I am doing right now. On top of that, we live in a social media world where everything that happens can and will be known by most very quickly. What upsets me is that they do nothing to solve these sorts of problems that they expose. Granted, journalism and reporting can make an impact; literature is some of the most powerful motivators of change in the world. But we are not talking about Mark Twain reporting here, are we?

I truly believe there is a reason why it is harder to use your legs and hands than it is to run your mouth. So this week, help be part of the solution and back up your words with proactive means.

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