I sometimes think the media shouldn’t be allowed to report on crimes until they’re all sorted, the criminal has been captured and the case closed. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t actually think that all the time, and I am very much a supporter of the free flow of information to be disseminated throughout the populace. It’s just the combination of the media being prats and the general populace being monumentally stupid isn’t the greatest.
Take, for example, the recent case of the murdered girl and her landlord taken in for police questioning in relation to the deed. I read this and I think: “the landlord has been taken in for questioning by the police. This possibly means he’s done it”. It would seem, however, that the general populace/some elements of the media have taken this to mean: “HE LOOKS WEIRD HE DEFINITELY KILLED HER LET’S VILIFY HIM! PROOF? WE DON’T NEED PROOF WHERE WE’RE GOING! SHIFTY EYES! BAD HAIR! MURDERER!”
It’s a simple case of trial by tabloid, as it has been so many times before. How many reputations can you think of that have been ruined, even though a person has been officially judged to be innocent? I’m not saying the justice system is infallible – but if a judge and/or jury, with access to information neither you nor the papers has, decides someone hasn’t done something, I tend to think this means they haven’t done something.
Obviously this doesn’t yet apply to Mr Weird-Hair McLandlord, as he hasn’t been let off yet (bailed, at the time of writing, which would likely point to him not having done it. They don’t bail murderers that much), but he hasn’t been charged with murder. Yet. He might still be, in which case the papers can go wild and the people can go wilder with their cries of: “SHIFTY EYES HE DID IT I CALLED IT I AM JUSTICE!”
I’m just going to sit back and get quietly annoyed with the world, though. Along with John Leslie.