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Wayne State University

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Jul 8 / Dominic Nanni

WHY……?! Prime time court cases

Every morning (well, late morning/early afternoon during the summer), I wake up and turn on the news. Seems normal, right? It is just my way to start the day. Now, when I turn on the news, I  expect to see actual news. This morning, I turn on MSNBC (as I always do) and immediately I am greeted with wall-to-wall coverage of the George Zimmerman trial. No politics, no world events, and no pressing environmental or other issues.

Why do we do this? Prime-time trials are nothing new in American journalism. OJ Simpson was, perhaps, the first major trial to get giant amounts of publicity. Casey Anthony was another, Stephen Grant (for those in Michigan who know what I am talking about), and now George Zimmerman. For some reason, news networks and the people who run then feel that trials and court cases should be huge news events.

I find this so completely stupid. Let me be the first to say that no serious watcher of the news gives a damn about the George Zimmerman trial. Sure, there any many racial and cultural, as well as political, implications of this trial. Was Zimmerman using profiling in judging Trayvon Martin? How does this relate to the broader conversation about race in America? Or, the current state of racism? Finally, gun laws. Would this have been prevented if FL did not pass the “stand your ground” law? All that said, this is STILL not justification to dedicate complete coverage to this trial.

Trials should not be news events. They just shouldn’t. I assure the leaders of major news networks that there are MORE IMPORTANT matter that need covering. World events, politics, and economics. These are issues Americans care about, or at least SHOULD care about. Quit being accomplices to the dumbing down of America by not talking about actual issues. Please. Give me my news back.