Monday, October 26, 2009

Following a crime...

Much of the news dealing with crime and justice has risen to great heights of popularity over the years. As Surette reported in her article, criminal news is paired a lot of times on the same level as entertainment news in terms of readership and popularity. One of the most recent big cases that comes to mind when I think about the news is the Bernie Madoff scandal. This is believe is a great example of what Surette refers to as "court news in a miniseries." Madoffs investigation and trial is still an on going process to this day; however, much of what has already been found out has been through news reports of investigation followed by reports of the trail and sentencing. Surette notes that "media trials involve cases that contain the same elements popular in entertainment programming - human interest laced with mystery, sex, bizarre circumstances, and famous or powerful people," (Surette). The Madoff news has definitely struck a cord with many people, not only because he has ruined the lives of many, but it is in the best interest of the people to be informed of what has gone on because he has effected so many. Surette continues to say that "the media offer explanations of crime that are direct and simple: lust, greed, immorality, jealously, revenge, and insanity." Clearly, there are many opinions believed by the American people involving Madoff -- greed, lust, power-- could be just a few. She then states themes that go hand in hand with these "explanations" --
"abuse of power and trust, the sinful rich, and evil strangers," (Surette). Recent stories such as CNN report on Oct. 22, 2009 stated that Madoff's workplace was involved heavily with cocaine and sexual acts. This further investigation reveals the long process of the criminal justice system as well as the continued reports that follow in the news that appear like a miniseries. These stories are meant to attract large readership and audiences and yet try to maintain and neutral voice in reporting, but it is clear that the media portrays Madoff in a very negative light as they are supporting what the American people want to hear in regards to him and his case.


  1. I think that the media should continue to portray Madoff in a negative light because although he was genius in what he seemingly pulled off, this needs to be a lesson to everyone to not let people in power abuse their trust.

  2. The american public loves the rich-powerful-wallstreet character who loses all his riches over night. That's always a hit story.