Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Media Trials

In Surette’s “Crime and Justice in the Media,” where court news is treated as a miniseries and are termed “media trials” (67). A media trial that is developing today is the Roman Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland for his sex crime with a minor back in 1977.

This case fits the criteria of a media trial since it involves “human interest laced with mystery, sex, bizarre circumstances, and famous or powerful people” (69). There are many bizarre facts in this case. First of all, why dig up this after 32 years? How did he, a famous and high profile director, flee the US for this long and was free to travel around Europe directing films? Furthermore, the crime was committed when the victim was only 13 years old. Readers are definitely more sensitive when a sex crime is committed towards children. Lastly, one of the most bizarre things is that the victim of the crime, wants the courts to drop this, claiming that this case has brought onto her damage on her physical health.

The strange thing about these reports is the emphasis on Polanski’s career. Surette writes in the article that media trials focuses on “personalities, personal relationships, physical appearances and idiosyncrasies” of the people involved (68). Many articles mention that Polanski is an Oscar-winning director for his work on “The Pianist.” To me, it is just strange that many articles made such emphasis on his accomplishments in his films, as if underplaying the crime he committed 32 years ago.

1 comment:

  1. Great example. It's also interesting that the general media spin on a child sex crime is hysterically negative, but in this case when the perpetrator is famous, lots of well-known Hollywood types have rushed to defend him, which seems to have softened the coverage.