Neil Entwistle and Our Culture of Disinformation

What's sicker? The Neil Entwistle murders, or our fascination with the Neil Entwistle murders?


I was watching the Channel 7 News coverage of the Neil Entwistle arraignment Thursday night after the Olympics and they had some guy on who was an expert at reading human body language. After studying the body language of Neil Entwistle during the arraignment, the expert noted that Entwistle was trying to avoid eye contact with his in-laws, which indicated that Entwistle could very well be guilty, though no definite conclusions could be made. Really? Wow. Thanks for that piece of information that is not the least bit important to me whatsoever.


The problem is that this kind of useless information (or disinformation) is not exceptional - it has actually become the norm in the media. A couple days ago - as we all know - Dick Cheney publicly admitted that the shooting of his lawyer friend was all his fault. Hmmmm. That's funny, because I was really convinced that his friend was at fault. Really? It was Cheney's fault? Wow. Thank God we got that cleared up. And, according to ABC News political analyst George Stephanopoulos, Cheney's admission was "the right move" and "appeared to be genuine" (as was indicated by the vice president's body language, of course). In other words, it doesn't matter what Cheney really felt, but at least he made all the right moves and "appeared" to be sorry. So we can all rest easy on that one.


Seriously, though: What in THE hell is going on in the media? Are they really that desperate to fill air-time with the most meaningless and irrelevant content that they can pull out of their ass? Is it to fill the post-football season/pre-baseball season void in public distraction? Don't they realize how ridiculous their coverage is becoming? More importantly, doesn't the American public see how ridiculous their coverage is becoming?


Why is there so much press coverage of something like Dick Cheney's hunting accident or the Neil Entwistle trial anyway? Do we really NEED to know about this stuff? Where everybody in America is so disturbed by someone like Entwistle and what he did (or was accused of doing), what's much more disturbing is that people actually care so much about it. People are murdered every day. Many of the murdered are murdered by a psychologically disturbed man like Entwistle (in fact, most of them are). It happens. It's disturbing, but it happens. So why is the media giving it almost as much coverage as the JFK assassination? Maybe because the Scott Peterson trial (which also involved a wife/child double-murder) proved to yield good ratings? Hmmm...that could be.


You hardly see any media coverage devoted to things like how stupid and meaningless and downright evil the American "rebuilding" of Iraq has become; or Condoleezza Rice's modest proposal to promote "democracy" (i.e. corporate-ruled capitalism) in Iran and every other nation where "tyranny" (i.e. anything other than corporate-ruled capitalism) reigns; or the international oil crisis and how the crisis should be addressed without resorting to imperialistic violence (like in Iraq) and Environmental destruction (like in Alaska); or a multitude of other IMPORTANT and RELEVANT issues!


No, all you see the media covering (and consequently hear people talking about) is the irrelevant Neil Entwistle trial, probably because it's the next best thing to a football or baseball game in the off-season. Yes, following a sensational trial is just another American spectator sport that distracts us from the truly important issues going on in our nation and the world. It's just what someone like President Bush needs in order to continue things like the unconstitutional surveillance of innocent American people (all in the name of preventing non-existent terrorist attacks, of course). Sensational murder trials keep the American public distracted and, thus, out of the Bush Administration's way to do what it feels is in America's best interest (i.e. spread democracy - aka corporate-ruled capitalism - around the globe).


So what IS actually sicker? Or maybe I should be asking what is more evil? Entwistle's (supposed) double-murder of his wife and daughter? Or the fact that the media and the American people are more interested in this cold-blooded murderer's fate than the fate of the world itself (as its identity gets consumed by America's sick corporate mindset)? I think that question answers itself.


As Entwistle was being escorted out of Framingham District Court on Thursday, some Joe Six-pack spectator was shouting "You're sick! Sick!" As we all wade through a sea of meaningless and irrelevant information that is fed to us by today's mass media, we're on the verge of losing grasp of anything and everything that is meaningful and relevant in life. That makes US sick. Sicker.


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