Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Media Injustice

I've been following the MSM and blogosphere coverage of the Annie Le murder. If you haven't been, the short story is that Annie Le, a Yale University grad student went from missing to dead over the course of a few days. They found her body in the wall of the University lab she'd been working in on the day she was supposed to get married. In a word: Awful. But there's something else that's awful that isn't getting any media coverage that I've come across.

Anyone remember Richard Jewell? He was the 1996 Summer Olympic Games security officer who's name and photo were dragged through the mud by the media before he was convicted of having anything to do with the bombing. As far as I know, Jewell unsuccessfully sued for slander, libel and defamation. The courts ruled that Jewell had to prove actual malice on the part of the media defendants which, naturally, he was unable to do. So you have a man who had to suffer the scarlet letter consequence of being convicted of a crime on TV and the national newspapers but had no recourse.

Now I don't know whether the Yale lab tech who was picked up last night killed Annie Le. For the purposes of this blog post it doesn't really matter. What matters is that by this morning I had seen his name and likeness sprawled all over the MSM -- BEFORE the AP released a statement saying that the suspect has now been released and the police no longer believe he's their man.

Talk about civil injustice. Where are his rights? Do suspects in high profile cases have any? What are they entitled to? Glenn Greenwald...Andrew Sullivan? Anyone?

I hear crickets chirping.

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