Saturday, June 15, 2019

The OJ Treatment

I expect at least 2 of my 3 readers are old enough to remember the OJ Simpson murder case, including the slow-speed car chase, the investigation, and the trial. It dominated the national news media for however long it took to play out, at least a whole year. This is a single case of a guy murdering his estranged wife, but of course the difference is that he was rich and famous. There was a racial element that dominated interpretation of the event, but I expect it would have been about as sensational without that. (His lawyers got him off by convincing the jury that the LA police investigators framed him because they were racist. He was later found responsible for wrongful death in a civil trial.)

A few years after that, while I was still living in Boston, a guy murdered his wife in the affluent suburb of Brookline, and fled to his home country of England. This dominated the news, at least in Massachusetts, until he was finally extradited and convicted. There were hundreds of murders in Massachusetts that year, most of which merited two sentences on the nightly news.

So now comes the case of Jennifer Dulos, a woman who was living in New Canaan, Connecticut who disappeared three weeks ago. This has been the lead story, taking up extensive minutes in local news every night, on all networks, and major real estate on the front pages of the newspapers (what is left of them). As one might expect, her estranged husband, with whom she has been in a bitter custody battle, is suspected. The police have charged him with hindering the investigation, along with his girlfriend, but no more than that. No remains have been found.

There were 102 murders in Connecticut in 2017. They haven't yet published final numbers for 2018, for some reason, but anyway that's the order of magnitude. Again, all the other murders merit a sentence or two. Lots of the are domestic violence cases of one sort or another. So what determines who gets the OJ treatment?

Well, the victims are white, the families are affluent, and they live in wealthy suburbs. In this case the husband, Fotis Dulos, is a developer who lives in a vulgarly ostentatious  mansion in the Hartford suburb of Farmington,  while the "Missing Mom," as she is universally referred to, was living in the well-to-do New York City bedroom suburb of New Canaan. That's it.

The people who run the corporate media, who decide how we are to view the world, have absolutely no self-awareness and are completely immune to criticism. This single incident is the most important thing to have happened in Connecticut in the past three weeks, and in fact it is the most important thing to talk about every single day, despite the utter lack of any new information. I'm sorry for her kids but there are hundreds of children in Connecticut right now with a murdered parent, some of them just as recently, and we have never heard one word about them. Oh yeah -- the families aren't in the same social class as TV executives. But they are just impervious to any input, so why do we bother?

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