Thoughts on Law and Life

The Official Blog of Astrab Legal Services LLC

Quick Observations on the Media and Crime Coverage

As I sit sipping my morning brew at my favorite coffee shop, I thought I’d vent again on the media and their coverage of criminal cases. Last week I mentioned that I believe attorneys are out of line to make silly pronouncements of complete innocence on behalf of their clients. The bigger issue, in my opinion, is that the media outlets, in their zeal to cover and sensationalize these stories, give the attorney the perfect platform to temporarily set aside common sense and make the ridiculous comments in the first place.

My temperature rises when I hear a reporter ask an attorney whether or not his client is Guilty – what the heck to they expect him to say? “Why yes Joe, my client killed Mr. Jones by shooting him three times with an unlicensed Glock and then proceeded to dispose of the weapon by throwing it down a sewer at East 98th Street and St. Clair Avenue. I believe that he would do it again if given the opportunity.” The best answer to the question would of course be “no comment,” but that is too easy.

The Casey Anthony story is a perfect current example of the media’s blood lust. The national networks have taken what is simply a local news story in Orlando and elevated it to a piece of international importance, often leading newscasts with the latest updates…. “Our lead story today: Casey smiled in Court today – does she know something we don’t know? In other less important news, President Obama today ordered a nuclear strike on Nigeria to pay them back for their pervasive e-mail scams…”

How do we stop this? There is no easy answer short of just not watching these stories, but that is not realistic as there are enough sheep out there hanging on every new detail of the story. Amateur CSI investigators all over the nation are working feverishly to put together the pieces and convict this girl before her jury is even considered. I think that the real investigators and the lawyers need to stop talking to the press – without the ability to interview those at the heart of the investigation there won’t be as much to report and speculate upon.

I’ve got to run – I’ll put a real post up later today or tomorrow, but I just thought I’d throw my vent out to the blogosphere…Feel free to comment with ideas or suggestions on how we can stop the dumbing down of America by the media…

Michael K. Astrab is the principal attorney for Astrab Legal Services LLC, a general practice law firm located in Cleveland, Ohio. He may be reached at (216) 577-0013 or via e-mail at This blog is designed for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.


January 27, 2009 - Posted by | Law, Legal, Life | , ,

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