Why in the name of all that’s holy does anybody besides the families of Scott and Laci Peterson care about the Scott Peterson case? Why is it on page one of all the newspapers, the lead story on all the radio and TV news broadcasts? Does the case have some sort of historical significance? No. Does it raise some new theory of criminal liability? No. Is there some unusual type of evidence being used that could set a precedent for other cases? No. Is this the first case where a cheating husband has killed a pregnant wife? No.
So why do we care? There are some 16,000 murders in an average year in the United States. What is it that sets this case so dramatically apart from all the other murders that it has garnered the kind of frenzied media attention that it has gotten? Beats the heck out of me. This case is fundamentally a run-of-the-mill, ho-hum, routine homicide. Neither victim nor perpetrator has (or had) any kind of public-figure status that might warrant this sort of attention.
It seems to me that indulging the American taste for this sort of “news” story is nothing short of titillation. It’s not bread and circuses, it’s BLOOD and circuses. It’s disgraceful that so many people let themselves get so caught up in the private lives and miseries of other private people, and even more disgraceful that the media feeds that interest (and feeds on it, itself).
Shame on us all.