Friday, February 22, 2013

Oscar Pistorius

This goes back to the idea that the news can sometimes change a trial from a person being tried to a character that takes endless scrutiny when nothing has been set in stone. Also, this is half a world away. This has no bearing on the United States in any way, yet it's breaking news on USA today. Hang on. South African news on USA today. Let that sink in.

Now, a few excerpts for those who really don't want to read this.

"In a decision that took nearly two hours for him to explain, magistrate Desmond Nair said Pistorius is not a flight risk and does not show "a propensity for violence" or constitute a risk to the community."

"Bail was set at 1 million rand ($112,803) and a court date was set for June 4. Pistorius has been ordered to surrender his passport and refrain from contact with any witnesses for the prosecution. He is not allowed to use prohibited substances or alcohol and is subject to testing, the judge said."

"(Pistorius) is treating it as, 'Let me go, let me carry on my business as usual," prosecutor Gerrie Nel said. "But it can't be business as usual."

"Pistorius' case took a dramatic turn Thursday as police announced that its lead investigator has been replaced. Botha, who testified earlier in the week, faces attempted murder charges from a 2011 case. The charges stem from an incident in which Botha and two other police officers allegedly shot at a minibus they were trying to stop."
-This is turning into a soap opera.

"All his stories sound like lies," said Ryan George, 28, of Johannesburg, before the magistrate's ruling was announced.
-This is my favorite part of the story. Who is this joker?

"No doubt that he wanted to kill her," said Andre Van Biljoen, 54, of Johannesburg. "If you look at his attitude at the Paralympics, you can see this guy is a narcissist."
-Apparently, this lady is an expert psychologist.

Any thoughts?


  1. No matter which bar or restaurant I go to, I see this guy's face on some TV in the background.

    Every time I see it, I just think, "Why should I care about this guy?" Every time I think that, I overhear somebody next to me say, "Wow, did you hear about that?"

    Money talks. The media is completely justified in presenting crap to us that we shouldn't care about because they do a great job in convincing us that we should.

    It doesn't hurt their feelings if you or I don't watch it because there are plenty of other people that will.

  2. I think that American media just has this fixation with famous people in entertainment. They love charting the rags to riches/underdog stories (which is what Olympic coverage of Pistorius was), but in many ways they love charting the fall of stars just as much.

    I agree that it's kind of silly that South African news is in USA today, but in many ways it is all the same in terms of following everything that goes on with celebrities. Does it add anything to our lives? No, not really. Yet people are fascinated with it and buy the papers/magazines that report this stuff, for better or for worse (mainly for worse I think).

  3. I think that this story is an excellent example of Postman's argument that TV has created a great deal of irrelevance in today's media. Why is Pistorius' trial relevant to my life? It really isn't. There isn't anything that I can do about it, and it doesn't affect me, or even the country that I live in. It might set a precedent in South African law, but it is much less important than other events that have occurred in the country. It is purely entertainment.

  4. It just seems like irrelevant, boring, throw away "news" to me. I actually didn't hear about any of this when it was going on at the time, but I'm sure I wouldn't have liked it if I had. What am I supposed to do with information like this? I can't think of a single thing. Get mad at them for wasting my time?