Friday, December 17, 2010

Main Stream Media Has A Problem?

Last week the Chicago Sun-Times ran ink, once again, on former Bolingbrook, IL, Sgt. Drew Peterson who is awaiting trial for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.  Michael Sneed writes a regular column for the paper and now it appears, in my opinion, that my less than favorite serial predator and offender of women, aside from being a dickless wonder, has his own special place in the columnist's heart under the heading of "Drew News."

Of course Michael Sneed doesn't name her so called "source" because that might be a conflict  interest to list a key figure in Peterson's representation over a few scotch and sodas just up the street from the Chicago Sun-Times headquarters.

In true Jerry Springer tabloid style, the reporter writes about Peterson's future as if it were important. It mentions how he is going to be acquitted, or so he believes, and that he's requesting his ashes to be turned into diamonds and, oh yes, he has prepared his last will and testament, which, by the way, is a hell of lot more than either Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson were able to do before they were allegedly killed.

Maybe Sneed can get her so called "source" to confidentially disclose where the remains of Stacy Peterson, Drew's fourth wife who vanished, are just so she has her facts straight. I am thinking maybe she had a memory lapse and forgot that Stacy Peterson  is still out there someplace and her children are, once again, spending Christmas without their mother.   I also suggest Sneed and the Chicago Sun-Times editors take a moment to read yesterday's post at Women and Crime Ink titled "Tell Everyone We Want to Bring Stacy Peterson Home For Christmas."  

When mainstream media provides a forum to any individual who is awaiting a trial for the murder, or in this situation murder(s) of innocent lives, they are saying to the public, "This person is important for us to cover and we believe it is news".  I understand all person(s) are innocent until proven guilty by a court of law, but, in these cases of intimate partner homicide, especially when a woman is still missing, you have given her killer, in my opinion, more coverage than you have the case of Stacy Peterson and coverage on finding her.  You and the person currently residing in a prison cell, have basically said to the world, her children and family, hey F_ _ _ YOU!


Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit by Susan Murphy Milano from the Book "Time's Up" from Courage Network on Vimeo.

Susan Murphy Milano is with the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education. She is an expert on intimate partner violence and homicide crimes. For more information visit  She is the author of "Time's Up A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships," available for purchase at the Institute, and wherever books are sold.  

Susan is the host of The Susan Murphy Milano Show, "Time's Up!" on Here Women Talk and is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth 


Burl Barer said...

SUSAN -- You know I'm crazy about you, and admire you with at least 14/16ths of my heart...AND...I know enough about communication to weep over your statement: " you have given her killer, in my opinion, more coverage than you have the case of Stacy Peterson." Prefacing it with a casual dismissal of the entire foundation of American justice..oh yeah, innocent until proven guilty ..oh yeah, saying F___ YOU to justice, F YOU to a fair trial, F YOU to the almost fifty percent of America's prison population who were falsely convicted. Fact: she is missing and presumed dead. Fact: He is alive and presumed innocent. I agree that the man alleged to have done the evil deed gets more press than the deceased, but she isn't going to generate any new stories and he has become a "celebrity" albeit not an admirable one, to be sure.
Every time we have trial by talk show, or crime blog -- even if the court outcome agrees with your "opinion" -- you must always wonder if the outcome would have been different if you hadn't polluted the waters by your pre-judging.
WHAT IF he didn't kill her? What if he is innocent? It is the very foundation of justice that we presume innocence unless proven beyond a reasonable doubt. I am reminded of Willis Wilson who was going to take the fall for six murders, and they hammered him to plea bargain. He refused. And for good reason -- he didn't do any of them. Thankfully, the jury had reasonable doubt. Aside from that, I'm with you 100%.
We can discuss this further on your show in January.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for what you have written today, Susan.

Burl, we don't know each other and I don't want to argue, just to have a discussion.

There are two things going on here, as I see it. The right of the people to have their own thoughts and opinions about anything; a crime committed, who done it, why, when, and the right to write and talk about their thoughts and feeling concerning the subject. Any subject.

In a way, that is what our justice system is about. When you say (as did Susan) that a person is innocent until proven guilty, this is the concept we hold to in the United States. It is the foundation for trying the accused in a court of law. This wonderful legal concept doesn't bind "the people" living in our society from forming opinions and being allowed to voice them.

Burl, you state: "Every time we have trial by talk show, or crime blog -- even if the court outcome agrees with your "opinion" -- you must always wonder if the outcome would have been different if you hadn't polluted the waters by your pre-judging."

"Polluting the waters" is pretty harsh rhetoric, and if it applies to Susan's blog post, then it applies to my comment here and to yours as well. What you refer to as pollution, I see as the free exchange of ideas; some more passionately felt and expressed than others.

There are no trials taking place on talk shows or crime blogs, or in the comment sections of newspapers and blogs, or in the kitchens around the country, where people who are interested in a certain subject gather to discuss it. We form judgments because that's what our intellects do. It's been going on long before radio, television, the internet; human beings have been communicating with one another about everything since there were human beings. Our intellect is also able to live with two ideas at once:

Legally, in the United States, the accused is assumed innocent until proven guilty. In the courtroom this is where this ideal is played out. In the rest of life, people form their opinions; judgments, if you will, and sometimes they share it with lots of people.

It sounds as though you are advocating for a different, and less free, form of society, a shutting down of the rights we have to speak freely. Even Drew Peterson (in this case) has the right to continue speaking.

Burl, I hope you take this in the spirit I am trying to convey it. We all have the right to think and feel the way that we do, and we have the right to write about it, speak about it, and share it with whoever wants to listen. Those listeners have the absolute right to disagree and say so. That's what makes for a healthy and free society.

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