October 14 , 2009
I try to avoid talking about other prisoners here on Death Row. The main reason
for this is because I don’t feel comfortable doing so. However I do want to talk
about the ‘media’ and in doing so, I will have to refer to other prisoners here
on the Row.
The focus of this conversation is the news media, so I will try
to be intentionally vague when talking about others here. I do want to talk
about the media telling lies about a prisoner here. I had asked the man, who the
media had printed lies about, if I could mention him by name. He said ‘no’ and I
will respect that. He has been the target of a lot of yellow journalism and
there have been a lot of people who have tried to exploit him, so I understand
his saying no.
I had only recently heard about this, so I am not sure of the
times involved in these incidents. When a man with a high profile case arrived
here at San Quentin, one of the prisoners (on the Row) decided to exploit this
guys exposure in the media and try to make some money off it. He contacted the
tabloid media and sold them all these made up storied about having sexual
relations with this guy and making this guy his prison bitch or punk. All of
these stories were fabricated. The things this prisoner told the tabloid were
factually impossible for it to have happened.
The tabloid (is there really
any difference between the tabloid and mainstream these days?) didn’t check or
didn’t care to check the facts and ran these stories as if they were true. None
of it was true. In fact what this prisoner was selling to the media was
physically and logistically impossible for it to have happened. It seems the
media (both tabloid and mainstream) are always looking for their next boogieman
to present to the viewers or readers.
Recently there was a story about a
poor girl who was kidnapped and held prisoner for 18 years. The local (san
Francisco) broadcast media would have the majority of their newscast about this
story. This is while the healthcare debate and budget crisis should have been
the most important news for the public. Instead the local media and one TV
channel in particular would have 70% of its newscast all about this poor girl
and the couple who were arrested as a result. They would show the same story
over and over again.
When a story (no matter how tragic) effects only a
handful of people, but pushes the real news which effects all Americans,
dominates the news for weeks on end, it is no wonder things have gotten so
disconnected in our country. Our irresponsible news media has replaces relevant
and important news with sensational and titillating tabloid news instead. People
should be outraged and offended by what the news has become. It is as if they
think you are too stupid to care about things that really matter.
be nice if the news media put as much time and effort into doing stories about
the prison overcrowding and draconian sentencing laws. Or maybe about how the
Governor (Arnie) has cut funding for educating students in the public schools
and Universities, as well as care for the elderly and health services. The very
next day he approved almost $300 million to build a brand new death row. $300
million is the projected costs, but we all know the costs will be much higher
then that. It shows where the Governments priorities are though.
is it for this one, feel free to drop a line if you like.
All the best to
p.o. box C-97919
San Quentin Prison
Quentin, California 94974