Monday, October 5, 2009

Irrelevant Details In The News


You'd think I'd be used to this by now. But apparently I'm not. I say that because it still never ceases to amaze me when I read an article that is just a craptastic pile of blather masquerading as journalism. I continue to think the same thing. What in the hell are they thinking?

Today's example and case in point comes to us via the Erin Andrews story. Erin Andrews, if you're not already aware, is a very hot woman who holds a microphone emblazoned with the ESPN logo on it. I have no idea if she knows anything about sports and neither does anyone who has ever seen her or watched her do whatever it is that she does. That's because most people could care less what comes out of her mouth as long as whatever it is that she does, she does looking like that. Good Lord, they're she's beautiful. That microphone could have a swastika on it and folks would still tune in.

Erin Andrews was in the news more than she usually was last July when videos surface on the Internet (shocking, I know) of her getting undressed or being in a glorious state of undress in her hotel room. It appeared that the videos were taken without her knowledge (OK, now that one does shock me) via a reverse peephole dealio or something like that. I didn't know there was such a thing as a reverse peephole, nor did I know that you could utilize one at a hotel room of your choosing. Then again, I'm not a pervert. I swear.

But just the other day the person who is (allegedly) the pervert who took the videos was arrested. The pervert is allegedly a one 47-year old Michael David Barrett of Westmont, Illinois. According to a ridiculous article which was written by an AP Writer and was published on the ABC News website (among others), we learn that the pervert man "...kept his yard manicured, played golf and enjoyed cooking on a gas grill on a patio behind his $300,000 suburban Chicago town house." WHAT?!?!

Cooking? On a gas grill? A pervert?! Are you sure?? What's your source?! Was there chicken? Was he cooking chicken on the gas grill?! I'll be he was! All perverts cook chicken on gas grills! Seriously, how is any of that relevant to anything? I can't figure it out. Yet whenever there is some sort of tawdry goings on out there within all of the Internets, when those partaking in said tawdriness are uncovered (for all the world to shun and mock), the most meaningless details about them in relation to what they have done always seem to surface and I don't get it. What else do we have in this craptastic article?


Oh, good! It includes some of my favorite inexplicable and irrelevant statements in these situations. There's the "It's the apparently normal life of Michael David Barrett, a 47-year-old insurance company employee, that made his arrest for allegedly secretly videotaping Andrews nude so upsetting, his neighbors said Sunday." Wait. What?

So, they're saying that the guy didn't openly act like a pervert? THAT is what is so upsetting to them? The clandestine perversion? OH, well, of course then. That explains their dismay and disbelief. Oh, wait. No, it doesn't. In fact, that doesn't make any sense AT ALL!

Look, he was secretly taping a woman in her hotel room! Did these neighbors expect that he would be candid and open about his little hobby there? I don't think that he would! Why not? Well, for starters, it's right there in the name! SECRETLY taping! He wasn't blatantly opening taping women in their hotel rooms, was he? NO! Why not? Well, because you can usually only do that ONCE. But secretly, you can, theoretically do it more than once!

I'm going to try to go easy on some of the folks that were quoted in this story because they're senior citizens. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to let them skate. We're supposed to be looking to our elders for wisdom and guidance. Tell you what. How about if we still do that, but we just look for it someplace other than these folks, OK? OK!

"I'm totally shocked," said David Wayne, 72, a retired corporate executive who lives several doors down from Barrett. "He looked absolutely normal — nothing distinguishing." I can't tell if he thinks that's a good thing or a bad thing. Is he upset that he didn't know he was living on the same street as a pervert? Would he have preferred that Mr. Barrett exhibit some distinguishing and, in all likelihood, disturbing behaviors? Is he surprised that he didn't know he was living on the same street as a pervert? Does he think that he knows everything about all of his other neighbors? He doesn't!

Why do they insist on interviewing the people that always live "several doors down"? First of all, how many is several? Three? Or twenty seven? I could tell you stuff about my neighbors on either side of me and the three directly across the street from me and my two neighbors. Other than that, I don't have much. Granted, my walled off compound does hamper the sociability factor, but that seems to be a reasonable radius within which to limit your interviews in a situation like this.

I still don't know what the interviewer was looking for by talking to these people. It's not like this guy was Phillip Garrido and had a prison camp full of women that he either kidnapped or fathered in his backyard. This is a guy who videotaped Erin Andrews in a state of undress. What sort of things could neighbors say that might indicate that anyone should have seen this coming? I can't think of a single thing.

Everyone that knows him says that he's a "regular guy". Of course they do, because what are the choices in this situation? You can be a "regular guy" or you can be "the perverted weirdo who is always trying to film women". Most guys who are the perverted weirdo, prefer not to be thought of that way. It enables them to hide their untoward activities and it enables them to do them more than once. (By the way, there were seven videos of Ms. Andrews, so that theory I just laid out there would seem to be true.)

Please. Please all news media reporters/journalists out there. Please stop trying to find something in nothing. Every single time a case like this arises and the neighbors are interviewed, it's always the same. He was a regular guy. We had no idea he was a serial killer. That's why I think that the safest place for anyone (anyone who is worried about being offed by a serial killer, that is) is right next door to the maniacs. Maniacs, as a general rule, seem to leave their neighbors alone. They'll stalk someone across state lines when they really could have spent that time stalking their neighbor and staring at them through the Venetian blinds from the comfort of their own perverted home. But that doesn't interest them, so you're safe that way. Serial killers - the best neighbors ever!

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