Skip to comments.Like Watching a Train Wreck
Posted on 02/23/2007 3:56:58 PM PST by Congressman Billybob
On Thursday morning, I turned on my satellite TV to surf 24-hour news programs, as I worked on the computer on various projects. To my horror, Fox News had gone to continuous coverage of the train wreck known as the Anna Nicole Smith body custody trial. As a lawyer, I watched a few minutes of it. It was horrible, but fascinatingly, it kept getting worse and worse as it went along.
It was like reading a truly dreadful book or watching a dreadful movie that you know is rotten. But you keep reading or watching to see if it can get even worse. And this one did.
I wont comment on the legal aspects of this case. I agree with many other commentators who said the case should have been decided on an obvious point, in a hearing lasting perhaps 20 minutes, tops.
I have to make a few comments about Judge Larry Seidlin. Ive dealt with hundreds of judges, at every level from District Court (lowest level police court in Baltimore) to the US Supreme Court. Ive seen judges who were characters, or fancied themselves as comedians. But, Ive never before seen the likes of Judge Seidlin.
Early in his career he was a cab driver in the Bronx. I conclude that you can take the cab driver out of the Bronx, but you cant take the Bronx out of the cab driver.
A local, legal website in Broward County says that this judge is a victim of his own inner comedian. I can believe it. He rambled. He repeated himself. He talked at length arriving at no known point. There are people who have microphone syndrome. Confronted with a microphone, they fall in love with the sound of their own voices, and start talking interminably about essentially nothing.
Judge Seidlin also committed reversible errors by the bushel, in my opinion. Most of the testimony that he took in this case was inadmissible and irrelevant to the one real issue presented. The best analogy to how he ran his courtroom was a classic Superbowl commercial which began with cowboys ridin and whompin. As the shot widened, you realized they were herding cats. The cats were running every which way and on top of each other, like the gaggle of lawyers in Seidlins courtroom.
But that wasnt the half of what made this spectacle so awful.
Consider the judgments the editors at Fox News, and all other news agencies, made as they decided to go wall to wall (or nearly that) with that story. As Michelle said to me, this was driven by the fact that many/most men go gaga over blond hair and large boobs on a woman, even if neither the hair color nor the boobs are real.
Couple that with the fact that this unfortunate woman wasnt the sharpest tool in the shed when she was sober and when she was high on booze, drugs, whatever, she became as dumb as a hoe handle. The last pathetic aspect as that everyone in that courtroom was trying to stay on the financial gravy train created by Ms. Smith never mind that she was now dead.
If anyone in that courtroom turns out to have been both honest and capable, I will cheerfully apologize to that exception to the rule.
Until then, I condemn the participants in this pathetic circus, and I condemn the American audiences who watched this empty farce. The news media are not in the business of providing the most important information in clear fashion. Their job is to attract eyeballs. The more people who are watching whatever drivel is on the screen, the more money advertisers will pay for their spots.
The dumbing down of what is called news started in 1977, when ABC News put Roone Arledge, then in charge of its Sports Division, in charge of its News Division. The network was, unfortunately, correct in its judgment. News is really entertainment, except with unpaid actors and unpaid scripts.
The continuing coverage of Anna Nicole Smith, never mind that shed dead, is scraping the bottom of that particular barrel.
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About the Author: John Armor is a lawyer specializing in constitutional law, who may again be a candidate for Congress in the 11th District of North Carolina. John_Armor@aya.yale.edu
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John / Billybob
lol....I didn't even know this was going on.
Train wreck, plane crash, and LNG ship explosion.
The only stuff I know about the Smith case is from the Michael Savage show.
Wow! Did Anna Nicole die?
Good post, John.
However, I must admit to a terribly guilt-laden fascination with the whole sordid circus. It was in my face. I had no choice. That's my excuse and I'm stickin' to it.
And I still feel guilty about it.
In a real train wreck, the cars and pieces eventually come to a standstill. Not sure this one ever will.
More appropriate than you realize. But I think you spelled hoe wrong. :)
Even the internet had nonstop banner coverage on every news site I opened, except here at FR. Thank God for some normalcy. Her death, like her life was tragic. I hope for the best for her daughter.
Did you miss seeing the Anna Nicole Smith thread here on FR? AT last count it had 12,000 plus posts and counting. Don't know what is today, but it looks as if it will make 15,000 easily.
And i'll admit I became interested in the proceedings once I saw the tape of Anna Nicole high on drugs with her face painted like a clown and Howard K Stern commenting that the tape would make a lot of money.
After being fed the constant "trainwreck" that is the Democrat party control of Congress, Anna hoopla is probably less traumatic. ANS almost appears normal.
Well, it's a diversion from all the political news, I'm so sick of hearing about Hillary and Pelosi as it is, that watching that judge was a nice change from watching the witches.
But how 'bout them THUMBS!
I do agree. The election hype has started way too soon and we are already sick to death of it. I will worry about it a year from now. I am sick of Hillary, Obama, and all of them. I hardly watch the news lately.
Yep, I haven't been watching much news lately either. I do still watch Brit, though.
Been putting that tivo we got back in November to some good use.
Jerry Doyle, a fairly decent talk show host was PRAISING the Judge!! I swear I live in a parellel universe.
If I was the judge I would of had the body cremated and split it three ways with the parties.
The Judge is a clown and needs to find another career path.