May 17, 2010

The First 48, Aiyana Jones, and You

Pro Libertate: The Death of Aiyana Jones: "Showtime Syndrome" Claims a Child

Detroit Free Press: Police, family look for answers in girl's death

Are you a fan of reality television? Especially, are you a fan of "The First 48"?

Congratulations, you just killed a seven year-old girl in Detroit.

Yes, you read that right. In a free market capitalist economy, the final decider in what succeeds, what fails, what is important, and what is not, is the consumer. Every time you turn on that program, DVR that program, visit the website, and participate in the forums, you are encouraging police departments everywhere to grandstand, be explosive, and produce arrests on the basis of shoddy, visually stunning investigations suitable for television viewers to sit watching while consuming their favorite snacks. Exactly the kind of programs whose high ratings encourage advertisers to pass over hundreds of millions of dollars to keep the cameras rolling.

Your decision to watch this program added another uptick to the rating, pushed up the value of the advertising time associated with it, and earned another fat bonus for the low-budget production crew.

Every purchase you make has, quite honestly, global ramifications. Please be careful where you spend your money, what television programs you watch, and who you vote for during elections. Your one, tiny voice reaches all the way around the world, even into living rooms in Detroit where seven year-old girls are quietly sleeping beneath Disney princess blankets.

In today's world, every single choice we make is a moral choice.