Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

The serious media should stop broadcasting powerful words by the accused

I’ve blogged recently that we may reduce the drama in our lives by not watching or listening to the news with its counterfeit drama but only to consume written news. However, the latter could also tone it down a tad.

When someone is accused of a crime, it being a serious or a small wrong, what is news is if the accused admits or rejects (some of) the accusations. The reader’s attention is harmed when drama constructed by the accused or their lawyers is included in the reporting or even the headlines. A denial may be news but not how forceful or colorful the rejection.

Maybe it sells, maybe it intrigues, but it should be below the dignity of serious news outlets. The vlogger world calls using emotions-provoking false titles “clickbaits.” It thoroughly rejects such attempts to get more views via untruth and abuse of time and sentiment. This includes ALL CAPS and fake or poignant headings ending in question and exclamation marks. Am I getting a divorce / married / going to end my life ?!!

Included in the headline could be the number of accusers. That says something. But we don’t need to read how many people agree with a case because that only says something about their sentiments and the degree of organization of their opposition and nothing about the case.

And we also don’t need to all read that “s/he was a monster.” That suspicion is obvious or there would not be a trial coming.

Equally immaterial are the exact words of suspects. So please, no more:

Sex offender Roman Polanski compares his legal ordeal to Dreyfus affair.” “Sex offender Roman Polanski decries being rejected” suffices.

Netanyahu accuses Channel 12 owners of ‘terror attack against democracy’.” “Netanyahu rejects Channel 12’s accusations” suffices.

It doesn’t  matter if accusations are rejected forcefully, if the accused seems guilty or unsympathetic and if the crimes are extraordinary.

These are the principles that should accompany serious pretrial reporting:
* An accused is presumed innocent until found  guilty [in court].
* Accused are entitled to their day in court.
* Not every crime can be proved.
* There are unjust laws and unjust convicted.
* The public has a right to know, not a duty to get upset or help the media.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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