The Modern Day 'Poison Pen' and it's damages
For the last few months I have been helping an individual with something that for most writers would have had them chaffing at the bit. Why I was chosen, maybe at the time it was a matter of convenience, he was aware that I did have a few writing skills and they were needed. We put them to use in a Petition to some Government officials. But other than that my writing skills have been curtailed, of my own accord. Why was I trusted? Maybe my style of speaking is similar to that of my writing? Maybe he knew that his Aunt and I have been dear friends for a while? All the maybes in the world will not answer why the two of us connected into a friendship, it just happened.
Through the process of this friendship I have done an awful lot of reading. My friends name has been dragged through the mud. His sterling reputation has been tarnished. How is that possible you ask? If he has a ‘sterling’ reputation, how can it be tarnished? Words and words alone my friends will do that to anyone.
"Just the Facts Ma'am"
The Poisoned Pen - Or in today’s words the corrupt keyboard.
The age of computers has brought us much by way of information. With the stroke of a few keys on the Google search bar we can locate just about anything we desire to read or view. People believe what they want to believe, some also feel that if they found it on the Internet, it must be true. If they heard it on the News, ‘it must be true’ is also still in effect,
When I was growing up I did not like the News, it was boring. They reported with what to me seemed a monotone voice. There was no acting, rarely any smiles. The one highlight of the News I remembered was the weatherman who used to draw cartoon pictures. But other than that they seemed to report nothing but the facts.
This has all changed
Think of the last Presidential election, some stations reported nothing but the bad things, some reported only good things about the person running for election. Many a arguments erupted over who reports the News appropriately.
Every channel that you can tune your TV to has an agenda. Ratings. The more people they get to watch them, the more money advertisers will pay for commercials. So what does your average local TV station do? They have to sensationalize everything. Put on the programs that people want to watch, make the News just a bit more exciting than it really is. You may hear them from time to time say “We don’t make the News, we just report it”. Well that is not entirely true. It is true they don’t make the News, but they could change in the way it is reported.
When we tune to our local News programs we may or may not know the person who is being reported about. The headlines that are created will be our first attention grabber, that will make us decide if we want to watch that station, or tune into another. If it sounds juicy enough, then the channel stays right were it is.
The way a News report is made can either make a person appear guilty or innocent. Think of the last time you watched the local News. When you saw the ‘main’ story did you for one second think this person was innocent of the crime that is being reported? Obviously if they are on the news, they must have committed the crime.
Where are you at in this?
We may say ‘Ohhh, that’s just down the road’ or Hey!! I know that person! etc… We can associate, connect with what’s being reported, because it’s local. So we watch. If it’s a real bad story one that horrifies us, we can go to our computer, hit the Google search bar for that TV station, find the story, read everything we just heard the reporter say and just below the story is a comment section.
Some of the comments will be expressing feelings of the story. Some of them will be expressing sorrow (if needed to the family of the story). Some of the comments will be condemning the person in the story.
Who is using who?
Is it possible the News reporters, station, air time is being used? Absolutely. You don’t for one minute think that the Reporters hang out at the court house in the hopes that a charged individual will come up do you? You may see a photo of a person’s mug shot, or even an accused person in ‘County Jail’ orange on a TV screen while they are being arraigned. The story is then reported by the Reporter, generally what the person is being charged with along with any past charges that may or may not have happened.
Law Abiding Citizen
How does this happen? This is where the ‘using’ comes into play.
The Prosecution. They too are also working on ratings. I’m not exactly sure how their pay fits into it, but they NEED a high ‘conviction’ rate. If you’ve ever watched the movie 'Law Abiding Citizen' you will hear the phrase “96% conviction rate” being used. What that means is they need ‘Guilty’ verdicts, even if they take a plea bargain to a lesser charge, guilty is still guilty. The more ‘guilty’s’ they have the higher their conviction rate becomes. When you watch for your Prosecutor’s next election be sure to look for that, it generally is advertised greatly, particularly if it is high. For a Prosecutor to have consecutive high conviction rates it is a ‘shoe in’ for them to get elected as a Judge within the County.
What happens is the Prosecution calls the News station, tells them they have this ‘big’ story someone is being charged with this (insert heinous crime), they will be arraigned at this time (insert appointed hour). The reporter shows up, gets the worst possible picture of the individual, the side of the Prosecution only and viola` you have a person who is guilty! The family of the person charged may still be in shock so they of course have no response. They too may be embarrassed and are afraid to be on the News. After all ‘What will our neighbors think’?
What happens to the accused?
The family of the accused will suffer the shame of having a family member in the News, being charged with a crime. They in turn will back away from the accused unless the family bond is VERY strong. For the most part the family will stop the daily calls, back away to ride out the storm, just to see where it all goes.
The friends of the accused will run fast and far, quickly. Some hiding in the shadows until it’s all over.
What does this do? It leaves the accused feeling very alone in a big bad world. This is exactly what the Prosecution wants. Why? It’s easier to get a guilty conviction from a person who is alone and lonely. They may feel they have no friends or family to turn to. The only one they have left is their Attorney. Who cannot, in all honesty, tell them they will be found not guilty of the charges. It all depends on the whim of the jury and the evidence the Prosecution can come up with.
No evidence? Not to worry!
What happens if there is no evidence? Nothing to tie the accused with the crime other than words? This is where the poison pen comes in handy. Or in today’s world, the corrupt keyboard.
If the accused is a strong person within the Community, a lot of friends and family that are supportive, ’something’ must be done to break this individual’s support system. Remember I mentioned earlier the comment section of the News station’s website? If there are a lot of comments supporting this individual then something must be done. Why? Because the Prosecutions ratings hang in the balance.
It doesn’t take much to change your identity on the computer these days, just a quick witted person to come up with a new name to make comments with. Some of the News stations websites have a handy ‘sign in’ using your face book. Most of the ‘friendly’ commenter’s have no problem using their real name. It’s those that have no ‘real’ accounts that come to ‘bad mouth’ the accused that you have to watch out for.
Spending the last few months reading the comments written, I have been able to discern the real from the fake ones. I have also been able to connect several individuals who appear together on the News sites that are doing the reporting. Though they may change their names, have no ‘real’ identities to speak of, with the words they use, the terminology that is repeated it doesn’t take a genius to figure this out. What is their goal? It would appear that the wish is to poison the minds of the readers.
It has been determined that either they are part of the Prosecution team, or very close to the Prosecution. Either that or they believe everything that is said on the News. I find it hard to believe that there is anyone out there who will unequivocally believe everything that is said on the News to be true. Yet these mind poisoning people seem to do just that. With their words alone.
They ‘try and convict’ someone with words. Without having anything other than what is reported on the News.
If you by chance become a ‘supporter’ of the accused these News Trolls (as I have come to call them) will begin attacking you and your character. Some of the supporters have ‘gone underground’, meaning they are still supporting, just not vocally. Truly, who wants to be accused of the same things the accused is? Because you happen to believe in the accused and believe that they cannot be guilty of the crime in which they are accused, you are now being accused of being party to the same crime.
You may, like me, happen to have an ‘in’ to the workings of the accused. If you are very close to the individual you may have more information than the News has. You might know what evidence the Prosecution has, or even the lack of evidence they have. What do you do with this information? You can Google the News station’s website and comment yourself, attempt to change the minds of those trying to poison the minds of others. Your words will be twisted to such a degree that they will not even begin to resemble what they once were.
After a while you may begin to wonder if you are helping the accused or hurting their defense. You never question your loyalty to the accused, you still know beyond a shadow of a doubt they are not guilty of this crime. Yet you become oddly silent. So silent in fact that those who began the poisoning, believe that you have changed your mind. Only you know the difference.
To Poison the Minds of the readers
We come back to the Prosecution. You may be asking yourself “Why would the Prosecution want to Prosecute an innocent person?”
There are many reasons, some are vindictive, some are monetary, conviction rates, in this case, all of the above. I won’t go into the how’s and why’s of that at this time, one; because the case is still pending, two; because a lawsuit is in the works and three; I might get a book deal out of this.
Again what is the purpose of the ‘poison pen’? To poison the minds of the public against the accused. Why? To get a conviction. If you doubt my words (as you should!! After all I am just a writer) Google any local news site, find a story of an individual that is accused of any crime. Read the comment section under the story. If you happen to see a story where the accused is being defended by a few supporters, click ‘follow this story’. Watch what happens. Watch how the supporters are degraded and accused themselves. Then watch how they slowly disappear.
Guilty or Not Guilty
Does this mean the person will be found guilty of the crime in which they are accused? No, not necessarily. But it does mean that the support may appear to dwindle. It also means that the person accused may decide to take a plea bargain that the Prosecution offers, just to ‘get it over with’. If they are strong enough they might be able to weather the storm and hang on just a bit longer, until the date of the trial.
Will a ‘Not Guilty’ verdict clear the person’s name? Absolutely not. You will never hear a Prosecutor come on the News and say “We made a mistake, we charged the wrong person” you will never hear a Prosecutor say on the News “We jumped the gun and didn’t do a proper investigation”. Everything will be placed on the decision of the jury.
What is a person to do?
How does a person with a Sterling Reputation that has been dragged through the trenches dust himself off and get back on with life? He makes friends with a writer who uses her pen for the truth rather than poison.
Just a little more information on some of the things being dealt with in this case. h
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