I was listening to Claire B. Lang’s Dialed In show on SiriusXM NASCAR radio on Wednesday evening and one of her talking points, in particular, on that day’s show got me to thinking. Her show on Wednesday came just a few hours after the announcement of the Ontario County, N.Y., grand jury’s decision not to charge Tony Stewart. That was plenty of time for several news outlet, specifically online and on TV, to get their stories out. And, boy, has the tone changed.
One thing Lang found interesting and something I checked out after she mentioned it was the tone of the photos that accompanied such stories. I hadn’t noticed before, but Lang was right on point — mainstream media stories that vilified Stewart were usually accompanied by photos of a surly, pissed-off-looking Stewart. As of Wednesday afternoon, though, the same news outlets were using more pleasant-looking photos of Stewart. Don’t believe me? Do a little research on your own.
Anyway, not only the tone of the photos have changed. The stories have also changed. Those outlets, reporters, etc., who were labeling Stewart with such horrific terms as “murderer,” etc., are now changing their tune, as Lang pointed out on her Wednesday show.
In my opinion, Stewart deserves an apology from these people. But is he going to get one? I sure hope he’s not holding his breath, because I’m 99.9 percent sure it’s not going to happen. Heck, these people aren’t even accepting responsibility for their previous, over-sensationalized reporting. Who are they blaming instead? The justice system in Ontario County for not telling them about the evidence of Kevin Ward Jr. being under the influence of marijuana the night of the accident. But should we have been told of said toxicology report at that time? We weren’t all judge and jury — despite the mainstream media seemingly thinking it is — so should we have been privy to all the evidence before the people who were actually in a decision-making position? Would that not inhibit the judicial process — taint it, so-to-speak?
In my opinion, the mainstream media guys and gals who got it wrong should buck up and publicly apologize to Stewart, but that’s not going to happen. Stop trying to pass the buck, err blame, and accept responsibility for the pie in face.
I’m not big on suing and lawsuits, but I have to admit, at this point, if I were in Stewart’s position, I’m thinking I would probably be thinking about something along the lines of a slander suit. Just saying.
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