The Media Only Gives Half

I’ve had the “rare” opportunity to view media bias at it’s worse. I think that we often slip into the belief that whatever we read in the paper, of whatever we see on the TV news is the truth. We read it and we accept it, often with out any thought. News is defined as: “information about current events [and] the important events or developments that have taken place on a particular day.” What is lacking from this definition is the person who decides what information to present.

In the current trial of The People v. Isabel Celis I have obviously been following with particular interest. I have been in court 3 of the last 4 days of the trial and had two family members in the courtroom the day I missed. Given my first hand experience I am in an unusual position to critic the information in the media. Everyday in court this week Ryan Huff of the San Luis Obispo Tribune has been present. There have also been other reporters but Mr. Huff has drawn my attention because of his total misrepresentation of the truth.

There is a saying that there are two sides to every story. When you only hear one side of the story the tendency is to believe that it is the whole truth. So is the case with criminal trials. There are many recent celebrity trials in the headlines and listening to the news headlines it’s easy to jump to conclusions about guilt or innocence. With so little reporting on the Celis trial the truth is even more easily twisted. In all of his articles Ryan Huff has become progressively more biased towards the innocence of Isabel Celis. Ryan’s most recent article, “Murder of Norma Barto“, in today’s paper focuses entirely on the lies presented in Miguel Celis’ testimony. He did not mention any of the many arguments made by the prosecution throwing down every one of Miguel’s statements, including the many discrepancies in Miguel’s own testimony on the stand.

In his article Ryan says Miguel “re-enacted the killing in court Friday, showing how, he maintains, he took the tire iron away from Barto and used it to repeatedly beat her on the head.” He failed to mention how Miguel was unable to show exactly how he did it and became so frustrated that he broke his façade that he only knows Spanish and blurt out his frustrations in English!

Ryan also stated that Miguel ?said he was under the influence of methamphetamine, marijuana and alcohol and flew into a rage.? He didn?t mention, however, that Miguel said that marijuana was the only way he could calm down when he took methamphetamine. Nor did he state that Miguel took 2-3 grams of methamphetamine before he was interrogated by investigators, had not smoked any marijuana, yet was calm, still and not agitated at all.

When he hear more of what was presented in court you realize his story didn’?t hold up under scrutiny. If you were not in court, however, and only read what was in the paper you would think Miguel told the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

So, America be warned. Don?’t believe all you read or see on the news because you?’re probably only getting half of the story.