Don’t Believe Everything You See In The Media

I, like most of the Netflix bingers, was riveted by the documentary “Making a Murderer”. From the very beginning, it pissed me off. The reason it did, was because the guy got a bad hand dealt to him from the start, and he was always behind the 8-ball. What is truly horrifying to me is how badly things were handled throughout the entire process of all of his legal proceedings in both cases. Here’s this guy, who was a mostly stand up guy, that is just getting railroaded by people who are using their power incorrectly. But was that what was really happening? Or were there things going on that they didn’t show us?  This is just a microcosm of what a viewpoint can do to skew your outlook on a situation. Now, I will go in to detail about the documentary series. If you haven’t watched it, don’t read any further. Go watch it!

I am not one of those people who think that Steven Avery is a blessed angel from above that is innocent of everything. I understand that the documentary comes from a biased point of view that depicted things to make viewers be more invested in Avery’s innocence. I get that, and I don’t wholly disagree with it. Most people who watch these understand that these films/series have to fall on one side or the other, and you can usually tell by who is interviewed and who declines to be included. I’ve done further research in to the trials and found that a lot of things were left out. The district attorney from the murder case (who, of course, doesn’t have a leg to stand on anymore, morally speaking) is running his own smear campaign against the documentary, but no one is really listening. This does bring the point home that there are two sides to every tale. What went on in Manitowoc, WI is beyond tragic, and there is no doubt about that. It disturbs me that so many awful mistakes and obvious oversights could be made, not to mention the deliberate illegal acts committed by the lawyers, investigators and other law enforcement officials involved in the cases. Again, I am not saying that Steven Avery is innocent. He may have killed that woman. The problem is we will never really know. Things were so badly handled from start to finish that there may be irreparable damage done to his case for innocence. I hope that some day, maybe soon, a court will be willing to hear his case again. I hope that some lawyer, and hopefully the four men who helped him so much before, will help him fight again. The biggest problem is the case is radioactive. No judge wants to touch it. It is easier to say no, then to say that not only is there is a possibility that two law enforcement officials, along with several others framed Steven Avery, but that they may have killed Teresa Halbach (theoretically).

The biggest issue with this documentary is that it doesn’t really explore Steven Avery beyond him as a victim of the system. It makes light mention of him doing some minor things before his first jail term, but nothing substantial. It doesn’t bring to light any negative viewpoints on him at all, besides some substantiating thrown in comments. If you didn’t know any better, you would think this guy has the worst luck ever. You would think his family is upstanding, hard working, and close knit. You would view the town and the officials as being callous, vengeful, and disdainful of their simple nature. The fact is that none of that is really true. The way that media works does not allow for a truthful observance of events. The person creating the piece skews every viewpoint. Whether it is written, filmed, or recorded, the aspect of the media is to express the view and opinion of the presenter. It shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did when it came to how many people jumped to Steven Avery’s defense. Everywhere, people were petitioning for a retrial, demanding President Obama overturn his conviction, etc. I am not talking small amounts of people. Hundreds of thousands of people were demanding these things based on the documentary. I agree that there needs to be a new trial, but I cannot agree that he is innocent.  This is what people are seeing from the documentary. They are not seeing that there is a doubt, but that he is completely innocent, and ignoring the fact that the documentary is skewed to fit the viewpoint of an innocent Steven Avery.

People take things at face value, and that is a dangerous way to live. If we have learned anything from the past year, it should be this: do your research. Do not be content to see something once and accept it as is. We saw so many things that were beyond the scope of tragic and the repercussions that followed were ten times worse because all that was seen was the face value of the event. People focus on either the broad picture or they focus on one defining detail and miss all the rest. I understand that we all have our quick fire reaction to a situation, but we need to start thinking before acting. Every day we are presented with opportunities to act in a responsible manner, and analyze a situation before we jump to a conclusion. It is time we start doing that, and stop failing prey to the slanted viewpoints of media that is presented with an agenda. While I applaud the work that many of these people do, getting the stories out there, they don’t do the correct justice sometimes. While highlighting a highly unfair situation, and shining a light on something that does need to be seen, they do it with a filtered light. We see only what they want us to see. What is in the shadows are the things that could potentially make us think twice. I know why they do it, and it makes sense. It falls on us, the consumer, to look beyond what is presented.

In this day of instant gratification, social media, Internet everything, and millisecond attention spans, we have to realize that there is more to what we see at first glance. Don’t let the viewpoint of another person be your guiding light. Be your own person, and seek out your own truth. I love digging in to the truth of things, and it is gratifying to go beyond the simplistic view and see things from the unbiased side. Don’t be apathetic, and spout biased viewpoints. Every story is deep and the average media viewpoints won’t give you more than a shallow skim across that. Be courageous and look for yourself. You might find some really interesting things. It might make you change your mind about a few things. It might make this world a little bit more knowledgeable and a little bit wiser. Couldn’t hurt right?


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