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Trials are not news--trials displace news


Did they impact your life?

Local media have found a new way to remain relevant, if diminished, for yet a while longer: promote the most lurid court case they can find. This was tv's formula for years, but now print is emulating.

At the Times, there have been TWENTY items on the coming Kelly Thomas trial in the past twenty-four hours. If you doubt it, click and scroll.

Nothing new has been added to the fact that Thomas died. No new facts were learned about the case.

A very smallish item worked itself into the Times' all-Kelly-all-the-time coverage: LA County poverty rate jumps for third straight year, to 17.6%.

Who are the people who led LA County through this? Why is it continuing to happen? These are far harder questions to answer than, "What's happening to those two cops in Fullerton?"

This is almost exactly how television ceased to matter in your life: it stopped broadcasting real urban news and started looking for formulas that worked in the suburbs. This is why you stopped watching television, and this is why you should stop reading that kind of news.