If Ken Lay was black…

In These Times asks this hypothetical, along with other interesting questions like “What if he was a former athlete?”, “What if he was a pop star?”, and “What if he had been the star of a TV show?”

After all, in a world where OJ Simpson, Scott Peterson, and Michael Jackson get round the clock coverage, surely the case has come to symbolize corporate greed and corruption in our time would deserve similarly complete coverage?

Of course not. This is the corporate media we’re talking about. As the article notes, the trial got hardly any coverage at all, and the verdict was covered with little fanfare or analysis – it certainly didn’t get any coverage like this.

Is it because they couldn’t sell it? I find that hard to believe. While Ken Lay isn’t a black celebrity, the story is a powerful one: greed, corruption, thousands of lives ruined, conspiracies. There was even a fair bit of courtroom drama (though you wouldn’t know that from watching CNN). I think there would have been a fair amount of interest in the trial had it been covered.

So, why did the media drop the ball? Dereliciton of duty? Simple incompetence? The pro-corporate bias, as the article suggests?

It’s probably a combination of all of the above. Although, it’s depressing either way. No doubt when the next Hollywood celebrity goes to court they’ll be right there with round the clock coverage and analysis again.

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