This entry was posted
on Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 at 1:06 pm by Radley Balko
and is filed under There Oughtta Be a Law.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Sorry, this is completely off topic, but I just wanted to share with the folks here this excellent one-hour interview of David House by Democracy now. He talks about Bradley Manning, Wikileaks and the federal surveillance that he has come under.
The comments at HuffPo on your Caylee’s Law article included quite a few people who seem to have the “CSI Syndrome”, where the prosecution must have DNA evidence and a complete picture of the cause of death and a clear motive for there to be a conviction. Several actually said words to the effect that “all that evidence and not one shred of DNA”.
It is a strange schizophrenic shared consciousness our society has. Simultaneously bloodthirsty for death on the slightest hint of an allegation and demanding impossibly high levels of evidence to match TV dramas.
I thought this was a great segment. Over time I’ve definitely seen you improve your delivery and you look more relaxed in front of the camera and kept good eye contact (which is a lot more than I can do). The audio and video quality from home has also improved.
If I could just make a couple of constructive observations. I think there are a few low-hanging fruit that would step up the quality significantly:
1) Lighting. Webcams do a poor job with variable lighting, and make things seem harsher than they already are. A second diffuse light source would help.
2) Raise the camera position. You’re framed well in the shot, but you appear to be talking down to me, which seems out of place for a network interview.
3) Echo. The audio quality has improved, but there is still an audible echo. If you’re already using a powered lavalier microphone, then perhaps hanging some sheets or curtains to the side out of the shot and behind the camera to dampen the echo would help.
4) Background. It’s pretty obvious this is a remote interview from your place, and that’s definitely getting more common these days, but maybe spend some time setting up an appropriate background (unless you’re looking for someone to ask you about your mad guitar skilz).
I guess my point is, you’re doing more and more of these interviews, and I imagine the media would be more apt to interview you remotely than paying to fly you out and put you up. These are some pretty cheap things that would make a big difference.
“The comments at HuffPo on your Caylee’s Law article included quite a few people who seem to have the “CSI Syndrome”, where the prosecution must have DNA evidence and a complete picture of the cause of death and a clear motive for there to be a conviction. Several actually said words to the effect that “all that evidence and not one shred of DNA”.”
Is that CSI Syndrome? I’ve been misusing that term, if it is. My definition has been that CSI Syndrome is the assumption that forensics is an exact science that proves guilt beyond any doubt.
CSI syndrome – probably cuts both ways. I have heard repeatedly that police/prosecutors are running into juries that expect DNA for everything – even stuff like aggravated assault where the assailant is apprehended in the act.
Simultaneously, prosecutors are able to whip out a brown clothing fiber and declare a match and get the death penalty. The faith in forensics is obviously overstated in the public mind (as well as the minds of prosecutors) to the point where they think the guy from CSI should be able to solve every case in 1 hour (including commercial breaks) – and if he can’t , well then he’s innocent by reasonable doubt.
In either event, Balko’s recommendations about professionalizing the forensics field would certainly help.
I’m with Sean: Radley needs some better lighting, sound, etc, unless you just want to make Alonya look comparatively better. Which is a serious problem: a better looking Alonya would be so far off the hawtness meter that there could be national security implications. As it is, DC is sweltering the last two days since you did the interview.
I think it’s perfectly legitimate to demand that parents report that they’ve killed their kids within an hour of having done so. Furthermore, I think there should be a tax on killing your kids. If you aren’t allowed to smoke, drink, or drive a car without being taxed, why should you be permitted to kill your kids without being taxed? That, of course, brings us to the need for licensing parents who want to kill their kids. If you aren’t allowed to go fishing without a license, by god you shouldn’t be permitted to kill your kids without a license. I propose Caylee’s Law be expanded to include all of the above. It’s just common sense, folks.