The Murder Business: Mark Fuhrman's Surprisingly Interesting Anti-Media Rant
Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 9:00 am
|Fuhrman believes JonBenet Ramsey was killed by her mother, but a prosecutor thwarted the investigation|
How the Media Turns Crime into Entertainment and Subverts Justice
By Mark Fuhrman
Subject: The former LA cop turned author and TV fixture rails against the media over its coverage of crime, arguing that it's hindering investigations in the name of ratings.
The Upside: If you've ever read a police report, you'll know that wading into 200+ pages of cop prose is a scary task. But Furhman, the detective who found fame during the O.J. Simpson case, is a surprisingly good writer...
The book traces how police and the media covered some of the biggest criminal cases over the past 20 years -- from JonBenet Ramsey to Scott Peterson. His essential argument: The media -- by which he means cable news -- does everything it can to pimp ratings and prolong big cases for its own betterment, often interfering with police work in the process.
|After being tarred in the O.J. case, Mark Fuhrman seems intent to prove he's the smartest guy in the room|
But you've likely heard more thoughtful anti-media rants before. His more interesting argument is how often police bungle the detective work on big cases. From the Drew Peterson murders to the Martha Moxley case, Fuhrman unveils a stunning level of ineptitude, spotlighting the good 'old boy networks, the preening prosecutors, and the inept coroners who make justice a 50-50 proposition. His is the view of a former detective looking over the shoulders of his peers, and it's not pretty.
The Downside: It's hard to trust Fuhrman as a narrator. Like career congressmen who rail against Washington, or Rush Limbaugh ranting against the media, he seems to forget that he is the media, and that he works for the most shameless network of all, Fox News.
|Fuhrman's at his best dissecting the Drew Peterson murders, a stunning case of police bungling|
It's clear Fuhrman's a badly damaged human. His resentment over being portrayed as the racist, inept detective in the O.J. case is threaded through the book. Much of it seems dedicated to showing everyone that he's the smartest guy in the room, no matter what people say.
Even stranger is his lack of media knowledge. His assumption is that all media -- from the New York Times to TV stations in Illinois -- behave just the way the big cable does. In his mind, the media is controlled by liberal effetes who plot evil for big money while the nation suffers.
The premise is the same story line always peddled by Fox. I'm the only one here willing to protect you, good Americans, from the evil that surrounds us.
The Final Call: What's interesting is not Fuhrman's theories, but seeing inside the damaged mind of man badly tarred by the media machine, and who were now supposed to trust to deliver the news despite that damage.
Tags: Book Reviews