He backs up his sturm und drang with compelling examples. Once I overcame the tinnitus caused by reading incendiary analysis by an insider who admits he played a "notorious role in the OJ Simpson trial," I found myself agreeing with many of his points.
Per Fuhrman, crime TV commits these sins. Do any of his criticisms ring true (or false) to you?
1. "They don't actually investigate... Facts have mostly been replaced with opinion, conversation, debate, and argument... Investigative journalists don't do much investigating. They stand in a pack outside Drew Peterson's house shouting, 'Did you kill Kathleen Savio?' I mean honestly, what did they expect him to say?"
2. They deliberately drag out stories, misrepresenting the facts if it helps to do so. It was obvious immediately that Caylee Anthony was dead, Fuhrman writes; but she was "missing" according to the press. "They want a big, loose time-line filled with "leads" and "possible suspects" and "persons of interest"... They didn't want a grim and depressing Search for Caylee Anthony's Body, but a suspenseful, heart-rending Search for Caylee Anthony. A story they could drag out for months, long after it was clear to me, the police, and every realistic observer or participant, that the child was dead."
3. They shell out huge sums for interviews and/or photos.
4. "They manufacture questions, but never try to answer them."
5. They relentlessly focus on attractive, middle class females as either culprit or victim. Haleigh Cummings' case fell from the TV screen because of the class of her family, which turned the story into "a white-trash nightmare, too much of a freak show."
Fuhrman goes on to analyze several recent cases of prominence.
Fuhrman on Drew Peterson: "He's got personality disorders they don't have a name for yet."
Fuhrman on Scott Peterson: "The media played along [with him]. They made his relationship with Amber Frey the centerpiece of the story, rather than the overwhelming evidence against him, mounting each day."
Fuhrman on his experiences as a true crime reporter in the Martha Moxley case: "I have never in my life been treated more shabbily than I was in Greenwich, CT. And that includes the Simpson trial."
Fuhrman on Nancy Grace: "She all but convicted the Duke University lacrosse players... and didn't apologize later when the accusations proved bogus... Grace flat-out declared suspect Richard Ricci guilty [of the abduction of Elizabeth Smart] several times on air... Grace didn't apologize for that one either... [Her interview of Melinda Duckett would] establish a new low, even by the standards of crime TV... Nancy Grace fired blindly. All she did was work herself into a lather and make Duckett clam up. The next day, Duckett was dead, and the investigation effectively died with her."