Friday, May 4, 2012

I don’t care about your child

As a criminal defense lawyer, I fear cases where children are the ones making the accusations.  The reason is that no matter how bizarre, implausible, or flat-out false the accusation might be, some people seem to have an inherent pro-child bias which can, in some cases, cause them to suspend reality.  It also enables them to see and hear things that don’t exist.  But this pro-child bias is not limited to jury trials; rather, it infects most aspects of our lives, and was on full display when a nice looking couple went to a baseball game and caught a foul ball.  Because of this, they made national news and were demonized for failing to cater to a nearby crying child that wasn’t theirs, and that they didn’t even see.

First, watch the video, here.  Then, consider these points:

Ø      Diane Sawyer (yes, Diane Sawyer is actually covering this newsworthy story) asks: “How far would you go to get a foul ball?” 
o       Fact check: The ball came right to the couple.  They barely reached for it.  What, exactly, are you seeing, Diane?    

Ø      The announcer calling the ballgame asks: “Oh, my god!  They can’t give [the ball] to the kid?  That’s awful.” 
o       Reality check: The ball is theirs; they don’t know the kid, and it's obvious they don’t even know the kid is there.    

Ø      When the man takes a picture of the woman holding the ball, the announcer says: “Wow, they’re actually, like, rubbing it in the kid’s face.” 
o       Newsflash: The world doesn’t revolve around the crying kid.  The couple is celebrating catching a ball – something every fan thinks about when going to a ballgame.  Let them enjoy their incredibly overpriced tickets. 

Ø      The narrator of the story then says: “They aren’t the first adults to act childish with a baseball headed their way.”
o       Question:  What exactly did they do that was so childish?  The crying child is not their problem, and good for them if they were able to enjoy the game despite the crying.    

Even the headline at my beloved TaxProfBlog, where I learned about this national news story, reads: “What were these people thinking?” 

Assuming this event was even newsworthy, a better caption would have been: “You can’t always get what you want.”

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for raising the pro-child bias as a legal issue, Michael. I commonly see it in "false memory" cases as well.