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July 1994


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"Edward R. O'Neill" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 9 Jul 1994 03:30:00 PDT
text/plain (40 lines)
Actually, my impression is that the news is singularly unable to
examine its own role in the judicial process, particularly in this
event, in which the media-ness--of OJ, of the crime, of the white
Bronco, of the tainted witnesses--is spectacular.  Mute shock or
nonreaction is what the newscasters give when, as happened the
other week, the prosecutor's office clams up.  What results is not
news but pure speculation by the familiar "experts."  The fact that
OJ is himself a media-created being can never figure in the media's
As for good and bad reflexivity, conservative and progressive re-
flexivity, I have argued (in a paper on police 'reality programming')
that the idea that reflexivity produces political consciousness should
be rejected in the face of plentiful evidence to the contrary. Beavis
and Butthead produces no critical consciousness.  The belief that
reflexivity leads to a higher level of consciouness, political or
otherwise, partakes in a philosophical credence notable in Kant and
Hegel, a credence in mediation over something more 'direct.'  The
contemporary media generally seem quite content  to film and media-
tise their own doings, but this seldom produces any critical bent  in
the viewer.
> An other interesting aspect of TV coverage of the Simpson's case is
> television news's self-reflexivity about its own coverage.
> Self-reflexivity, of course, is not new in TV.  What is new, I think, is the
> Tv news anchor's reference to and analysis of their own coverage of the
> case WITHOUT implicating themselves as organizations or individuals
> involved in the coverage.  This is a disembodied form of self-reflexivity
> that tends to undermine the progressive politics of
> self-reflexivity.  Here is another example of cooptation and
> depoliticization of the so-called alternative disocurses.
> --Hamid Naficy
> Media Studies
> Rice University
> [log in to unmask]