Weekly, the Daily Nexus attempts to do what any award winning journalistic enterprise does: entertain by exploiting the hard-luck stories of persons arrested. It happens, most regularly, in the section of the paper known as the Police Blotter. Hahahaha! So funny! So funny that alcohol makes people act goofy. So funny that these arrested individuals were publicly humiliated, tethered like animals and taken to a cage. So funny that many of these individuals will have their careers and other dreams sandbagged by one or more criminal convictions resulting from a single instance of poor judgment. I just can't stop laughing. There's a word in German, schadenfreude, which is defined as the pleasure one feels while learning of another's pain. Sadly, the Nexus encourages its readership to indulge in schadenfreude regularly by going down to the IVFP and chatting it up with police to get their agenda-driven and one-sided versions of these arrests then printing them. Seldom, if ever, do we get to read the other side of the story. Often it is the rude, arrogant, over-bearing and, occasionally, violent conduct of the police that just doesn't make it into the paper somehow. Those that have been arrested, and those that witness those same arrests, I can assure you, just as often, have alarming stories to tell of unprofessional conduct by law enforcement which, frankly, just isn't as funny as it is disturbing. And what's really not funny is how these arrests may affect these arrested individuals in pursuit of their academic and career goals. I am not asking the IVFP, or any police officer for that matter, to stop enforcing the law. I am asking them, however, to stop laughing at those that they arrest, and the Nexus to stop asking its readership to join in that laughter.
UCSB is full of future law-makers, judges, and jurors. Should the Nexus consider itself a serious news organization, and not a mere puppet of the UCSB Administration and other powerful forces of the Establishment, it should stop and consider the important role it plays in influencing attitudes of our future community leaders toward police, the accused and the administration of justice. At the very least, it should endeavor to tell more than one side of any given story and stop asking its readership to take pleasure in another person's pain.