Public has taste for bizarre

Give the public what they want.

Dating back to P.T. Barnum and his display of the sometimes strange human condition, the public has always had a taste for the bizarre. The televised Jeffrey Dahmer hearings are no exception.

People from all around the country will tune in their televisions and watch in fascination as Dahmer tries to defend himself as insane in the killings and dismembering of 15 young men in his west Milwaukee apartment.

People will talk about the trials as if they’re from an ABC movie of the week. Some will complain about how they can’t believe they’re showing his trial on TV. They’ll be watching, of course.

Television has become more than the vast wasteland it always was. Now, it’s the place where we can watch real life events, such as the Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas scandal hearings, and reduce them to no more than characters in a soap opera undergoing the latest crisis.

A new channel called Courtroom TV is premiering in some areas of the country. It’s suppose to show people what real trials are like. This channel changes the outlook of a trial by the mere fact that they can be viewed as entertainment.

There was a time in America when people had their privacy and television offered entertainment about fictional characters. Now, television has taken sleazy incidents and is showing them to the public. But hey, the people asked for it.