Back in College I once took a Sociology course on Mass Media and Semiotics. Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols. Of the few things I seem to recall learning from that class was the following kernel of wisdom imparted by our professor: “Media doesn’t so much tell you what to think, as it tells you what to think about“.
Case in point, currently the mainstream news, the internet blogosphere and social media are being saturated with coverage on the recently convicted Stanford University rapist Brock Turner, whose actions are without doubt both reprehensible and indefensible. As a result of this coverage, many people are understandably feeling a sense of outrage over the news, the manner in which the incident has been handled and a comparatively lenient 6-month sentence handed out by Judge Aaron Persky. An online petition has been formed that now consists of over 1 million signatures calling for this Judge’s removal.
In the midst of the current barrage of reporting, op-eds, blogging, viral videos, and social memes, regardless of what you may think, while you are busy thinking about the Stanford rape case, you are however not busy thinking about the case of Felipe Peralez, a former La Joya, Texas cop who as of 2015 was charged and found guilty of raping a woman while she was in custody over a probation violation at the La Joya City Jail where he supervised. Like Brock Turner, Peralez also received just a six month sentence (plus 1 additional month in County jail).