The media is the new court system and you’re the judge!


A few days ago I was watching “Operation X” on TV2. The program exposed the “safe-chat” consultant Rudy Frederiksen as a cheat who appeared publicly as a consultant counselling children and parents about how to navigate safely around the internet without meeting scary old men wanting to meet teenage girls while at the same time abusing teenage girls and producing pornographic material with them.

There’s plenty already said about him and his behaviour which I’ll leave others to go into details with. The story is definitely generating viewers and talk of the town. What I find interesting is the role that the media is taking on to an increasing extend; it was journalist Morten Spiegelhauer and his colleagues who made the investigation, set up the guy and proved him guilty. He was also the one talking to the police to confirm to what degree the act of Rudy Frederiksen was violating the law and finally took him to public court being a brief interview moments after exposing the guy explaining a young girl how he wanted to have sex with her. All of it is usually taken care of by the police and the justice system but not in this case. Of course there’ll be a criminal case held against Rudy Frederiksen but a large part of his punishment has already been installed; after receiving the sentence of TV2 and the public he will have a hard time getting around his home country for a very long time.

To the best of my judgement he seems guilty. The proof was substantial. And one may think that he is getting what was coming to him. But lets imagine a different scenario: Let’s say the story was better than the evidence. That the person portrayed came off a lot worse than what was fair. In that case it would be difficult to correct the sentence cast by the media and the public. But is that what democracy is coming to? Media-driven courts delivering the main character guilty as charged “right after these messages”?

One Google-search led me to an article with the title “Operation X a little bit too fast” about a program aired earlier this year.

Back in april I wrote a post about the site Arto with the title “Who is on the other end when your kids are surfing Arto?” and I mentioned Rudy Frederiksen in his professional right (well, the public profession, that is!). During the past week the visits on has increased by about 1000% from Google-searches on “Rudy Frederiksen” alone. Briefly after the program had ended there was a comment from a TV2-viewer commenting on my old post. The professional media and public journalism (being us who write what we think about everything in us and around us and commenting on one anothers blogs etc.) is smelting together and the debate is ongoing. Everyone is part of the conversation as not only markets but also the public order is becoming democratic to an extreme degree.