Celebrity Justice and Gossip Blogs: Demographic Characteristics of Victimized and Allegedly Criminal Celebrities Featured on Top Gossip Blogs
J L & Soc Deviance 5, 244, 2013
27 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2014
Date Written: June 1, 2013
In the song “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” the band Good Charlotte articulates the problem with society’s fascination with celebrities involved in the criminal justice system. Good Charlotte sings: Always see it on T.V. or read it in the magazines, celebrities want sympathy. All they do is piss and moan inside the Rolling Stone, talking about how hard life can be. I'd like to see them spend a week living life out on the street. I don't think they would survive, if they could spend a day or two walking in someone else's shoes. I think they'd stumble and they'd fall...Lifestyles of the rich and the famous...Well, did you know when you were famous you could kill your wife and there's no such thing as 25 to life? As long as you've got the cash, to pay for Cochran; and did you know if you were caught and you were smoking crack...you could always just run for mayor of D.C.
This paper neither defends, nor denies Good Charlotte’s perspective. Instead, this paper asks: Who are the subjects of these T.V./magazine stories? Once this question is answered, this article asks: What significance the answer could have for celebrity justice; the effect of the press and public opinion on the criminal justice system; and the criminal justice system on the press and public opinion; the effect of society, media, and the criminal justice system on celebrity; and the effect of celebrity criminality or celebrity justice on crime.
This article relies on law review articles and original research on celebrity blogs between the years 2008 and 2013. Section II reviews the concepts of celebrity justice and jury bias towards certain demographic characteristics that could relate to the perceived phenomenon of celebrity justice and media coverage of criminal cases involving celebrities. Section III discusses the methods used to sample data from four top celebrity gossip blogs. This section also presents findings on the gender, race, and occupation of the most widely covered celebrities involved in criminal cases, sampled in the collected data. Section IV questions the purpose and effects of these celebrity demographics, and proposes new research questions. These new suggested angles should be investigated in order to formulate the fullest picture of the interplay between media, criminal justice, society, and celebrities. The article concludes by summarizing the practical and potential importance of understanding which demographic of celebrities celebrity bloggers commonly identify as victims and perpetrators of crimes.
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