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Some people think that writing for television is the easiest way in the world to make a living. Not true. I worked in the business for over 30 years, and there is nothing easy about it. For one thing, there are millions of people vying for a couple of thousand jobs. For another thing, everyone in and out of the business is convinced he can not only do your job, but do it a lot better. That is not the sort of thing that mechanics, plumbers and accountants have to put up with.
Even back in the days when I was writing for the likes of “MASH” and “Mary Tyler Moore,” I had a cousin tell me she could do what I did if only she’d ever learned to type!
Now, I could be mistaken, but I happen to think that the easiest job in the world is being a criminal defense attorney. In fact, I think the reason that law school is so boring and passing the bar is so time-consuming is to keep everybody in the country from taking it up as a career.
I mean, let’s face it – anybody who believes that people like Johnnie Cochran, F. Lee Bailey and Robert Shapiro, are brilliant has straw for brains and has obviously gotten lost on his way to Oz. After all, when you get past all the self-serving hype, what are the prerequisites? Basically, he has to be willing to employ tricks and lies to keep murderers, rapists and child molesters, from getting their just deserts. In short, he has to have a cash register where other people have a conscience.
These shysters will all argue that the system demands that every defendant is entitled to the best defense money can buy, and that the law has nothing to do with justice. But if such a system permits the most vicious psychopaths to strut out of a courtroom simply because some attorney conned a jury, what sort of loathsome creature dedicates his life to such a pursuit? Lawyers will say that they never ask their clients if they’re guilty. But that doesn’t prevent them from knowing it as surely as they know the sun will rise in the east, and knowing that their clients, once freed, will probably require their services down the road.
What I can’t understand is how these mouthpieces manage to sleep at night, knowing that their own wives and children could be their client’s next victims. The idea that these lawyers would sneer at what pimps and whores do for money is the ultimate in gall.
On top of all that, thanks to the rules of the game, they only need to convince one of 12 jurors that anything shy of eye witness testimony by a busload of nuns is cause for reasonable doubt. Imagine being able to make millions of dollars just by managing to confuse one person who, as the cynic is quick to point out, isn’t smart enough to avoid jury duty.
I know that judges, lawyers and the smarmiest politicians, have to pay lip service to juries, but it’s a lot of hooey. All you have to do in order to know that most people aren’t qualified to determine innocence and guilt is to check out what America is watching on television and how easily Madison Avenue manipulates them.
Do you have any idea how many zillions of man-hours are wasted by people watching so-called “reality TV” and actually worrying about which yuppie will be the next one fired by Donald Trump?
Even more brain-deadening are the commercials. There is one on the radio for some outfit selling precious metals. Every single day, this guy is on the air insisting that, thanks to what’s happening in real estate, on Wall Street and in China, gold is poised to rise between 200 and 2,000 percent before the end of the year. Well, if he really believed that, wouldn’t he hang on to his horde for a few more months and make a real killing?
Why is he looking to make me rich beyond my wildest dreams? He doesn’t even know me!
Then there’s that incessant campaign for Cortislim. That’s the one in which this smooth operator starts out trying to convince us he’s not like those other snake-oil salesmen with their outrageous weight-loss claims. At which point he segues into an anecdote about some unnamed TV reporter who was going to do a story on Cortislim.
He says that some of the folks at the company were worried because maybe she wouldn’t diet or exercise, maybe she’d even pig out while watching the tube. But, no, she played fair and, lo and behold, she lost 18 pounds. “Well,” says the announcer, “18 pounds is still losing.” Do you get it, folks? He’s not making miraculous claims like those big lying phonies at the other diet pill companies. Oh, no, he’s merely dismissing an 18-pound loss as a major disappointment, allowing the gullible consumer to infer that, so far as Cortislim is concerned, anything less than 50 or 60-pound losses are hardly worth mentioning.
And the fact that Cortislim is flying off the shelves is all the proof I need that the jury pool is as tainted as Saddam Hussein’s gene pool.