White also says he isn’t really bothered by B37’s contempt for the entire media: “Her comments about the media wouldn't have turned my head whatever side I was on. I think it's the prevailing American view, and not uncommon at all. I don't see how it's logical to trust Today and not other sources, but very little of our relationship with the media is logical, and mistrust is healthy.”
Watching B37 run rings around her interlocutors raises once again the fundamental question of what we achieve whenever we attempt to seat a juror who knows nothing whatsoever about a high-profile case. We are left with people who avoid any brushes with policy, law, or politics and—paradoxically—come to convince themselves (as does B37) that everything they will hear in the courtroom is truth. This is hardly a new problem. Mark Twain grumbled about it in Roughing It in 1864:
“In this age, when a gentleman of high social standing, intelligence and probity, swears that testimony given under solemn oath will outweigh, with him, street talk and newspaper reports based upon mere hearsay, he is worth a hundred jurymen who will swear to their own ignorance and stupidity, and justice would be far safer in his hands than in theirs. Why could not the jury law be so altered as to give men of brains and honesty and equal chance with fools and miscreants? Is it right to show the present favoritism to one class of men and inflict a disability on another, in a land whose boast is that all its citizens are free and equal?”
It’s not that juror B37 is a miscreant or a fool so much as a reflexive doubter that truth and facts are really knowable anymore. She speaks for the millions of Americans who believe that everyone is lying about something and the media lies about everything. The Internet, she explains, is for getting to the next level on Candy Crush Saga, not for getting information. And since everything is a lie, she doesn’t care enough to learn that the riots she believes to have happened did not. One wonders whether she would buy her own book about the truth behind the Zimmerman verdict.
In his day, Twain was fretting about seating juries comprised solely of “desperadoes … beer-house politicians … bar-keepers and ranchmen who could not read.” Today, I worry about seating jurors who believe that since everyone is lying and everything is a lie, facts are for lining the birdcage.