In response to my post (immediately below) about Lisl Auman, Greg Worthen wrote:
"The Value of Celebrity" in this case is that it directed a bright light into the dark corners of a draconian law. It it also helped balanced (sic) the scales that were heavily tipped against Lisl Auman by the fact a police officer was murdered and the person directly responsible killed himself. That made her the killer by proxy, which of course carries its own celebrity status.
We should all be thankful that the stars did in fact like her, because it kept the focus on justice rather than vengeance. The problem isn't that celebrities drew attention to this case, but that too many other cases don't get celebrity (and therefore media) attention."
He's right. I'm wrong. My snarky post was a moment of intellectual weakness, born of a frustration with the capricious power of celebrity to affect a system that is so very bankrupt. It's so rare that anyone is willing to pay attention to the plight of criminal defendants (other than the demonstrably innocent ones) that celebrity attention seems a loosing proposition in practice and foolish one in theory. But Mr. Worthen is correct--it should happen more often not less and I should be praising their efforts, and encouraging them to do more, not taking aim at them for not doing enough.