Saturday, July 31, 2010

Nikki Araguz - media exploitation and personal revenge

One of the side effects of press and news media sensationalization of something like the civil lawsuits against Nikki Araguz by her late husband's the ex-wife, Heather Delgado, are the various forms of media exploitation that arise as a result. Such exploitation seems like the modern version of the puritanical era practice of locking someone in a pillory at the town square, to be the object of ridicule, harassment, and humiliation. Here are three examples.

a puritanical town square pillory
First of all, Nikki Araguz is being exploited by newspapers and television stations in Texas, who are reaping significant financial gain from writing, publishing, and broadcasting, sensationalized stories about the intimate and not always relevant details of Nikki Araguz's life. These are stories their producers apparently believe generate morbid curiosity among the largely bigoted and hostile viewing public within the culture that dominates much of Texas. The result is that they appear to believe that providing a sensationalized and lurid presentation of Nikki Araguz will increase their television ratings, sell more newspapers, or generate more visits to their web sites, all operated for profit from advertisers. What has also been noticeably absent from the television and newspaper sensationalization, is that the news media has refrained from reporting on the personal histories and background of Heather Deldago and Simona Longoria, who are the people suing Nikki Araguz on behalf of Thomas Araguz's two sons. Altogether, this seems like a quite corrupted approach to journalism.

The second form of exploitation has come from the creator of a college student video documentary about Nikki Araguz made about fifteen years ago. It is apparent that the author of the video was paid a significant sum of money by the Houston, TX Fox News television station for the exclusive rights to broadcast it. However, one can't help but notice that the video's author has not been identified, neither by Fox News in Houston, nor by Nikki Araguz and her attorneys, who must certainly know who created it. In addition, Fox News has committed the unethical act of showing only heavily edited, and self serving, excerpts from the video, overlaid with their own editorializing commentary and intercut with other video, to create the editorial slant they want to present their viewers.

In their television report, the Fox News representation of transsexualism is of her being "troubled", their term, and "confused", also their term, while the video itself presents an obviously happy, very young woman, even at nineteen or twenty years old, who claims she had not even been taking female hormones at that point, despite her significantly feminine physique and total lack of any secondary physical features that would be caused by testosterone. In fact, if in the future Nikki Araguz is able to present medical evidence that she was not taking female hormones at that time, that might serve as evidence she has a medical condition called partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS), implying there may be a clear physiological basis for her transsexual condition, causing some to reach the conclusion that she had both a transsexual medical condition and an intersex/hermaphroditic medical condition that impacted her youth. Parenthetically, women with total Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, are born with female genitalia, despite having an XY sex chromosome pair, because their bodies have no ability whatsoever to process testosterone, which is required during gestation in order for male genitalia to develop.

The potential that Nikki Araguz was born with AIS may provide a legal basis for making a claim to marriage legality that differs somewhat from the issues ruled upon in the Littleton v. Prange court case. Given this subtly significant aspect of that fifteen year old video, it seems likely that either or both parties to the probate/inheritance lawsuit will issue a subpoena to its creator, to produce it for use as evidence, which would also require him to serve as a witness to authenticate it for use as an exhibit and evidence if the case ever gets to trial. What has also gone unexamined by much of the press and media are the motivations behind someone selling such a video to a television station, which on a personal level means that person cares little about the feelings of Nikki Araguz, and doesn't care if Nikki Araguz, becomes the exploited victim of tabloid journalism, so long as the author makes a profit from it. Such a person is no friend of Nikki Araguz. Too bad that Nikki Araguz wasn't legally sophisticated enough at the time to require a written contract regarding the manner in which the author would be allowed to use the video of her in the future.

The third example of exploitation that has arisen, is the man Nikki Araguz apparently "ambushed" on a 1994 episode of the Jerry Springer Show. Once again all the newspapers and television stations have noticeably left that man's identity out of their news reports, despite the fact that his identity is surely publicly available and he can likely still be seen on television in re-runs of that episode of the Jerry Springer Show. Once again though, although Nikki didn't behave like a friend when she manipulated that man onto that television program without telling him about the disclosure she was going to make, the man she humiliated on the Jerry Springer Show has been able to turn the tables on her all these years later. That is quite a serious example of "what goes around comes around", and in this instance, it seems like Nikki's adversaries in the lawsuit against her are likely to use its implications about Nikki's character against her during the litigation as well.

Amazingly, at least from public appearances, Nikki Araguz seems to be holding up well emotionally, and except for displaying tangible grief about her late husband, she has handled intense public scrutiny with a significant level of detachment and maturity. The one asset Nikki Araguz undeniably has, is a team of attorneys with the desire, knowledge, tenacity, and apparently, the financial ability, to litigate this case on behalf of Nikki Araguz, no matter how long it takes, no matter how difficult the litigation, and no matter what the outcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment