Dear Perez Hilton: Shut up about Oscar Pistorius Case

Perez Hilton

The case of Oscar Pistorius and the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp has the entire planet intrigued. Pistorius, an Olympic hero and much loved public personality in South Africa, has been accused of murdering Steenkamp. Pistorius denies the allegation and says he believed Steenkamp was an intruder and shot her accidentally through a bathroom door. The facts of the case are now emerging and both sides are presenting their arguments. I’m not a legal expert, but the case is far from clear cut with evidence that appears to partially corroborate with both accounts of what happened.

I generally don’t weigh in on legal cases, particularly celebrity ones because 1. They’re usually a giant distraction from serious subjects 2. I have a hard time injecting my opinion when I’m not privy to all the evidence available.

True to form however, perennial celebrity agitator and gossip merchant Perez Hilton has weighed in with his brilliant legal mind and concluded the following in a post titled “Oscar Pistorius Is A Violent A$$hole! He Was Arrested For Assaulting A Woman In 2009!”:

Oscar Pistorius is officially a MONSTER!

The Olympian with no legs allegedly murdered his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp earlier today, and just when a source close to the aspiring model revealed that Oscar had NEVER been violent with Reeva… the Boschkop police is stating that the Paralympian did some time in jail back in 2009 for assaulting a woman!!!!!!

Pistorius is currently in custody at a prison in Pretoria, and he’s scheduled for a court hearing tomorrow.

We always had a hunch he was berserk! This man is just straight up evil!! UGH!

Without knowing anything about the background behind the case other than a story he googled on TMZ, Hilton is polluting public opinion on an issue where someone’s freedom is at stake. Hilton has been giving the Pistorius case wall to wall coverage, injecting his analysis in every update. “He better be put away for a very long time!!” writes Perez in one post, and, “It’s time to lock up Oscar Pistorius for good!” in another. While Hilton is of course entitled to his opinion, he is not entitled to his own facts. Asserting that Pistorius is guilty and ‘a monster’ before hearing any of the evidence is a very serious offense. In South Africa, as it is in the United States, anyone charged with a crime is presumed innocent in the eyes of the law.

Let’s look at some of Hilton’s claims. Firstly, the assault Hilton says Pistorius did ‘some time in jail’ for in 2009 is not true. Here are the details of the alleged assault (from CNN):

Pistorius was arrested and accused of common assault in 2009, but the case was thrown out because of a lack of evidence, police told CNN on Thursday.

That incident involved Pistorius allegedly slamming a door during a party, and a piece of the door fell off and hit someone, said Capt. Marissa Van der Merwe of South African police.

Slamming a door does not exactly make someone a violent monster, and regardless, the case was thrown out because there wasn’t enough evidence to substantiate the claim of assault. And while Pistorius was taken in to police custody, he didn’t serve ‘time in jail’ either. Contrary to reports flying around the internet, Pistorius has never been charged with any crime previous to the killing of Steenkamp.

In Perez Hilton’s world of celebrity gossip and snarky rumor peddling, this type of hyperbole isn’t particularly damaging. Reporting on Beyonce’s lost pregnancy weight and Justin Bieber’s clubbing antics, is one thing, while detailing the evidence in a prolific murder trial is something else. If found guilty, Pistorius faces a lifetime in prison, and that is no laughing matter.

I’ve have been keeping up to date with the Pistorius case as events unfold out of personal interest, and I’m not going to provide a lot of commentary on the case itself. Legal matters with real life consequences should be dealt with extremely seriously, and given we’re not in the business of celebrity murder trials here at the Banter, I don’t think it appropriate to weigh in with an opinion.  I will however, be calling out idiots like Perez Hilton, who make a lot of money creating controversy out of other people’s misery. As it stands, Oscar Pistorius is innocent until it is proven otherwise, and no matter how much Hilton wants Pistorius to be guilty and use the tragic case to get page views, it doesn’t make it so. Creating nasty bogeymen that the public can hate is Hilton’s speciality, and while it is all fun and games when it comes to celebrity breakups and pregnancies, it isn’t when it comes to murder. Sadly, millions of people read Hilton’s ludicrous website, and what he says matters.

So please Perez, shut up about the Pistorius case and stick to things that you actually understand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1655290390 Steven Skelton

    I have successfully avoided reading Perez Hilton’s opinion on anything for several years now by simply not going to his site.

    Ben, you and I don’t see eye to eye on much….but you are a serious man with serious opinions on important subjects. Perez draws pictures of penises on celebrity pictures.

    It demeans you to even mention him on your site.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    I’d have thought Chez had written this article. He certainly has a special hate for the loathsome Perez Hilton.

    The worst thing about Hilton is that he wants to be given the same star treatment that the people he tears apart on a regular basis receives. He wants his cake and eat it too. He’s shameless and repulsive and needs to go far far away.

  • Christopher Foxx

    So please Perez, shut up about the Pistorius case and stick to things that you actually understand.

    That leaves him nothing to talk about.

    I’m OK with that.

  • Christopher Foxx

    The case of Oscar Pistorius and the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp has the entire planet intrigued.

    No, it doesn’t. But thank you for your attempt to make it so.

    • Benthedailybanter

      well, you’re reading about it Christopher….

      • Christopher Foxx

        I’m aware of it. I’m far from “intrigued.”

        • Treading_Water

          If you take one of the definitions of intrigued,

          …to arouse the curiosity,

          and then extrapolate that you had to have been curious enough to read past the headline and then take the time to comment, then you were, in fact, intrigued.

          Unless you’re one of those who likes to comment on stories after having read just the headline, then I’ll withdraw my definition and just go with “puffed up with the importance of his own intellect”. And, of course, strangely intrigued by Perez Hilton.

          • Dennis

            “puffed up with the importance of his own intellect”.

            A incredibly accurate and definitive description of Christopher Foxx in just nine words, Treading_Water. That’s why I call efficiency.

          • Christopher Foxx

            Wow. Dennis can count to nine. Who’d a thunk it?

          • Dennis

            Pinpoint accuracy with no wasted words, Christopher. You would do well to take note.

          • Christopher Foxx

            Dennis, it’s well established you have no interest in accuracy.

          • The Dark Avenger

            Dennis has no interest in discussion, just being a big PITA on the Internet.

          • Christopher Foxx

            No treading, I’m not “one of those who likes to comment on stories after having read just the headline”. I always read the entire article before I comment. Seems to responsible thing to do, like standing behind my comments by signing them with my name.

            I will admit, however, that I am “one of those” who is perpetually amused by folks who absolutely must insist on missing the point, even to the extent of having to twist definitions around.

            Ben was hyperbolic. I pointed it out. Why do you have such a problem with that that you have to insist his hyperbole is true?

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    Personally, I find defense of Pistorious insulting.

    That entire scenario was suspect. The police, while refusing to elaborate, have indicated that they have been called to suspect’s residence a number of times. I would guess that it was due to domestic disputes.

    I’m not arguing with you as to the merits of Hilton’s writings, but for you to call the situation “intriguing”, and to go further and state “the case is far from clear cut with evidence that appears to partially corroborate with both accounts of what happened” is ludicrous, as from all accounts it seems fairly clear to me as a woman who lived with an abusive male, that he is indulging in fantastical storytelling in an effort to save himself. Abusive males frequently cry buckets of tears after the fact.And, a person facing life in prison might well cry loud and long.

    • Christopher Foxx

      As long as you’re approaching it objectively…

    • Benthedailybanter

      Why would you find defense of Pistorius insulting Nicole? He hasn’t been found guilty of anything thus far. Your “guess that it was due to domestic disputes” is nothing more than that – a guess. Pistorius has no record of violence or domestic abuse whatsoever. I have no idea whether he is guilty or not – I’m simply pointing out erroneous reporting. You weren’t there, don’t know Oscar Pistorius, his deceased girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, or their relationship so how on earth can you presume his guilt? Do you have any evidence that he was abusing Steenkamp previous to her death? If so, I’d send it to the South African authorities. Otherwise I wouldn’t be so blasé with your opinions.

      I’m very sorry to hear about your domestic situation. I used to teach self defense to female victims of violence, so I certainly understand the anger towards abusers. It’s something I find disgusting and I believe in maximum penalties for anyone one found guilty of it. But that has absolutely nothing to do with this whatsoever, and it’s pretty reckless of you to presume his guilt while the evidence is still emerging. I’m not going to direct any outrage at Pistorius because I don’t know whether he deliberately killed his girlfriend or not. And of course I feel sympathy for Steenkamp and her family. Either way, someone died and a lot of people are in an enormous amount of pain right now.

  • Aaron Litz

    You could have just said “Dear Perez Hilton: Shut up” and stopped after that. Not meaning that the article wasn’t good; it is, but EVERYTHING that that idiot ( won’t even type his stupid made up name) says is stupid. He is one of the worst symptoms of the disease that infects our culture. I wish we had a vaccine for him.

    • Benthedailybanter

      Yes, I do feel I might have wasted a good thousand words on him. Agreed on every point Aaron.

  • http://www.facebook.com/crtyree Curtis Robert Tyree

    How about Hilton just shut up, period. He’s a pox on the gay community and humanity.