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Crime Stoppers, America’s Most Wanted, and Rise of Vigilante TV News

This episode examines how news and pop cultural media deputize and urge listeners, readers, and viewers to act as neighborhood vigilantes. We study how this instills a climate of constant, unnecessary fear; presents the current US and criminal legal system as the only option to reduce crime; excludes crimes against the poor and working class like wage theft, food and housing insecurity, and lack of healthcare; and how these systemics can inflict unjust harm upon the subjects of these anonymous tips.

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