Is the ‘affluenza’ psychologist being mischaracterized?

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Ethan Couch was sentenced in Fort Worth, Texas on Tuesday to 10 years’ probation, though he faced up to 20 years behind bars. Outrage over the case of the 16-year-old drunk driver who killed four people has made the case national news. Nearly every news outlet, though, has focused on the term “affluenza” in its coverage, suggesting that the “defense” in the case (Couch pleaded guilty) argued that wealth and a privileged life were to blame for Couch’s deadly irresponsibility.

WFAA-TV reports:

Prior to sentencing, a psychologist called by the defense, Dr. G. Dick Miller,  testified that Couch’s life could be salvaged with one to two years’ treatment and no contact with his parents.

Miller said Couch’s parents gave him “freedoms no young person should have.” He called Couch a product of “affluenza,” where his family felt that wealth bought privilege and there was no rational link between behavior and consequences.

Lawyer Liz Buddie, however, believes the “affluenza” hook that has driven the coverage, both liberal and conservative, is misrepresentative of the actual court case and how it played out, and she’s letting the media know by coming to the defense of Miller.

First on trial for malpractice: Dr. Drew.

Dr. Drew wasn’t the only offender.

Dr. Miller is a psychologist, not a psychiatrist.

Of course Anderson Cooper weighed in on the “affluenza” case as well.

Yes, Fox is in the doghouse too.

Bonus exit question:

http://twitter.com/#!/CatsPolitics/status/411376090293473280

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2013/12/13/is-the-affluenza-psychologist-being-mischaracterized/

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