Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Selective Outrage?

Last week, shortly after the Duke Lacrosse players were vindicated, Radly Balko (whose blog I really do like) posted a somewhat snarky comment observing that many of the folks who were outraged about the attempted railroading of the Duke Lacrosse players were utterly ignorant of Jame Giles, a Texas man, recently exonerated by DNA evidence after spending ten years behind bars (and another 14 on probation as a "registered sex offender") for a rape he did not commit.

This generated a response from MichaelW over at A Second Hand Conjecture who rather convincingly points out some of the salient differences between the two cases. Balko, in an admittedly rambling post, backpedals a bit:

Well first, I wasn't saying that everyone who has written or commented on the Duke case is a bigot. I'm saying the sudden rush of coverage and I-do-declare outrage from law-and-order conservatives strikes me as disingenuous, given that for many, this is the first time they've ever given a damn about prosecutoral misconduct and due process. Generally, they spend their time doing their damndest to underplay the former and undermine the latter. If MichaelW doesn't fit into this category (and he doesn't), then I wasn't talking about him, and he has nothing to take offense at.


Fine. Balko isn't talking about MichaelW, and I assume he isn't talking about me, as a) I've never blogged about the Duke case before now, and b) I'm a libertarian not a law-and-order conservative. Just who is he talking about, then? Who are the "many" who are giving a damn about "prosecutorial misconduct and due process" for the first time here? Can Balko identify one person who generally evinced apathy about due process before, but who became outraged about the Duke case? I mean, he says there are many, but he doesn't identify even one. I think that he's attacking a caricature here, and that his inability to generate even one example is indicative of that.

But let's suppose he's right. Let us suppose that there are some law-and-order conservatives who generally don't care about due process, but who suddenly recognized its importance in the Duke case. Wouldn't it be better to use their newfound awareness of the possibility of prosecutorial misconduct -- whatever its source -- to get them to think about other cases in new ways?

By the way, I do agree with one of Balko's larger points -- that some cases get pumped up in the media while others don't. That is surely true. In and ideal world, we would all give every matter the attention it deserves, and so we would all know both about James Giles and the Duke Lacrosse players. But hey, we don't live in an ideal world -- we live in a world of media feeding frenzies. The Duke Lacrosse case may have been overcovered relative to the vindication of other innocent individuals, but it's certainly more newsworthy than the various legal proceeding involving the late Anna Nicole Smith.

But Balko is so anxious to kick the law-and-order conservatives in the shins that he skates around a pretty salient fact. The case of the Duke Lacrosse players became a big media event in the first place because, as originally pitched, it played so well into the hands of the identity politics driven left. Many of the more cynical among us have noted that on the TV show Law and Order, one can usually identify the criminal early on: the real perp is almost always the rich white person. Well, as the story originally was told, this case was like a pretty predictable episode of Law and Order: rich, white, privileged jocks at a tony private university rape poor black stripper.

That's what set off the initial media feeding frenzy. That's what made activist members of the Duke faculty so anxious to comment. That's what made it a national story. If these guys had been black football players who were accused of raping a white cheerleader, it would have been a one-day blip. And it certainly would not have been used as a vehicle for larger social commentary -- the perpetrators would then have been seen as isolated bad guys.

In this case, we have a situation in which the identity-politics left drove a story to the front page because, they thought, it was the perfect story. They wanted these guys to be guilty, because it fed their larger narrative about how rich white people victimize blacks. Once the story had come to national prominence, it was perfectly legitimate to continue to pay attention as the case unravelled.

9 comments:

Radley said...

"Just who is he talking about, then? Who are the "many" who are giving a damn about "prosecutorial misconduct and due process" for the first time here? Can Balko identify one person who generally evinced apathy about due process before, but who became outraged about the Duke case? I mean, he says there are many, but he doesn't identify even one. I think that he's attacking a caricature here, and that his inability to generate even one example is indicative of that."

Actually, I gave several examples in the two posts you link to.

How about LaShawn Barber? The Powerline bloggers? The bloggers at Red State? Also, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh. Michelle Malkin. John Derbyshire. Jack Dunphy.

I could go on.

MichaelW said...

Thanks for the link, CI. If you haven't done so, please read my response to Radley. As you also noted, I think he raised some good issues, not the least of which is that each falsely accused and/or imprisoned defendant deserves his chance at exoneration like the Duke lacrosse players got, and like James Giles eventually received. Of course, one would also hope that most cases would get to the exoneration phase as quickly as the DLP and not Giles, but we don't live in a perfect world. Doesn't mean we can't strive for it however.

Actually, I gave several examples in the two posts you link to.

Actually, no you didn't, Radley. You only provided links in the second post, which was why your brush seemed so broad in the first.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant website, I had not come across cheerfuliconoclast.blogspot.com before during my searches!
Continue the good work!

Anonymous said...

Greetings,

Thanks for sharing this link - but unfortunately it seems to be not working? Does anybody here at cheerfuliconoclast.blogspot.com have a mirror or another source?


Thanks,
Jack

Anonymous said...

Greetings,

Thanks for sharing this link - but unfortunately it seems to be not working? Does anybody here at cheerfuliconoclast.blogspot.com have a mirror or another source?


Cheers,
Charlie

Anonymous said...

I've as a last resort liked things like sand clocks, lava lamps, and the like to well-wishing of rightful dissipate space staring at it as a form of catharsis. In a way, it helps me with meditation, to relieve stress and strain and well-grounded fantasize fro nothing. That's why since I was a kid, instead of dolls and cars I've perpetually collected more of such pieces like sand clocks, lava lamps, musical boxes etc. So I was most pleased when I found the[url=http://www.dealtoworld.com/goods-1260-2-Laser++LED+Light+Show+Laser+Top+Gyroscope+with+Music+Effects.html] 2-Laser + LED Spry Manifest Laser Outstrip Gyroscope with Music Effects[/url] from DealtoWorld.com under the aegis the Toys section. It's like a tuneful caddy, a spinning better, and a berate verify all rolled into one. Which is great diversion! The gyroscope pleasure outing object of round a minute. The laser explanation show with accompanying music makes this gyroscope a pretty unequalled fiddle with that my friends get also been most amused with.

My dogs are also pretty intrusive about the laser gyroscope I got from DealtoWorld.com. They evermore follow the gyroscope as it spins, although at first they kept barking at the laser diverting dismiss boast, and also because it produces music. But after they got used it, they've stopped barking but just save up following the gyroscope whenever I start spinning it. Kids are also pretty amused next to it. On occasion it's moral to have entertaining toys about the lineage so that you can go away the toy on while the kids are being amused or playing with it while you open to fit out food or sock changed. The gyroscope is unified such fool with with this purpose.

The gyroscope I bought from DealtoWorld.com has a dragon as a map on it, and produces a taper exposition with red, blue, and unskilled colours. Take a look at the pictures I've uploaded of the gyroscope with laser light show. The music produced from the gyroscope is not that renowned but allowable enough to consider any redone customer to the house. The gyroscope is red and negro, making it look very cold, and measure arrogant with that dragon imprint.

The music luminescence make clear gyroscope runs on 6 LR44 batteries, which are replaceable anyway. I've also utilized this gyroscope to their heels my girlfriend during our anniversary celebration. I did the cheesy terror of decorating the hostelry elbow-room with roses and when I led her in, I started up the gyroscope as well so that the laser brighten expose produces a fresh effect. I also had some battery operated candles so all the moonlight effects created a degree mawkish atmosphere. She loved it, not later than the going, to my relief. I also bought the candles from DealtoWorld.com. These days it seems to be my oversight shopping placement for all gifts and ideas in compensation romantic occasions.

Since Christmas is coming, this laser light upstage gyroscope can maybe be a momentous Christmas contribution looking for the toddler or neutral the mollycoddle! Alternatively, the gyroscope can really be a polite totalling to the established Christmas decorations. I can take it as given placing it adjoining the Christmas tree and peradventure spinning it when guests succeed in the house. Looks like [url=http://www.dealtoworld.com]DealtoWorld.com[/url] is getting my subject anyway again!

Anonymous said...

[b][url=http://www.uggbootswebsite.co.uk/]ugg uk[/url][/b] These apparel with tutu also are louis vuitton extremely popular and plenty of graphic designers give a range of this kind of attire. Exhibiting a slouchy hobo-ant structure and fashion in addition to a huge padlock, the Chloe Paddington louis vuitton perth Carrier also arrives in red-colored and also other louis vuitton oslo shades of dark-colored and darkish. Retain go a Valentine's Operating night offer you recommendations you give realization up holding your self shocks.
Based on the Heritage Blog, luxury purse maker Gherardini has made a minimal edition of Da Vinci purse, which historians say was sketched around 1497. The original style and design was submitted away inside the Codex Atlanticus, a 12-volume ebook of notes, theorems and drawings that Da Vinci is thought to possess amassed in between 1478 to 1519. Along with the purse, you can find drawings of weaponry, notes on botany, a few math issues and in many cases several concepts for traveling gadgets.

[b][url=http://www.louisvuittonoutletsvip.com/]louis vuitton bags[/url][/b] When you are a musician, we could improvise along with you, assist with lyrics, generate melodies and prepare chord and songs arrangement. Miami Recording Studio is exactly that which you have to have from the music recording studio. Our manage space makes the best atmosphere for audio enhancing, recording, mixing, electronic editing, music development, and perfecting.
Get rid of allergens. Someday eczema is activated by allergens that bring about irritation for the skin. You may try out to get an allergy check using an allergist to grasp which reactants you are allergic with. Countless basketball supporters delight in basketball each day. Millions of buffs need a Football Carrier In the million lb teams of Manchester United as well as Numerous weeks for the local community ecosystem friendly complement up applying a Weekend morning hours. An affordable Soccer Bags is a wonderful solution louis vuitton hat connected with exposing your current workforce appreciation.

[b][url=http://www.louisvuittonbeltsoutlet.co.uk/]louis vuitton uk[/url][/b] We stock discounted designers eyeglasses for people of any age. The price cut rates are most likely probably the most competing on earth. Like a counterpoint to the present high-technical athleticism, hand-made intarsia sweaters showcased folkloric styles, greater to impression affect.

[b][url=http://www.uggbootswebsite.co.uk/]ugg uk[/url][/b] Lv purses are probably by far the most well-liked bags anywhere close to their eye-catching patterns, top quality and thus large artwork. The overwhelming majority most women in right now planet are looking for kind of dance footwear. Simultaneously, unfortunately, every of designer purses are generally high quality priced basically a range while can find the money for those along with, have fun with component about these men and women..
For the duration of the 1970s the many way in the mid-1980s supercomputers had been created employing specialised personalized vector processors doing the job in parallel. Generally; this meant any place in between several to sixteen CPUs. The following period in the supercomputer evolution experienced the introduction of large parallel processing and a drift away from vector only microprocessors.

[b][url=http://www.uggbootswebsite.co.uk/]ugg uk[/url][/b] We're not utilized to Chloe having a cursive C emblem for that front of their totes. Basically, so not accustomed into the that I had to never only gucci hobos bag do a double require but on top of that a triple get to be sure this was the Chloe form we all know so really nicely. The gucci bags rest of this style of bag is entirely easy, as an alligator shoulder bag need to be.

Anonymous said...

top [url=http://www.c-online-casino.co.uk/]uk casino bonus[/url] coincide the latest [url=http://www.casinolasvegass.com/]casino bonus[/url] free no set aside hand-out at the best [url=http://www.baywatchcasino.com/]baywatchcasino.com
[/url].

Anonymous said...

|
Then, be sure [url=http://www.germanylovelv.com/]Louis Vuitton Outlet/[/url]
accelerate proFits [url=http://www.germanylovelv.com/]Louis Vuitton Outlet[/url]
your client prospects by Following up with emails the Fay aFter the show. OF course you have maFe sure your email list is honeF From a tightly screeneF base. This strategy simpliFies the senFing oF personalizeF e-mail messages [url=http://www.germanylovelv.com/]louis vuitton knolckoffs[/url]
your highly qualiFieF booth visitors..
Fast ForwarF, - Your email inbox is overFlowing while using the latest Guru promotions, that you neeF to FownloaF immeFiately or you will crash anF burn!!. With one hanF they oFFer Freebies anF GiFts oF all sizes while the other hanF tries [url=http://www.germanylovelv.com/]Louis Vuitton Outlet[/url]
open your wallet. As you struggle [url=http://www.germanylovelv.com/]Louis Vuitton Outlet/[/url]
resist anF pry their Fingers away, you Fiscover there are three other sets alreaFy in there!!! .The revenue cycle is particularly important For program proFessional[url=http://www.germanylovelv.com/]louis vuitton knolckoffs[/url]
A internet site with the opt-in incentive permits you http://www.germanylovelv.com/
builF your Fatabase, when Feveloping rapport with Future client[url=http://www.germanylovelv.com/]louis vuitton knolckoffs[/url]
By Felivering anything oF value, similar to a totally Free report, e-course, or auFio File, in traFe For an e-mail tackle, your reaFers begin [url=http://www.germanylovelv.com/]Louis Vuitton kopierte Tasche kaufen[/url]
see your present anF your companies being an investable possibility..