Morning Ethics Warm-Up, “June Had Better Be Better Than May” Edition: Wait, CNN Is Condemning Double Standards? [UPDATED]

Good morning…

1. How low can the New York Times go?  Even lower than I thought...In today editorial, the Times editorial board complains about President Trump’s pardon of conservative writer  Dinesh D’Souza, whom it describes as a “right-wing troll.” Okay…and by that kind of measure, the entire Times editorial staff is a collective left-wing troll. The Times notes that D’Souza is “known for, among other things, posting racist tweets about President Barack Obama [ The Times identified a single “racist tweet,” but in any event, such tweets are not illegal]  spreading the lie that George Soros was a Nazi collaborator [ Not a lie, just an unfair characterization that D’Souza may genuinely believe. Lying is also not illegal, and the Times should be grateful for this given its own proclivities] and writing that “the American slave was treated like property, which is to say, pretty well” [ An opinion, if an obnoxious one, and also not illegal.] So what? None of that justifies D’Souza’s prosecution on a technical election law violation that many found to be politically motivated and pushed by those who took offense at, well, exactly what the Times cited about him. Bill Clinton, during the 2016 primaries, openly violated the law by politicking for Hillary at a polling place in Massachusetts without any consequences. That was selective non-prosecution if the offense was usually enforced, and would have been selective, suspicious prosecution if he had been charged when most violators are not. There are good reasons, in other words, to believe that an anti-Obama, anti-Democrat gadfly was targeted vindictively by the Obama administration to chill his political speech. Trump’s pardon is defensible, if provocative. Then the Times writes,

“The tendency of presidents of both parties to reward cronies with clemency — from Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton’s of the financier Marc Rich — is one Washington tradition that we’d welcome Mr. Trump smashing.”

You read that correctly. The New York Times just sunk to a new low, which is quite an achievement, comparing Gerald Ford’s brave, wise, and politically ruinous pardon of Richard Nixon for the good of the nation (and it was good for the nation, while a protracted political show trial of a disgraced President would not have been) to Bill Clinton’s probably criminal pardon of fugitive Marc Rich, whose ex-wife coincidentally followed up Clinton’s  defiantly perverse  act with a huge financial gift to Clinton’s Presidential library.

2. How to invalidate an apology in one, stupid step. Yesterday “Cunt”-Hurler Samantha Bee apologized “sincerely” for her scurrilous attack on Ivanka Trump after it began to appear that her incivility might lose her show some sponsors. Then she almost immediately showed how sincerely ( as in “not one bit”) at last night’s award ceremony, as the Television Academy  honored Bee’s  “Full Frontal”  for “advancing social change” (as in ‘pushing partisan anger and hate to the point where a civil war is no longer unthinkable.’ Yay Samantha!). Her award should have been cancelled, of course, and by awarding it to Bee anyway, the Academy tacitly endorsed the position that Ivanka Trump is a “feckless cunt.”

Accepting her award, Bee said in part, “We spent the day wrestling with the repercussions of one bad word, when we all should have spent the day incensed that as a nation we are wrenching children from their parents and treating people legally seeking asylum as criminals.” Ah. So she regards the whole “cunt” controversy as a trivial kerfuffle over “one bad word”—see, that evil Roseanne Barr used TEN words that conveyed one bad thought, and that’s completely different—and besides, it’s not the worst thing (Rationalization #22).

The Academy tried to protect Bee by  revoking press access  hours before the event. That’s odd: I thought “Democracy dies in Darkness.” Well, yes, but vicious hypocritical Democrat vulgarians and their complicit employers and supporters wilt in the daylight.

3. You’ll never guess who supports Samantha. Well, maybe you can. After urging Bee not to apologize, Kathy Griffin, she of the visual endorsement of the President’s murder, challenged CNN’s Chris Cillizza’s statement challenging her idiotic claim that condemning Bee’s rhetoric raised First Amendment issues. He wrote,

“This isn’t about whether Samantha Bee CAN say it. It’s about whether she SHOULD say it. And whether we as a society SHOULD condone it.”

Griffin’s tweet:

“Shut the fuck up you hack. When the White House Press Secretary, on behalf of the President, says “Her disgusting comments and show are not fit for broadcast..” we’re heading into first amendment territory. That I have to explain this to you reminds me how dumb you are.”

No, in fact there is nothing related to the First Amendment in Sanders’ statement at all. The comments were disgusting, and are not fit for Broadcast, and saying so does not constitute government action infringing free speech.

Trump and the administration should have stayed out of the whole matter, but the breach is ethical, not Constitutional. Once again (and again, and again), the President is “punching down,” which is an abuse of power and position, and irresponsible.

4. Integrity turns up in the most unexpected places…like CNN. Condemnation of Bee’s language came from a surprising source, especially since she works for the same media mega-company Bee does: CNN’s Brooke Baldwin. She said in part last night, “The same rules apply no matter which political side you call home. Conservatives have been pointing to a double standard on how liberal stars who say these offensive things are treated, versus their conservative counterparts, and in many cases, rightfully so.”

Baldwin then showed clips of Keith Olbermann spouting vulgar, obscene, ad hominem attacks on President Trump.

“Despite all of this, he just got another plum job. A job, ironically, at the same company that just booted Roseanne for violating its values,” Baldwin said. She then played the clip of Samantha Bee calling Ivanka Trump a “feckless cunt.”

“Whether you agree with the president’s policies or not, calling a senior adviser inside the United States government or anyone for that matter the ‘C’ word is, like I said at the top, it’s outrageous, it is unacceptable and should be called out,” Baldwin said. “She could have easily made her point without using those words, a point that, by the way, is totally lost because she used that language. Doing this, she is no better than the very behavior she criticizes. In fact, she becomes part of the problem.

CNN anchor John King made similar remarks yesterday.

5. Nice. And speaking of double standards, imagine the media reaction if any Republican ran this ad about a Democratic President:

I’m not going to make any predictions, because I don’t understand the thinking of too many Americans right now. But if Democrats were deliberately trying to lose the sane, fair, decent Americans voting bloc, they couldn’t do a better job.

UPDATE: And now that I have watched the whole ad, I must say: What a jackass.  He’ll “protect children, not guns”? What does that mean? Simple-minded virtue-signalling without substance or honesty.

6. Nasty Jury of the Year. In Florida, jurors decided a civil suit filed by the  family of a black man, 30-year-old Gregory Hill Jr,  who was fatally shot by a police officer. Finding the victim 99% liable for his own death, they awarded the plaintiffs four dollars. Naturally, this was immediately spun by the plaintiff’s lawyer into a “black lives don’t matter” in this country rant.

I wasn’t in the courtroom, so I have no idea whether the verdict was just or not. I do know that awarding four dollars was gratuitously insulting and cruel, and the jury was irresponsible to not realize it. Losing the lawsuit was bad enough. The de minimus damages seem like mockery.

22 Comments

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22 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, “June Had Better Be Better Than May” Edition: Wait, CNN Is Condemning Double Standards? [UPDATED]

  1. Rich in CT

    Number 6, the end result is obviously absurd and cruel. What I found strange was that the jury found the cop was negligent for 1% of the damages. I am going to give the jury some credit, in that they probably assumed the damages from a wrongful death suit were significantly more than $400.

    If the jury had assumed damages of say $1 Million, their ruling would have been for roughly $10,000. Perhaps a pittance, but not a mockery. It would have at least covered most of the funeral or some of the repairs to the home.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/jury-awards-4-family-man-122406421.html

    • Rich in CT

      Retracted:

      Last week, the jurors delivered their verdict. Deputy Newman had not used excessive force, they concluded, but the St. Lucie County sheriff, Ken Mascara, had been ever so slightly negligent given Deputy Newman’s actions. The jury awarded $4 in damages: $1 for funeral expenses and $1 for each child’s loss.

      Because jurors also found that the sheriff’s office was only 1 percent at fault in the death, that award was reduced to four cents. And furthermore, because jurors found that Mr. Hill was intoxicated and mostly to blame for the shooting, a lawyer for his family said Tuesday that a judge would reduce the four-cent award to nothing.

      “I don’t get it,” the family lawyer, John M. Phillips, said.

      “It’s heartbreaking,” Mr. Hill’s fiancée, Monique Davis, said. “There are a lot of questions I want to ask.”

      Ugh

  2. Rusty Rebar

    With regard to #1. I think we need to keep in mind the staggering hypocrisy here. Lets not forget about the whole Clinton Hillary Victory Fund (HVF) thing, where she was able to skirt these same campaign finance laws. I really think this kind of thing is at the heart of the pardon here. If a democratic donor is somehow legally able to give the $2,700 + 10,000 to State party, then do teh $10,000 again times 50 state parties — then send it all back to the HVF. — https://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/the-anatomy-of-hillary-clintons-84-million-money-laundering-scheme/

    But D’Souza gives 20k to a conservative and gets hammered? I can see why a pardon would be considered here.

  3. Other Bill

    Number 5. I still don’t get this Democrat line that Trump is a threat to Democracy. Maybe they mean he’s a threat to Democratic politicians? What exactly is the threat? They say he lies. Hmm. Okay, if that’s the case, people can vote someone else in in a few years. I think the main thing they say is a threat to Democracy is that he’s simply not in agreement with the Democratic agenda. How this is a threat to Democracy or a Constitutional crisis continues to mystify me. I just do not think this Chicken Little platform is going to be terribly successful.

  4. 5. Might want to go with a different video… When I noticed that the “Fox News” intro was… weird…. I wrote it off to maybe being a local affiliate, but when they inserted a picture of Kim Jong Un when as were talking about Osama Bin Laden, and spelled the name “Usama”, I had to look at the source…. Which isn’t Fox News.

    6. Optics aside… Because I agree the optics suck, when I heard this, I thought it was normal Isn’t $1 a fairly normal award in cases where the jury doesn’t want to award the plaintiff an actual amount, but they don’t want to leave them liable for costs? Or am I watching too much TV?

  5. Troy

    #3. Is “punching down” by the President or White House is “an abuse of power and position, and irresponsible?” I’ll call this the PD (Punching Down) and ~PD (punching down is wrong) claims. I would generally agree with ~PD, but certain events have made me question this.

    Is PD an abuse of power? The name implies it. To the extent that Samantha Bee is one person with a smaller bully pulpit than the president’s, yes. To the extent that Samantha Bee represents a large mindset of people occupying important positions in journalism, entertainment, education, and government (what Lenin + Gramsci would call the “commanding heights”), then I am not so sure that Trump is punching down. Note that Bee is supported by her institution and industry (remember the line “Never argue with a (wo)man who buys ink by the barrel”). If the institutions of the commanding heights can’t be grouped (and they can’t because there are many in those institutions who disagree with what their institutions are doing), then to take on those institutions and their ideas requires hitting the targets that appear.

    Is PD an abuse of position? I interpret this to mean that the president is focused on something that is not directly related to the president’s job of running the government. Is it not the president’s responsibility to take on a group of people determined to disrupt a constitutional system, undermine this president, any destroy an ideology that differs from theirs even if that means/requires harming those who hold that philosophy? This president punching down has exposed the hypocrisy of this group more effectively and quickly than anyone else could have.

    By speaking openly and critically, and willingly absorbing the reactionary attacks against him, Trump is saying what many believe but fear to say (this includes racism and other things that have been off-limits in the commanding heights, like abortion, immigration, America’s responsibility in the world, trade, and federalism). We should prefer each of these topics, including racism, be discussed openly rather than relegated to dark corners. This is not saying that what President Trump is saying is true or even reasonable, only that he is opening up a space for discussions to be had. In my world of academia, Trump’s punching down has created some room for reasonable speech for those who disagree with the mandarins, where previously it was nearly impossible without fear of retribution.

    Is PD irresponsible? I think this means that punching down impairs the president’s ability to do the job by tarnishing the president’s image, diluting his message, and distracting him from his constitutional duties. Again, I think attacking ideology is part of the president’s duties, particularly when those ideologies are harmful to free speech, constitutional government, consent of the governed, etc.

    Whether Trump’s actions create a space for reasonable and civil discourse or leads only to abusive and demeaning attacks is, I think, still an open question. The question is whether Trump is fighting a hydra, where killing one head produces three more, or if his Machiavellian “cruelty well used” tactics, such as make an example of one to teach others, will result in better behavior all around?

    Some claim populism is a virus, but my sense is that populism is the fever, a symptom that the body uses to fight the virus. Hopefully, the fever runs its course, corrects the body, and then disappears. I think the mandarins acquired too much power in a country that is based on the consent of the governed and limited government, and populism is the resulting fever. Trump is necessary at this time, because he fights. Previous Republicans did not. Democratic presidents have been able to avoid punching down because they could direct allies to do it for them (e.g., journalist), or relied on influential people who do it on their own (e.g., entertainment, Lois Lerner at the IRS, and teachers). Trump has none of those. To a very large extent, he is in this fight by himself. Only with his successes has he gotten allies willing to align with him. The danger is that the fever takes over and can’t be controlled. After Trump leaves office the fever may rage on out of control, or good leaders may take the helm and nurse a weakened but better body back to civility.

  6. 1. I have to say I don’t agree with this first part of your post. The NYT claiming he’s a right-wing troll, by showing he stated or did a number of poor things in the past. Your defense of this was basically that what he did was not illegal (I assume you’re trying to tie it in to his prosecution in some regards). It doesn’t matter that it’s illegal, if he had a racist tweet, spread lies and/or mischaracterizations, and gave an obnoxious opinion, then they’re right in that he’s a bit of a troll (saying things for shock value). I don’t see how that part of it makes the Times any lower, it’s an accurate statement. RoseAnne Barr and Samantha Bee’s statements were not illegal either. They were awful, obnoxious, stupid, cruel, etc. But not illegal. Did this blog sink low then by writing about and criticizing those two idiots then by pointing out that is what they did? I don’t think so, I just think it was a bad defense of D’Souza and the statement by the times.
    After that, I felt like the rest of it the pardon issue was a whole hash of rationalizations on why it was ok for Trump to pardon him. It wasn’t that bad, they didn’t prosecute the other guy, everyone else does it, Clinton pardoned other criminals. I’m sure there is a few others in there. D’Souza did the crime, he got caught. He was rightfully punished for it. Just because Clinton didn’t get prosecuted doesn’t matter. If you get pulled over for speeding, and others zoom by, you don’t get to tell the police officer they were doing it too. You’ve said that idea a number of times. If you think he didn’t do it and was wrongfully prosecuted, then yes pardon him. If you think they prosecuted him and not others, well too bad, don’t do the crime then.
    Yes, the last part of the Times thing was worth pointing out. The pardon was wrong, but not because you pick on Trump to do something differently then others before you).

    The other side of this, is it has certainly given rise to the dog whistle reasoning. That Trump is doing the pardons to send a message to Cohen and others not to worry about prosecutions and flip or tell information about him, because he’ll pardon them if it happens. It will now come up as excuses and claims that Trump is buying silence in an effort to subvert an investigation. We don’t need to hear more of that.

    3. I had to think on this one. I actually thought Griffin was funny back when she was a mostly nobody who mostly jokes about big celebrities way above her. That was a good 15 years ago though. Now she is an older comic just looking for shock value to get her name back out there. Through all that though, (And I had to gump down to admit this), is she completely wrong? Mainly the line of we’re heading into first amendment territory. We always point out how people misconstrue the 1st Amendment (and admittedly I might be doing it here) by how they think they can say what they want with no consequences from others and private organizations/corporations. However, Trump IS the government. Not only is he the government, but he’s the top of the government. Is he, as President of the United States Government (or his spokesperson Sanders), telling a private corporation that they should fire a private citizen, solely based on something they said, limiting her free speech? I can see how that could be taken as the government is now punishing them and infringing on their 1st Amendment right to not be persecuted by the government for what they say. I’m not sure we are there yet, but we’re getting close to it at the very least.

    • 1. Of course it matters if any of it was illegal: they are arguing that because he is obnoxious, the laws should be enforced differently against him. THAT’s the point. They are saying that whether a pardon is justified depends on whether liberals like the Times editors approve of his advocacy. Bull.

      It is completely irrelevant what D’Sousa says or writes—that shouldn’t change the legal standards for prosecuting him, should it?

      Selective prosecution is not a rationalization. You didn’t comprehend anything I wrote. I didn’t say that because Clinton wasn’t prosecuted D’Sousa shouldn’t have been: I was saying that basing prosecution or non-prosecution on political positions and affiliations is wrong, and THAT, not cronyism, is the stated and justifiable rationale for Trump’s pardon.

      “If you think they prosecuted him and not others, well too bad, don’t do the crime then.” How about :Or don’t be a troll that annoys the Obama administration, and then you CAN do the crime.” Are you comfy with that?

      3. Yes, she’s wrong. “Is he, as President of the United States Government (or his spokesperson Sanders), telling a private corporation that they should fire a private citizen, solely based on something they said, limiting her free speech?” Maybe, and that makes it unethical (in the case of the NFL kneelers as well,) but it’s not First Amendment territory unless the Government takes or threatens legal action. Trump has no legal power to make a company fire anyone. That’s why I call such punching down “abuse of power” and “abuse of position.” The First begins, “Congress shall make no law…” THat’s the territory. And no, Trump didn’t get within a mile of it.

      • 1. There is nothing in there that says the Times thinks the laws should be enforced differently for him. Show me where it says that, because I don’t see it at all. What I see is the times saying “This guy is a criminal and a troll, and if you’re going to pardon someone who is a criminal, why pick this one who also is a troll, obnoxious, and a jerk”. That’s all I see in that article.

        And that’s exactly the point, it IS completely irrelevant what he writes to him being prosecuted. That’s NOT what he was prosecuted for. He was prosecuted for knowingly doing illegal campaign contributions. That’s it. If you’re saying someone else DIDN’T get prosecuted that should have, I’m with you. But he did the crime, admits he did the crime, and the only defense on him is that others did it too and weren’t, and that he possibly was choosen NOT to be spared because of what he has written/done. That’s not a defense.

        I did comprehend it. You’re just making a claim that I don’t agree in this case. I have seen selective NON-prosecution, it happens all the time. I totally agree with that. But the man did a crime and was punished for it. He shouldn’t be pardoned for no good reason other then the President likes him, or agrees with what he says, or whatever his reasoning is outside of a miscarriage of justice (ie he should not have been prosecuted because he was innocent or wasn’t given a fair trial. That’s not the case here). And you absolutely used the rationalization that Clinton wasn’t prosecuted, so it was wrong to do it to D’Souza and so it’s fine for pardoning him on that basis. That’s wrong and should not be done. That’s my beef on the rationalization here. It’s doesn’t matter if only he was prosecuted, he did it. And should not be pardoned for it. Was it wrong NOT to prosecute others, maybe I don’t know the legal basis or actually information on that if it was investigated. But he did it, he was found guilty/pled, and letting him off is wrong. Or do you think that if you don’t prosecute someone for a crime, you shouldn’t prosecute anyone. Just strike down the laws then. Because every law has times where people are not prosecuted, for various reasons. So let’s just pardon everyone because someone else didn’t get prosecuted for reasons we don’t like.

        3. That’s why I didn’t think we were there yet in this case. He does have the legal power to punish a corporation via taxes, regulations, etc. We’re bordering on the point where a company may feel threatened by government powers to where they feel they are forced to punish a private employee/citizen. I agree I don’t think we’re there, but I do think it’s getting close to crossing a line.

        • Here is Andrew McCarthy, a former Justice Department prosecutor, And, included, Alan Dershowitz. I found McCarthy persuasive on this prosecution when it occurred, and still do, but I trust McCarthy. I haven’t reviewed the case. However, the point is that selective, politicized prosecution of an administration critic raises red flags, and presents a legitimate justification for a pardon. IF that is the justification—and trump said it was—the fact that the man is also a troll should not matter. He has to be a nice guy AND be targeted for his political views?

          The selective, politicized prosecution of conservative author, producer, and activist Dinesh D’Souza was an exercise in gratuitous severity. President Trump’s pardon of D’Souza, announced today, is the remedy the Framers had in mind.

          D’Souza was (and is) a strident anti-Obama critic. He committed a trivial campaign-finance violation. This is not to excuse the conduct; it is to reaffirm the principle that the punishment should fit the crime, and to observe that the conduct at issue is typically not treated as a crime at all. Routinely, misconduct of the kind engaged in by D’Souza is settled by payment of an administrative fine to the Federal Election Commission. In stark contrast, the Obama Justice Department not only selectively prosecuted D’Souza; prosecutors turned the case into a multiple felony indictment.

          Here’s how I described it at the time:

          D’Souza is author of the Roots of Obama’s Rage and co-producer of the equally controversial film 2016: Obama’s America. They purport to trace the president’s politics to the Communism and anti-colonialism of his father. While some commentators found the book insightful, it has also been panned, and not just from the left (see, e.g., Andrew Ferguson’s scathing review in The Weekly Standard). Still, it was a big bestseller and, in conjunction with the movie, drew the ire of the White House. . . .

          So now the Obama administration has indicted D’Souza for not one but two felony charges, arising out of alleged campaign-finance irregularities. Specifically, he is accused of corruptly reimbursing straw donors to the campaign of Wendy Long, Republican candidate in the New York Senate race — contributions D’Souza could not lawfully make himself because he was already “maxed out” at the $5,000 ceiling.

          I do not know D’Souza well. I have no idea whether he made reimbursements, much less did so willfully. I have no doubt, though, that this is a manifestly vindictive prosecution. The $20,000 amount of the offense alleged is puny — a negligible fraction of the Solyndra scam and a figure that would not even register in comparison to the billions lost by victims who were told that if they liked their health-care plans they could keep them. It is the kind of case on which the government routinely declines criminal prosecution, handling, instead, by an administrative fine.

          D’Souza has no criminal record. Moreover, contrary to myriad voter-fraud violations that Attorney General Holder will not lift a finger to pursue, the transactions at issue posed no conceivable threat to the integrity of the election process: Ms. Long lost by 46 points. As observed by no less than Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz (an Obama supporter), “This is clearly a case of selective prosecution.” There would, the professor added, be “no room in jails for murderers” if the Justice Department made a practice of such prosecutions.

          • So why is this a crime then? Why is there a law for this if you cannot prosecute someone for the crime? Let’s just change it so that if you’re caught doing illegal campaign contributions you’re only required to pay a fine and be done with it. That’s what is basically being called for if you cannot prosecute someone for a crime. What could possibly go wrong with that?

            If someone mistakenly gives money without realizing that you’re not allowed, then slap them with a fine. I can understand honest mistakes. But he clearly knew the law, clearly decided to knowingly break the law to get around it, and got caught.

            Does this also mean anyone who was prosecuted for a similar crime should now be pardoned? As they were supposedly selectively prosecuted then? I remember from NY (same place) that DeBlasio’s fundraisers were indicted for doing something similar (having their employees donate to campaigns and reimbursing them with bonus’s). So apparently it IS sometimes prosecuted. Or is this all about the sentencing, and not the prosecution. Of which there are many groups complaining about wanting sentencing reform.

            What about jaywalking, driving without a seatbelt, and a whole host of other laws that are rarely prosecuted. Does that mean they’re not laws anymore and can be ignored?

            As for the amount, does it really matter? That’s usually, again, a sentencing issue once you do the crime. And why bring in the health-care plan and Solyndra? They have nothing to do with this case, or with any breaking of the law at all. Bad investment, bad promise, but just makes this article sound like it’s promoted from biasness against the Obama administration instead of trying to make a point.

            As for the person losing, I think you would call that moral luck.

            The end just repeats that we might as well not have some laws on the books, because we can’t prosecute them. So get rid of them, why have them if you know they can’t be prosecuted.

            • The point is that the crime is usually treated as a civil violation, and wasn’t in this case, for suspicious reasons. There are so many laws and regulations that anyone can be targeted by a prosecutor and eventually brought down. It’s a dangerous trend, well studied, pretty much indisputable. Trump’s pardon of D’Sousa could be seen as a statement against that, or against Obama’s politicized Justice Department, or Mueller, or Comey, or sucking up to Ted Cruz, or trolling himself, or, my own theory, Trump didn’t think carefully about it at all.

    • Rich in CT

      Regarding your point number one, the argument made by the medis is that he should NOT be pardoned, because of NON-criminal things he said and did.

      The right to pardon is based on the Ethics Incompleteness Theorem. It is used judiciously to correct injustices justly committed. If a law is enforced solely against one party, and not another, that is an unjust result. If a specific individual is targeted based on NON-criminal considerations, such as being a Republican troll, that is an unjust result. Yes, he may have been guilty, but if prosecutors are selectively enforcing the law, and violations are blatantly ignored, one could reasonably conclude those behaviors are legally tolerated, or fall just outside the law.

      The pardon corrects this miscarriage of justice; it is a public rebuke of the selective and discriminatory prosecution. Prosecutors take notice and are forewarned for the future.

      • I still see the argument being he’s a jerk. But he’s also a criminal. If you’re going to use very powerful powers to pardon someone, why pick an trolling criminal.

        What injustice was done to D’Souza here? He did the crime, admitted the crime, and was found guilty of it. There was no missing evidence that might provide innocence, there was no items misrepresented or missing or added in at a trial that would sway the decision. Now If someone else was not prosecuted, that’s a different issue. I don’t have the information to why, or why not, someone wasn’t prosecuted. We can take informed guesses at it, and they may be wrong (and the reason not to prosecute may be wrong). Unless you can prove that people were let off or not prosecuted for illegal reasons, it’s all conjecture and assumptions and guesses. That does not excuse a criminal for being prosecuted fairly for the crime that he committed. Which is what was done here.

        • Isaac

          If rarely-enforced laws are enforced stringently against pundits who just HAPPEN to be vocal opponents of the regime currently in power…there’s a problem there.

          Imagine if multiple organizations publicly hostile to a sitting President somehow found themselves “randomly” audited by the IRS. Never happen, right?

  7. I wasn’t in the courtroom, so I have no idea whether the verdict was just or not. I do know that awarding four dollars was gratuitously insulting and cruel, and the jury was irresponsible to not realize it. Losing the lawsuit was bad enough. The de minimus damages seem like mockery.

    Why did not the jury hold the police chief and mayor liable.

    It was their gun, you know.

  8. Isaac

    If Trump is going to pardon Jack Johnson, D’souza, Martha Stewart AND Rod Blogovich as rumored, I THINK (to the best of my knowledge at this point) that he is doing America a service in at least one respect.

    It was Obama who tried to shape the institutions of the federal government (including the DOJ and the IRS) into instruments to secure continued power for a political party. It was Obama who not only blustered against, but actually acted against and threatened reporters he didn’t like. Obama banned press access to the inner workings of the White House. Obama personally meddled in local law enforcement issues that had gone viral. Obama appears to have used the DOJ to shake down private companies in order to fill government coffers. That sort of thing threatens the very future of the nation, and despite a complicit majority in the press, it scares decent people and makes them mistrust the government.

    Presidential pardons are one thing, but presidential PROSECUTIONS are another. I’m all for a generous helping of the former if it wipes out any suggestion of the latter. If Trump pardons everyone whose prosecution was even potentially politically motivated, Left or Right, then good for him. He’ll please libertarians, freedom-loving conservatives, and however many principled and genuine liberals are still around.

    • “It was Obama who tried to shape the institutions of the federal government (including the DOJ and the IRS) into instruments to secure continued power for a political party. It was Obama who not only blustered against, but actually acted against and threatened reporters he didn’t like. Obama banned press access to the inner workings of the White House. Obama personally meddled in local law enforcement issues that had gone viral. Obama appears to have used the DOJ to shake down private companies in order to fill government coffers. ”

      Wait, are we talking about Obama or Trump here? 🙂 These are more Trump moves, outside of the last (where it’s more to fill his own, and other wealthy company executives and owners, coffers he is filling)

      I am all for someone who is WRONGLY prosecuted. If the guy was innocent, or was wrongly convicted on bad, insufficient data, then absolutely pardon them. He wasn’t though.

      • Isaac

        No, I was referring to things that President Obama literally and factually did. That you aren’t aware of those facts and associate those types of behaviors MORE with Trump than with Obama, kinda proves my point about a complicit press.

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