1. “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!“ Naturally, the New York Times has a ticket…The Timed headline in its print edition: “Minnesota Police Kill Another Man As Tensions Build.” Oh, did the jury rule that the Minnesota police officers killed George Floyd already? They didn’t? Then what the hell is the New York Times saying “Another” for?
The news media decided that Derek Chauvin is a murderer and has been repeating that assertion as fact for almost a year now.
2. Wait, the Chaivin jury hasn’t been sequestered? Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, had argued yesterday that the jurors should be ordered to avoid all media and spend the rest of the trial sequestered, because he feared that rioting in the nearby community where the Wright shooting took place might limit their ability to be fair jurors. The unrest will be at “forefront of the jury’s mind-set,” Nelson argued. He also asked for new interviews with the jurors to determine whether this recent event had already biased them. The judge, Peter Cahill, denied both requests. “This is a totally different case,” the judge held, since the current riots aren’t about a jury verdict but a shooting.
Wow This pretty much convinces me that this is a kangaroo court, and that the judge is trying to do his best to see Chauvin convicted.
The cases are both about the presumption of racism whenever a police officer is involved in the death of a black man who was resisting arrest. “Justice for Georg Floyd” has been a mantra during the recent protests. All of the “mostly peaceful protests” are essentially social extortion to eliminate due process and fairness from the legal system so police are afraid to enforce the law against African Americans. “Two different cases”! Is the judge stupid, or malevolent?
3. Baseball has a nice window seat…Jahmai Webster, a young black man, is now the full-time sideline reporter for Boston Red Sox broadcasts at the New England Sports Network. Today, as the team played (and beat, for its seventh straight win) the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in the game postponed yesterday because baseball always postpones games when citizens are shot by police —Wait, what’s that? It doesn’t?—Webster either was allowed, urged, or decided on his own to lecture the TV audience about police procedures and race relations.
He began with sympathy for Wright’s family, which I suppose is de rigeur, and a review of what caused yesterday’s postponement. He showed Boston Manager Alex Cora’s vague mumblings about how “some things are bigger than baseball.” Then he launched into a personal speech “as a black man” about how this “accidental death” exemplifies “that things have to change” and how the kinds of things he tells his children about interactions with police shouldn’t be necessary.
What kinds of things would those be, Jamai? Do you tell them that they shouldn’t have adversary confrontations with police at all, and that the best way to do that would be not to break laws? Do you tell them that if they do interact with police, arguing with them, defying them, struggling with them and trying to flee are irresponsible actions that lead to bad consequences? Somehow I get the impression that these things are not what balck parents and the black community are teaching their children. If they are, they sure are doing a rotten job at it.
After Jamai had annoyed the hell out of me, old Jerry Remy, the Red Sox color man who isn’t a deep thinker but who at least has personal experience with law enforcement since his oldest son murdered the mother of his grandchild and is serving a life sentence for murder, said, “There is no question that things have to change, as Jamai said.” Maybe Jerry, a good team mate, was trying to take some heat off of his young, misguided colleague. Or maybe he really does think “Things have to change” is a useful observation, which it is not. Like all loud but vague pronouncements that can fit on bumper stickers and yard signs, like “BLack Lives Matter,””No justice, No Peace,” “End Racism,” “Love Trumps Hate,” “Sensible Gun Reform,” “No Human Being Is Illegal,” “Think Of The Children” and “Believe All Women,” “Things have to change” is the cry of someone without a rational argument to make or a productive role to play in policy discussions, and who is appealing to emotion because that’s all they understand.
I dashed off this email to NESN:
To whom it may concern: Neither I nor any other viewers require gratuitous lectures on law enforcement and racial issues from baseball commentators. I watch games to get away from that stuff: I live with it most of the rest of the day. Fatuous comments like “Some things are bigger than baseball” is a rationalization: I don’t need to hear about world peace, climate change or labor disputes either from people who are misusing their microphone, and who, frankly, don’t know what they are talking about sufficiently to presume to lecture me.Meaningless statements like “Things have got to change” are not helpful nor profound. I also strongly object to NESN showing a “Justice for George Floyd” sign in the Twin’s stadium. A trial is going on—I’m a lawyer: I actually know a lot about the evidence and the issue. That sign presupposes guilt in that trial. That also is not baseball’s business. It is also un-American: our system requires proof of guilt before a jury in a fair trial.Manage your employees, and have respect for your viewers.
Now, if NESN got a few thousand letters like that, it might start paying attention.