Two stories today underscore the media’s fundamental prejudices — prejudice against those who try to uphold the law, and prejudice for offenders.
In the St. Petersburg Times, there was a follow-up story to Susan Taylor Martin’s highly personal hatchet job on Mark Lunsford, father of murder victim Jessica Lunsford. Back in November, Martin sneeringly attacked Lunsford for, among other things, having the temerity to earn $40,000 a year working as an advocate for child predator laws although, as she observed, he holds “only” a high school diploma. She also criticized Lunsford for comping a $73 celebration at Outback Restaurant on the night the man who raped and murdered his daughter was convicted for her death.
You know, comping . . . one . . . meal. Like journalists like Ms. Martin do when they attend nicely-heeled journalistic ethics conferences, and civil rights banquets, and other activities approved by the Central Committee for the Maintenance of Media Elitism.
See my previous post on the article here.
Now Martin has returned to the subject of Lunsford’s employer again, publishing a less lurid but hardly objective “follow-up report” on Hank Asher, the computer mogul who hired Lunsford as a lobbyist. The article purports to address Asher’s work in data mining to support anti-terrorist, child predator, and foster care investigations, but Martin cannot seem to resist indulging her weird obsession with the lifestyles of people who advocate for, rather than against, law enforcement. The photo caption once again mentions the price of Asher’s house and the fact that he owns a jet; the story is largely a re-hash of ground covered in her earlier story.
Maybe someone at the Times decided that Martin’s November slash job on Asher and Lunsford was so far outside the bounds of acceptable reporting that they’re doing a make-over. If this is it, well, the third time around, they need to send in someone who isn’t so busy examining the silverware:
Data-mining whiz Hank Asher, who has a private jet and a $3 million mansion, rents part of the Boca Raton office park where IBM once made personal computers.
We actually know that already, because such details were prominently featured in the Nov. 11 story. You don’t see the Times obsessing over the personal income of people with whom they see eye-to-eye, like defense attorneys and prisoner advocates. You don’t see them questioning the motives of former elected officials who dedicate themselves to the defense bar after retiring from public service. But anyone who works, instead, to put child predators behind bars — well, surely they must be hiding something. Read the rest here.
On the flip side, criminologists and journalists are mourning the death of their favorite armed bank robber. No point in lingering over little details like what it felt like to be his victim when he held the gun to their head, though. John Irwin, you see, was not only an armed felon who fell into crime for the noble reason that he found it stimulating — he then went on to become a criminologist and anti-incarceration activist, serving on the board of the radical anti-incarceration Sentencing Project, organizing a “prisoner’s union” to hijack more of our tax dollars for frivolous lawsuits, and most recently celebrating his media-approved adventures in anti-victim advocacy with an autobiography titled Rogue.
Of course, the media is reverential towards this type of contemptuous behavior toward the law, and against crime victims. The innocent person whose brains Irwin threatened to blow out for kicks and giggles was, of course, not consulted:
John Irwin had the usual choice when he got out of Soledad Prison in 1957 after a five-year stretch for armed robbery: Do more crime, or remake his life. He chose rebirth – with a passion. Over the next half century, Mr. Irwin became one of the nation’s foremost advocates for compassionate reform of the prison system, the author of six heralded books dissecting criminal justice, and a tenured sociology professor at San Francisco State University. . .”John was fearless about being honest about the realities of crime and justice,” said Naneen Karraker, a national advocate for prison reform. “He had the courage to see things differently from the common way.
That would be “compassion” towards predators, not their victims, and “fearless” and “courageous” as in spewing the journalist-and-academic approved party line opposing incarceration for all offenders, even the most violent and dangerous, no matter the cost to society.
Among other “fearless” acts, Irwin started something called the Convict Criminology Movement, in which inmates and ex-cons got tax dollars to get college degrees, and a leg up in getting hired as college professors — while their victims received nothing, of course, and thus ended up subsidizing their predators’ educations and careers. Nice. The man who raped me got one such utterly fake prison-house degree, which helped enable him to get out of prison early (for the third time) and get back to his true calling raping elderly women.
Thanks, John Irwin.
How many people have been raped and murdered by convicts who should have been in prison but were out on the streets because of Irwin’s campaigns? There’s no way to ever know.
But to call such activism “courageous” in the virulently anti-victim, pro-offender, anti-incarceration circles Irwin moved in is absurd. Anyone who thinks being an ex-con would in any way be a detriment to the tenure process hasn’t spent much time being “fearless” on college campuses over the last 30 years. There is nothing courageous about telling the choir exactly what they want to hear.