Saturday, May 2, 2015

Book 'Em

Ms Mosby's courage is conspicuous. Pierce gives us all a summary:

There's obviously a long way to go. We watched Fox News' reaction last night. I was particularly curious about Megyn Kelly's reaction, since only the night before she'd attempted unsuccessfully to browbeat the attorney for the Gray family, demanding that he accept in advance whatever results the office of Ms Mosby was going to announce, in part because she was black, unlike the DA who investigated the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson. When the Gray attorney stuck to his guns, simply repeating the truth, that the facts at that point were "not in," she finally cut him off with a muttered "he's leaving himself some wiggle room," and that was that.

I don't think Fox expected charges to be brought against six Baltimore policemen, and not Friday. Last night they were in full blame the victims mode, unless by victims you should surprisingly mean those indicted. A number of times during the evening the specter of the New York police semi-insurrection against Mayor DeBlasio was invoked. Would it be the same in Baltimore? A great deal of attention was focused on the deceased Mr. Gray, with Kelly devoting most of her hour to an interview with a voice altered alleged Baltimore policeman who had, he said, talked to the charged officers and, as well, knew Mr. Gray well enough to suggest that he was selling drugs when he made eye contact with the street cops, and ran to give himself time to toss the goods.

The implication would be that Mr. Gray, being a drug dealer, just got what he deserved. The anonymous cop also continued to raise the possibility that Gray murdered himself in the police van, and maintained over and over again that Baltimore police were being "sold out" for politics by the political power structure in Baltimore, which was of the same race as Mr. Gray and his supporters.

Overall, the strategy of Fox News was to flip the plain facts Ms Mosby based her charges on 180 degrees. Gray was a perp, the protesters were a lawless mob, the mayor should resign in disgrace, Mosby had already revealed various conflicts of interest and should be removed for some unknown special prosecutor. One hopes Ms Mosby was at least thinking a number of moves ahead before she mounted the scaffold to the mics yesterday. She won the day, but it will be a very long, very ugly road ahead.

Meanwhile, the Republicans continue in various ways to reveal their "solutions" to the problems the country faces with regard to a police force that thinks itself pretty much beyond the law. Jeb Bush this week cited Charles Murray's pseudo racist science in a speech to a friendly audience: "they ain't as smart as us, it's no wonder...." As Ederoso has termed it, the great ooga-booga fear campaign is always just a shot away. Kevin Williamson, who I believe was sacked by National Review for some blatant racist comment or other, tweeted that his "lefty" friends in the DC burbs may be reconsidering their second amendment rights.

Because of the success of the "southern strategy," the Republican party is now the party of racism. It's always us and them. I noticed that Koch Industries was the major sponsor of the night on the Fox News channel. Convenient. Here's what Mr. Pierce concludes, and he hadn't even watched Kelly's show when he wrote it:

Naturally, there will be a lot of yammering about how the accused are being "scapegoated," which they are, but they are being scapegoated for a city government and a police force that allowed its officers to run amok on a specific group of citizens. If they get convicted, these officers will pay for their crimes, and for neglect and abuse going back generations. That's a shame, but it is not a mitigating factor at all.

How else can the reform of the police be accomplished, but with steps like the ones Ms Mosby took yesterday.


Sunday Update: I came across this remarkable interview:

If you want to understand what Fox News is trying to accomplish, it is basically denying everything that Mr. Simon is saying, and attempting to justify the appalling police policies that America is asserting over the inner city populations--policies that are patently unconstitutional, but justified by fear and the "war on" rhetoric begun with the advent of Ronald Reagan. Mr. Simon even says that he'd still vote for O'Malley. Thus doth the Clintons, always essentially Rockefeller Republicans, become the alternatives to something even worse. Fox is toiling mightily to poison the very jury pool before which the indicted Baltimore officers must now stand. Don't let the lawyer lawyer talkee confuse you, Fox is saying. The police are saving you from Freddie Gray, heroin dealer. He ran. He was guilty, and anyway, running gets you a "rough ride."

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