June 11, 2007

Afflict the comfortable, comfort the afflicted

That used to be the accepted model for journalists, or so I was told. Apparently Joe Klein of Time magazine was never introduced to the concept. Here's Glenn Greenwald:

In a post entitled "Thoughts on Sentencing," Klein actually argues -- seriously -- that it is imperative for the public interest that Paris Hilton receive jail time because "it is exemplary: It sends the message . . .that even rich twits can't avoid the law," but:
I have a different feeling about Libby. His "perjury"--not telling the truth about which reporters he talked to--would never be considered significant enough to reach trial, much less sentencing, much less time in stir if he weren't Dick Cheney's hatchet man. . . .

But jail time? Do we really want to spend our tax dollars keeping Scooter Libby behind bars? I don't think so. This "perjury" case only exists because of his celebrity--just as the ridiculous "perjury" case against Bill Clinton, which ballooned into the fantastically stupid and destructive impeachment proceedings.

Klein deliberately makes no mention of the several felony counts of "obstruction of justice" and "false statements" for which Libby was convicted -- it's just "perjury." More dishonest still is Klein's underhanded attempt to insinuate that the conviction and sentencing are politically motivated (none of this would have happened "if he weren't Dick Cheney's hatchet man"), while Klein inexcusably conceals from his readers the fact that the prosecutor who prosecuted Libby and the judge who sentenced him are both Republicans and appointees of George W. Bush's administration.

As Glenn says, the Inside-the-Beltway press crowd is so tied in with the people it's supposed to report on that it's become increasingly impossible for it to put aside its prejudices toward its friends and relate the facts with objectivity.

Get a clue, Klein. A crime is a crime is a crime. Libby was convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury by a jury. He was not railroaded by a bunch of partisan political operatives (like, say, a former President named Clinton in the US House of Representatives).

Glenn has chapter and verse; go read the rest of his essay.

Posted by Linkmeister at June 11, 2007 08:56 AM | TrackBack