Sunday, December 9, 2007

Our rotting press corpse stinks again

They just can't help themselves (with emphasis):

On the December 6 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, during a discussion of former Arkansas Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's role in the 1999 release of convicted rapist Wayne DuMond, who was convicted of raping and murdering another woman after being released and was suspected in another rape and murder, host Joe Scarborough asked MSNBC correspondent David Shuster, "Do you think this is going to be a big issue?" Shuster responded: "No, I don't, because the reason -- the reason I think it was a big issue for [1988 Democratic presidential candidate] Mike Dukakis was because it played into the idea of a Massachusetts liberal soft on crime. Mike Huckabee has sentenced more people to death and carried out the death penalty more than anybody else, so it doesn't really fit that narrative."
Oh, I get it. We've come to expect a conservative to exemplify little compassion, to contradict a pro-life position by executing the death penalty more than anybody else, to accept that Republicans are a hard-hearted, blood-thirsty clan. And fallacious, too.
Later in the discussion, Shuster stated, "[T]here are a lot of ways that I think that Mike Huckabee can get out of this, and again, because he's a conservative guy from a conservative state, I just don't think it carries the same weight as Mike Dukakis in '88."
Follow Shuster's reasoning with me. Maybe I'm missing somethin' redemptive. Maybe not.

[Keep reading...]

A liberal pegged as soft on crime in liberal Massachusetts, who supported a weekend furlough system in which a felon raped, committed physical violence and armed robbery was a big story.

But, a conservative who went soft on crime in a conservative state, who -- against the objections of sexual assault victims -- made a bad and politically questionable decision that led to rape and murder is no big deal. Uh huh. IOKIYARIARS? The families of murder victims Sara Andrasek and Carol Shields probably wouldn't agree.

Reading my friend Blue Girl added a different and relevant perspective to Shuster's specious gaffe. Read her whole post. For now, a few snips:
If not for the family connection between the victim and Bill Clinton, Dumond would have rotted in an Arkansas prison and died, unknown and unmourned. That would have been justice.
Instead, the Arkansas GOP went into full-froth mode...Dumond was innocent! He was railroaded by that bastard Clinton! He must be freed!
Bullshit. He was a predator and a rapist and a murderer. That mattered not a whit...
...The Huckster pressured the parole board behind closed doors, and they granted the murdering monster parole - without Huck having to affix his signature to the release. When the victim pleaded with Huckabee to keep the man in prison, he dismissed her, telling her that he believed that the man was reformed and repentant, and would pose no future threat. (Haven't we heard that "looked into his soul" line of crap before?)
I do not believe for one second that anyone in Arkansas thought the bastard was reformed.
If they truly believed he was reformed, why was one of the conditions of his parole that he had to leave Arkansas???
Steve Benen also provided an excellent overview on Huckabee's involvement in the DuMond parole.

And what's this in today's Sunday NYTimes? Sho 'nuff, they finally caught up to the liberal bloggers.

Despite the Huckster's denials, "Two former parole board members in Arkansas said yesterday that as governor, Mr. Huckabee met with the board in 1996 to lobby them to release the convicted rapist, Wayne DuMond, whose case was championed by evangelical Christians." And... "The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that three of the seven members of the parole board said Mr. Huckabee had pressured them, echoing earlier reporting by The Arkansas Times and other local news media."

Yet, according to MSNBC's David Shuster, the DuMond case ain't nuthin' for Huck to sweat. If a complicit media covers Huckabee's behind, maybe he's got a point.

When Shuster defended his argument with the excuse that Huckabee is a conservative guy from a conservative state, I thought that dog won't hunt, bubba. That's plain conservatard punditry. Without thinking (our mainstream press unwittingly and sometimes willfully sneaks in rightwing talking points, they're so insidiously ingrained like shoe polish on their wingtips), Shuster revisited the myth, a Serious Idea, that liberals are soft on crime and conservatives aren't -- a favorite narrative of the GOP. Bless his pea-picking heart, his mouth ran away from his brain.

So few Molly Ivins and Lars Erik Nelsons remain alive to demonstrate to the pups how to think independent of an approved script. Tragic but true especially on tee-vee.

The next day on the Dec. 7 Morning Joe, Shuster almost -- almost! -- acted like a journalist asking pertinent questions before fumbling as he pressed the waterboarding debate with Joe Scarborough. (Crooks and Liars). When he suggested that the CIA torture tapes may have been disposed to "cover up war crimes, and that torture doesn’t work and is barbaric and wrong," Joe launched his best "Sean Hannity impersonation" and issued a forceful "torture apologia" that vented his wingnut spleen.

"Because...we live in a dangerous world!" Joe vehemently defended, all bowed up and thunderin' like Moses in a Cecil B. DeMille production.

Now if Shuster -- "naive" is what Joe called him -- could realize how a "conservative guy in a conservative state" contributed to a dangerous world, maybe he'd understand why northwest Missouri thinks Huck's "guilty of felony murder."

But, for the life of me, I can't figure out how soy latt├ęs on the upper West Side of New York City factor in a clash over the depravity of torture.

Oh, the mysteries of our rotting press corpse.