Why I don’t watch MSNBC

If I want smart political opinion, you all know where I go to for that.  I don’t need a bunch of opinion from an ostensible news network.  From a recent Pew study:

1-On MSNBC, Opinion Dominates Reporting

In this regard, one could say that MSNBC is “worse” than Fox News.  But what I would argue makes Fox so bad, is that their “news” operation is so heavily infected with their values of promoting the Republican party.  I don’t know that the same can be said of MSNBC on the flip side.

Photo of the day

Better late than never.  From an In Focus set in honor of 10th anniversary of the Iraq War:

A building explodes as the first bomb drops during a U.S. aerial assault on insurgent targets in Najaf, Iraq, on August 19, 2004.(AP Photo/Jim MacMillan)

Also, former student of mine, Andrew Dugan, gets the write-up on the Gallup review of public opinion on Iraq for the 10th anniversary.

Stop snitchin’

Okay, not really.  That’s actually a phrase used in inner-city communities to discourage any cooperation with police.  There was a nice 60 Minutes about it a few years back.

Rather, stop using jailhouse snitches in murder cases.  If you look at cases of wrongful convictions, there’s a huge number of them where the convicted murderer supposedly confessed his crime to some complete stranger in jail and nobody else.  This jailhouse snitch– usually a low-life with a long term– then gets a nicely reduced sentence in exchange for testifying about the “confession” he heard.  The DA gets a conviction in a big murder case.  Win-win.  Except of course for the innocent person who is sent to prison.

Compelling story in the N&O Sunday about just such a case where an innocent man has now spent 34 years in prison.  He should be getting out shortly thanks to DNA evidence that has finally been reviewed.  To add insult to injury, a judge first ordered 10 years ago to review the DNA evidence, but nothing was done about it for the longest time.

What really annoys me about this case was that there’s absolutely no way this guy was ever guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  He was a convicted criminal who had recently escaped a work gang and was in the same vicinity as a murder also committed by a Black person.  That’s the only real evidence.  Until prosecutors convinced some jailhouse snitches to tell about the “confession” they heard in exchange for monetary reward.  Oh, and that was also against their earlier statements.  The idea that somebody is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt when the only evidence is a supposed confession to someone who has a lot to gain from hearing it is preposterous.  Prosecutors and juries just want somebody to pay for a horrible crime and it’s clear that some times they are too willing to just put on blinders to common sense so they can have their conviction.

Very frustrating story and well worth your time to read.


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