StarTribune goes full-on “Nancy Grace”
You may remember Nancy Grace. I think she’s still on TV somewhere. Her notoriety peaked, though, when she started hosting a CNN show in 2015. It featured a combination of bloodthirsty rants about what should be done to alleged murderers and other violent criminals (not all of whom were subsequently found to be that, in courts of law), with flagrantly contrived, manipulative displays of “sympathy,” “compassion,” and (most important in the context of my subject matter here) promises of “justice” for victims and their loved ones.
The StarTribune has been going after Hennepin County AG Mary Moriarty, who ran on a criminal justice reform platform, from Day 1. Lately they’ve been tacking more toward the latter part of the N. Grace approach described above. The most flagrant example is an article from October 1 titled “Families of victims outraged over last-minute plea deals by Hennepin County Attorney.” You can read it here, if you like.
Let’s look at some actual facts:
– The U.S. imprisons a higher percentage of its population than anyone.
Not only does the U.S. have the highest incarceration rate in the world; every single U.S. state incarcerates more people per capita than virtually any independent democracy on earth. To be sure, states like New York and Massachusetts appear progressive in their incarceration rates compared to states like Louisiana, but compared to the rest of the world, every U.S. state relies too heavily on prisons and jails to respond to crime.
(Prison Policy Initiative)
– Yet the U.S. is far, very far indeed, from being the safest “advanced” nation. Quite the contrary.
– Overall, things are far worse in the conservative “red” states, despite their “hang-em-high” approach to criminal justice.
The upshot of the above is that the rigidly punitive approach to “justice” stilll being pimped by the StarTribune and most other corporate “news” media results in more, not fewer, victims of violent crime. And therefore more, not fewer, grieving loved ones.
In the election, Moriarty crushed the Strib’s endorsed candidate, Martha Holton Dimick. For those who call the shots at the Strib the humiliation undoubtedly lingers, especially for egotists who honestly believe that anyone still gives a shit about traditional newspaper political endorsements. But I don’t think that this is mostly about that.
Rather, it’s another facet of the Strib’s desperate efforts to somehow help keep the Party of Trump viable in Minnesota. Constant (and all-but-overtly racial) scaremongering about potentially being a violent crime victim didn’t work, last time. Maybe, they figure, scaremongering about being a victim’s loved one and being “denied justice” will. Though I personally doubt it.
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