Patterico's Pontifications

5/5/2007

Paris Hilton: Unfairly Denied the Chance to Be Treated Better Than You

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 9:04 pm

Some bloggers are saying that Paris Hilton is receiving unfairly harsh treatment, because she’s being denied the chance to receive unfairly lenient treatment — you know, like other rich people and celebrities often receive.

As you may know, Paris was sentenced to 45 days in jail for repeatedly violating her probation by driving on a license that was suspended due to a DUI conviction. The judge who sentenced her didn’t take any guff:

She will not be allowed any work release, furloughs, use of an alternative jail or electronic monitoring in lieu of jail, Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer ruled after a hearing….

She was then ordered to report to a women’s jail in suburban Lynwood by the set date or face 90 days behind bars. The judge’s ruling excluded her from paying to serve time in a jail of her choice, as some violators are allowed to do….

The phenomenon of richer inmates paying for a safer and cleaner jail experience was recently reported in the New York Times. At the time, Jeralyn Merritt said:

The counties defend the jails on grounds that they increase revenue for other programs. It seems unfair and elitist to me.

And you know what? I agree. It’s unfair for a rich person to be able to get a better jail experience. But now, Jeralyn seems to think it’s unfair for Paris Hilton not to have that opportunity:

Why can other rich people pick their jail but she can’t?

Why should poor people not be able to pick their jail, while Paris Hilton can?

Ann Althouse adds:

It seems obvious to me that she’s being treated worse because of her celebrity . . .

It seems to me that she’s not being treated better simply because of her celebrity. And that’s a refreshing change. Why don’t others see that?

Tornado Video

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:45 pm

Via Instapundit comes a link to a very cool video of a tornado:

Cut Tina Daunt Some Slack

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 10:45 am

I think some of y’all are being kind of unfair to Tina Daunt.

Daunt is the L.A. Times reporter who wrote a story about Fred! Thompson’s three-episode racist role on “Wiseguy.” I wrote a post yesterday about her article, gently tweaking her for exaggerating the concern that “[s]ome conservative political blogs” had shown over the issue. (She cited only one blog — mine — and said: “Several respondents immediately mentioned the ‘Wiseguy’ performance.” It was more like one or two commenters, deep in the thread.) It seemed to me that she was bending the facts to fit the storyline.

But a lot of commenters and bloggers reacted to her article as though she was calling Thompson a racist. That’s not a fair reading of her article. I thought her point was quite clearly expressed in this paragraph, which I quoted:

But in the age of YouTube, this performance could raise an intriguing political question: How does a performer eyeing a presidential run deal with a video history that can be downloaded, taken out of context, chopped into embarrassing pieces and then distributed endlessly though cyberspace?

Isn’t that an interesting question? It’s the very same one raised by commenter Sean P, who is really the only commenter who had raised the issue:

He played neo-nazi con-man “Dr.” Knox Pooley on a five episode arc of the TV show “Wiseguy”. His character gave a couple of speeches denouncing “mud people” and similar slurs which could easily be taken out of context and posted on You Tube.

All Tina Daunt did was a combination of what Sean P and I had done: question how Thompson could be trashed, and speculate about one possible answer.

I didn’t like the headline of her article (“Will Fred Thompson’s racist role have political repercussions?”) but I bet she didn’t write that.

Now, possibly some of you are thinking: OK, she didn’t say Thompson is a racist . . . but by bringing up the issue, and detailing the racist quotes uttered by Thompson’s character, she’s giving his enemies unnecessary firepower. It’s as if someone writing about the war were to say: “it raises an interesting question whether the insurgents will find and use the cache of weapons hidden in the northwest corner of the basement at 15 Qusay Way in Ramadi.” One might question why she felt the need to present excruciating detail on the specific racist things said by Thompson’s character. And, one might ask: why are these clips news?

Well, I suppose you could try to blame her for that . . . but then, you’d have to blame me, too, for writing a post asking how Thompson might get trashed. My feeling was: if you guys can think of some negative against Thompson, his political enemies will be able to think of it as well. So why not discuss it?

Tina Daunt may have been thinking the same thing. None of us has any evidence otherwise — other than the fact that she works at the much-despised L.A. Times, which everyone knows is a hotbed of leftists. (I say that not entirely ironically.)

So cut her some slack. Her article didn’t merit the widescale piling-on that it received.


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