Patterico's Pontifications

10/1/2018

The Ever-So-Objective New York Times Has Emily “I Hate Judicial Conservatives” Bazelon as a … “Reporter” on a “News Article” About Kavanaugh (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:50 pm



Oh Dear Lord. Here we go:

As an undergraduate student at Yale, Brett M. Kavanaugh was involved in an altercation at a local bar during which he was accused of throwing ice on another patron, according to a police report.

The incident, which occurred in September 1985 during Mr. Kavanaugh’s junior year, resulted in Mr. Kavanaugh and four other men being questioned by the New Haven Police Department. Mr. Kavanaugh was not arrested, but the police report stated that a 21-year-old man accused Mr. Kavanaugh of throwing ice on him “for some unknown reason.”

They then quote a supposed eyewitness who says … Kavanaugh threw his “beer” at the guy:

Mr. Ludington said that he had been in touch with the F.B.I.

He said that the altercation happened after a UB40 concert on Sept. 25, when he and a group of people went to Demery’s and were drinking pints. At one point, they were sitting near a man who, they thought, resembled Ali Campbell, the lead singer of UB40.

“We’re trying to figure out if it’s him,” he said.

When the man noticed Mr. Ludington, Mr. Kavanaugh and the others looking at him, he objected and told them to stop it, adding an expletive, Mr. Ludington said.

Mr. Kavanaugh cursed, he said, and then “threw his beer at the guy.”

I have now flipped on Kavanaugh and oppose him. I mean, if the guy put ice in his beer

In all seriousness (not really): They got him! You see, I am reliably told by countless lefty blue checkmarks on Twitter that Kavanaugh denied drinking too much. And indeed, if you look at his testimony, which I have right here, we have … we have, um … hang on … ah, there it is: “Sometimes I had too many beers!” SEE? HE WAS LYING! Oh wait, that’s an admission he sometimes drank too much. Um. Well.

Interesting little factoid about this NYT piece: check out who the “reporters” are.

Bazelon the Neutral Reporter

Emily Bazelon? The ultra-leftist woman always screeching about judicial conservatives on Slate? Often in a dishonest fashion? That Emily Bazelon? Gee, I wonder if she has any preconceptions about Brett Kavanaugh!

If you were wondering, wonder no longer. Because as many people have observed on Twitter, Emily Bazelon is … not exactly an unbiased reporter:

Also, here is my Totally Objective News Article about him!!!

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

UPDATE by Dana: The New York Times has responded to the criticism of Bazelon’s involvement in writing the piece cited in this post.

A spokesperson for The Times said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that the story Bazelon contributed to was “straightforward, fact-based and we fully stand behind it.” The spokesperson, however, said the reporting should have been assigned to another person.

“Emily Bazelon is a writer for The New York Times Magazine who occasionally writes op-eds for the opinion section. She is not a newsroom reporter,” the spokesperson for The Times said. “Her role in this story was to help colleagues in the newsroom gather public documents in New Haven, where Emily is based. In retrospect, editors should have used a newsroom reporter for that assignment.”

Remember, it was just two weeks ago that the New York Times did the smear job on Nikki Haley. After facing criticism for the intentional misleading of readers, the paper subsequently corrected its headline and article.

California Enacts Criminal Justice “Reform” Disallowing Prosecuting 15-Year-Olds (and Younger) as Adults

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:22 pm



Enter any District Attorney’s office in California these days and you’ll encounter people rolling their eyes at the latest attacks on public safety from the Legislature or Governor. One day they’re weakening the felony murder rule and gutting murder liability under the natural and probable consequences doctrine, a staple of gang murder prosecutions. The latest: 14- and 15-year-olds cannot be tried as adults — for any crime including murder.

I haven’t counted how many people I have in California state prisons serving life for murder. 40? 50? Something like that, I’d guess. And off the top of my head, I can think of only three whom I convicted for crimes they committed when they were 15 years old (one defendant) or 14 years old (two defendants). They were all stone cold killers, but one of the 14-year-olds was one of the worst monsters I have ever prosecuted. He and his 15-year-old co-defendant committed multiple shootings in a weeks-long crime spree that terrorized the city of Long Beach about nine years ago, and it’s his good luck that only one of his victims died.

Now, people like that who commit similar murders today will be held in a juvenile justice facility into their early twenties, at the outer limit. And then they will be released back into society. Gang members who are having a hard time finding 13-year-olds to hand a gun to? They will now have a new crop of 14- and 15-year-olds who can be the triggermen in their retaliation shootings, without fear of a life sentence.

This “reform,” in other words, is not all rainbows and lollipops.

I understand the impulse towards leniency. My son is 15 years old, and it’s hard to think of someone his age (or a year younger!) committing such awful crimes. Until you’ve witnessed the evidence yourself — until you’ve talked to the mothers of the victims who will never see their sons again — it’s hard for that concept to truly sink in.

But in all the applause you see about this and other criminal justice “reforms” these days, make no mistake: this will lead to more murders and more dead victims. Not might. Will.

It’s just a question of how many.

[As always, I speak on behalf of myself and not my office.]

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

California Diversifies in That Time-Honored Way: Set-Asides and Quotas [And a Bonus Story Too!]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 12:21 pm



[guest post by JVW]

The latest advance in social justice:

California has become the first state to require publicly traded companies to include women on their boards of directors, one of several laws boosting or protecting women that Gov. Jerry Brown signed Sunday.

The measure requires at least one female director on the board of each California-based public corporation by the end of next year. Companies would need up to three female directors by the end of 2021, depending on the number of board seats.

Affirmative action as initially practiced, with minority set-asides and quotas, was apparently to the minds of California Democrats such a roaring success that they felt it should be replicated to allow wealthy and connected women to have more perks. And make no mistake, it’s the already wealthy and connected women who benefit from this law. That public school teacher or supermarket cashier or pharmaceutical sales rep isn’t suddenly going to find herself serving on the board of Uber or Tesla, it will be the retired politician, leader of a nonprofit, academic, or business executive who gets the designated female seat. Naturally, the argument will be that these well-connected women will ensure that these corporations provide more opportunities and greater protections for female employees, but considering that women are now overrepresented among the ranks of college graduates I’m not too sure if they truly need the extra boost. As usual, when progressives deign to “level the playing field,” you can bet your bottom dollar that the wealthy and connected are the first (and maybe only) ones who will benefit.

Because Jerry Brown is craven and weak but not mindlessly stupid, he seems to realize that the state is on dubious ground here:

The Democratic governor referenced the objections and legal concerns that the law has raised. The California Chamber of Commerce has said the policy will be difficult for companies to implement and violates constitutional prohibitions against discrimination.

“I don’t minimize the potential flaws that indeed may prove fatal to its ultimate implementation,” Brown wrote in a signing statement. “Nevertheless, recent events in Washington, D.C. — and beyond — make it crystal clear that many are not getting the message.”

This bill was percolating through the legislature since the beginning of the year, and it actually passed through the legislature shortly after Labor Day, so it’s not as if this is really a reaction to the whole Brett Kavanaugh controversy. But why wouldn’t Moonbeam size the opportunity to demagogue on events in Washington? Behold California progressivism’s two ideological pillars: there is no social problem that can’t be fixed by invasive legislation and anyone who sets foot in this state is subject to the whims of the rancid political class that rules the state. Just another day in our increasingly third-world avocado republic.

BONUS STORY:

Anyone recall hearing about Gilbert Cisneros, the Democrat candidate to replace retiring GOP Congressman Ed Royce in California’s 39th District this fall? He was accused by a female party activist of propositioning her for sex this past winter but, lo and behold, as polls began to show the GOP candidate, Young Kim, slightly ahead in the race suddenly the accuser is recanting her allegations, claiming now that it was all one giant misunderstanding. The accuser/activist is a documentary filmmaker, so look for her to have plenty of work come her way from the state and national party now that she has fallen back into line. Believe all women, but give them room to change their minds, I suppose.

– JVW

Rachel Mitchell’s Memo Cites Ford’s Inconsistencies, Would Not Bring Case Against Kavanaugh Based On Evidence Presented

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:04 am



[guest post by Dana]

Last night, the Washington Post published a memo written by Rachel Mitchell, the outside prosecutor hired by the GOP to question Dr. Christine Blasey Ford about her allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. The memo outlines why Mitchell would not bring criminal charges against the nominee:

“A ‘he said, she said’ case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that,” Mitchell writes in the memo, sent Sunday night to all Senate Republicans. “Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them.”

Mitchell continued: “For the reasons discussed below, I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the [Senate Judiciary] Committee. Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard.”

Mitchell notes problems she had with Ford’s testimony:

Ford has not offered a consistent account of the alleged assault, including when exactly it occurred. Mitchell also noted that Ford did not identify Kavanaugh by name as her attacker in key pieces of evidence, including notes from sessions with her therapist — records that Ford’s lawyers declined to provide to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Ford testified before the panel Thursday that she is “100 percent” sure Kavanaugh was her attacker.

“I believed he was going to rape me,” she told the panel. “I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from yelling. This is what terrified me the most.”

But in the memo, Mitchell also argued that Ford “has no memory of key details of the night in question — details that could help corroborate her account,” nor has Ford given a consistent account of the alleged assault. Noting that Ford did not remember in what house the incident allegedly occurred, or how she left the gathering and got back home, Mitchell said “her inability to remember this detail raises significant questions.”

Mitchell also stressed that nobody who Ford has identified as having attended the gathering — including Mark Judge, Patrick Smyth and Leland (Ingham) Keyser — has been able to directly corroborate Ford’s allegations. Keyser, however, has told the Judiciary Committee that she believes Ford’s account.

Mitchell also makes a distinction between law and politics, and clarifies her role in the assessment of Ford’s testimony:

No clear standard of proof for allegations made during the Senate’s confirmation process,” Mitchell wrote in the memo. “But the world in which I work is the legal world, not the political world. Thus, I can only provide my assessment of Dr. Ford’s allegations in that legal context.”

Democrats, as expected, are discounting Mitchell’s report:

Untitled2

To those dismissing the report for whatever reason (Mitchell was hired by Republicans, she’s a prosecutor and Ford wasn’t on trial, the memo doesn’t address Kavanaugh, she obviously wants Kavanaugh confirmed, etc, this is a sensible reminder :

1) She gave her opinion on a preponderance evidence standard, too. 2) She isn’t giving an opinion on whether he should be on the court, but whether this particular allegation against him is credible. 3) Prosecutor understands burden is on the accuser, not the accused.

Oh, as a reminder, some prominent Democrats were indeed fully on board with Mitchell’s line of inquiry. A line of inquiry which produced answers, and which, in turn, informed her memo:

Untitled

The full memo can be found here.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana


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