Two Americas: Gregory Not Charged, Iraq Vet Jailed
The media's so full of it.
Over the past few weeks, the wife and I have been re-watching the brilliant HBO drama, "The Wire." The show's fifth and final season focuses on the plight of "The Baltimore Sun," as the daily newspaper deals with a collapsing business model in the age of the inter-webs. One of the story's subplots involves a reporter with ambitions to someday work for the "The New York Times" or "The Washington Post." He's a bit overly ambitious, though, and ends up falsifying quotes and sources in order to make a name for himself.
One of the stories he manufactures is something he's sure will impress potential employers: the story of a wheelchair-bound 13 year-old black kid who can't afford a ticket to baseball's opening day.
The story might be made up, but what's not made up is that it is exactly the kind of story that would appeal to the elite media.
Time and again, our media overlords tell us they are motivated -- not by partisan politics, but by a desire to afflict and speak truth to power, to give voice to the voiceless, and to shine a light on a society they see as fundamentally flawed in favor of the powerful and unfair to the powerless.
Unless, of course, the media is protecting a wealthy, connected, and powerful individual they count among their own. Then we're not a nation of laws, and justice shouldn't be so blind.
Laws are for little people, donchaknow...
In July, The Washington Times highlighted the plight of former Army Spc. Adam Meckler, who was arrested and jailed for having a few long-forgotten rounds of ordinary ammunition — but no gun — in his backpack in Washington. Mr. Meckler, a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, says he had no idea it was illegal to possess unregistered ammunition in the city. He violated the same section of D.C. law as Mr. Gregory allegedly did, and both offenses carry the same maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.
Mr. Meckler was charged with the crime and was forced to accept a plea deal to avoid the cost and time of a protracted legal fight. The indefensible nature of Mr. Meckler’s case led directly to a new law passed by the D.C. Council in December that allows prosecutors to file civil instead of criminal charges, but only if the accused was unaware of the city’s laws.
That exemption probably wouldn’t apply to Mr. Gregory, who held up a 30-round rifle magazine on his show on Dec. 23 to make his point about the need to ban them. NBC asked the police in advance for permission to bring the contraband into Washington for the interview with National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre, but it was not granted.
“I unknowingly broke the law,” Mr. Meckler told The Washington Times. “Mr. Gregory knowingly broke the law. While both are seemingly harmless, both acts were deemed illegal under the District’s obscure firearms laws.” Mr. Meckler said he would never have intentionally left the rounds in his bag.
The terrible massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary has not only exposed the media's hypocrisies and biases with respect to gun control; it is also a revealing look at their priorities. There's no question Sandy Hook deserved every bit of media attention it received -- that's not my point. But what about the 532 homicides that occurred in Chicago last year?
There's little doubt most of those murders were committed with some sort of firearm, and that the victims were predominantly poor minorities. We also know that 2670 people were shot in Chicago last year.
Where's the media attention for the poor, powerless, predominantly non-white victims of all this gun violence? Where's the activism and outrage?
Well, there is none, because the media's not about afflicting the powerful or giving voice to voiceless or any of that jive. The media's really about protecting a powerful government, and should the media dig into Chicago's problems, that would mean taking on a story in which Republicans can't be targeted, nor can a lack of government largess or gun-control laws.
In other words, digging into the murder of 532 people means facing up to and publicizing the fact that when the Left's vision is fulfilled, it's not all that pretty.
But, hey, what's a few hundred dead black people when the price of doing something about it is as high as admitting you might be wrong about a few things?
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC