Why didn’t Megyn Kelly care about Trayvon Martin’s juvenile privacy rights when she helped George Zimmerman’s lawyer's efforts to violate them?
Megyn Kelly has been so concerned about the sealed records of the incest and child molestation by Joshua Duggar being released, she has given the impression that that is the most important issue in the scandal.
For example, during last night’s interview with Jill and Jessa Duggar, two of Joshua’s victims, Kelly got on her conservative soapbox.
KELLY: We’ve seen so many in this country stand up on behalf of child victims. We’ve seen very little of that in - with respect to your case and your privacy rights and the violation of those promises that your record and your testimony would be sealed. Do you think it has something to do with who you are, who the Duggars are, what your family stands for?
Earlier in the week, during her interview with the Duggar parents, Kelly commiserated with Jim Bob Duggar when he complained about the press not making a bigger deal of the “huge story” of the juvenile records being released. “It must have been terrible. I mean, I’m sure you’re going through hell right now,” Kelly said.
But Kelly’s sensitivity for such privacy is quite a contrast to the time she helped George Zimmerman’s attorney demonize the teenaged, unarmed Trayvon Martin, after Zimmerman shot him to death. During a pre-trial appearance on Kelly’s America Live show, she walked Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara through a litany of information designed to portray Martin as a thug even though she knew that information would not be deemed admissible at trial.
And where was Kelly’s outrage that the Zimmerman team wanted to release Martin’s juvenile records? From the Orlando Sentinel:
The defense evidence packet also includes other information from Trayvon's school records, among them five videos from a Miami-Dade schools police investigation that turned up several pieces of women's jewelry in Trayvon's backpack and a screwdriver, what authorities there described as a burglary tool.
Those records were not made public because of student-privacy laws.
But when Zimmerman defense attorney O'Mara appeared on Kelly’s show two days later, she didn’t seem to have a worry in the world about it.
Do you think politics and race had anything to do with the discrepancy?
Watch it below, from last night’s Duggar interview, Kelly’s May 23, 2013 interview with O’Mara.
His statements about Occam’s Razor continue to avoid the simple truth we’ve already discussed. If anything, it’s ironic to see him over-complicating that discussion, when Occam’s Razor works to avoid that.
Regarding Polanski’s victim, August takes a regrettable approach. He calls her a hypocrite – an outrageous statement that assumes he has moral standing to judge this woman. He fails to understand that there is a significant difference between this woman giving an interview and/or writing a book to tell her story, and being subjected to a media frenzy of right wing pundits reading gory details of Grand Jury testimony about her case on the radio and television. The former is a matter of the victim having a voice and the courage to use it. The latter is a matter of craven media figures stepping over the victim and her family in search of salacious material to put on the air. There isn’t a constant stream of this because there isn’t a seriously pending matter of extradition happening today. But a couple years back, there was a sudden move to try to extradite Polanski that got a lot of publicity and churned up the media machine – during which time Fox News and right wing radio were very much “beating the drums”. This was a great opportunity to condemn Polanski and Hollywood while luxuriating in the nastiest of details of what happened to this woman when she was a young girl. Were another “Hail Mary” attempt to come up to try to suddenly grab Polanski, the right wing media would undoubtedly swing back into gear on the story, picking up right where they left off.
And to be clear, this isn’t a discussion of the DOJ’s efforts to extradite. It’s a discussion about how right wing pundits reacted to such efforts in the past – with sensationalistic coverage that walked all over the victim and her family. And it’s a discussion about how the same pundits now wish to morally condemn that same behavior when it comes to the Duggars and the victims of Duggar’s crimes. For August to accuse the victim here of hypocrisy is unacceptable. To quote the great Joseph Welch, “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
Occam’s Razor neither specifies nor excludes jury verdicts as the simplest explanation of anything. I’m pretty sure someone could take selective facts regarding you, me, or Trayvon and claim Occams razor shows many things, including large numbers of things they wish to be true. Occam’s razor is useful, but it is too often used merely for rhetorical purposes.
As to Polanski’s victim I most certainly recall her statements that she did not want Polanski extradited, nor prosecuted as a fugitive from justice, nor to relive the experience. I do not recall her specifying Fox News coverage in particular to stop reporting,.I do recall her blaming the press in general and the judge in California very specifically. Fortunately it was not Fox or any other part of the press’ call, It was up to the US DOJ, and the attorney general and local prosecutor in the state of California. In any event her desire to avoid publicity did not prevent her from giving an interview to Larry King in 2003 discussing the rape. This was well in advance of the first extradition attempt. A transcript is available online. In addition, her aversion to attention did not impede her memoir (written in 2012, and published in 2013) of her rape and its aftermath . I’m OK with that but I suppose you will, for sake of consistency have to condemn her hypocrisy.
For that matter, the US is still trying to extradite Polanski, with the next court action scheduled in Poland in August of this year. You can look it up. So far as I know Fox is not beating the drums over that but perhaps I am wrong, or they have forsworn such additional hypocrisy. Who knows? Who is it, do you think, that is driving the current effort by the US DOJ to extradite Polanski if not Fox and assorted right wing pundits?
August is also well aware that Trayvon’s confidential records were widely discussed in right wing media as part of an effort to portray him as a criminal thug during the whole George Zimmerman case. August’s hyperbole and strange comments aside, this is a matter of fact. He may not understand the ramifications of it, but that doesn’t change the fact.
August is apparently unaware that Occam’s Razor isn’t a judgment of jury verdicts – it’s a philosophical manner of understanding things in their simplest terms. In this case, we were discussing why George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin and thus wound up on trial. Was it because Trayvon Martin was a criminal thug who engaged in bizarre and contradictory behavior that doesn’t correspond to the witness accounts we have? Or was it because Zimmerman was and is an angry, violent man with a history of violent episodes – stemming from before he killed Martin through to the present day? The latter explanation is the simpler one, and doesn’t require all the logistical gymnastics that the right wing would like to apply. If August isn’t capable of understanding that, one has to wonder if he has truly grasped the point of how Occam’s Razor works.
August also continues to fail to understand that we weren’t discussing “Martin’s guilt lack thereof” – something that nobody was addressing. He fails to understand that nobody was saying that “Roman Polanski is in some way part of some bizarre right wing agenda”. The discussion point was that right wing pundits, including those on Fox News, had no problem smearing Trayvon Martin after death, using confidential records to attack him. The point was that those same pundits had no problem indulging in gory descriptions of the Polanski case, including reading Grand Jury testimony on the air – even after the victim in the case had publicly asked that they stop re-traumatizing her and her family. We should remember that Polanski’s victim is now a mother with a life of her own, who would prefer to not have herself or her own children dragged back through the mud just so that the right wing can moralize about either Polanski or Hollywood. The right wing response during the last time the Polanski stuff got dredged up was typical – they said that she had no right to her privacy, and that it wasn’t up to her whether they publicly dragged her through the muck again. One right wing acquaintance of mine actually stated that the victim should move someplace with no radio or television if she didn’t want to hear about this case – meaning that it’s essentially her fault for being the victim. Obviously, these were shocking statements – but it gets even worse for the right wing when they take the position that the Duggar situation deserves our moral outrage while the other ones didn’t. The right wing can’t have it both ways – they can either stop engaging in this hypocrisy or they can cede the moral high ground and acknowledge that it isn’t something they particularly care about.
August may not like that the right wing has been called out for its hypocritical behavior, but he has yet to be able to present any coherent answer for it. It appears that he would prefer to make irrelevant statements instead. That’s unfortunate, particularly if he was trying to make a case for his own supposed impartiality.
I am also aware of Occam’s razor, which certainly says that the simplest explanation – which is that Zimmerman was found not guilty-indicates he is not in all likelihood, guilty.
You still have failed to address why Martin’s guilt lack therof is a matter of left/right politics, or how the attempted extradition of Roman Polanski is in some way part of some bizarre right wing agenda.
Polanski fled after being judged guilty but before sentencing. He was a wanted fugitive under the administrations of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and that of Barack Obama, who finally had an opportunity to have Polanski arrested and tried to extradite him to the US. Do you contend all of the presidents and attorneys general since his 1977 flight have been part of some sinister right wing plot against Polanski?
Is it even possible to believe such nonsenical and lunatic raving? Well, yes, judging from your insistence that this is somehow a left/right litmus test it must be possible to believe something that loopy.
August also seems to be unaware of Occam’s Razor. As most philosophy students already know, it’s a principle that the simplest explanation tends to be the most accurate one. In the case of George Zimmerman, we have seen a history of rage and violence, dating back years. And we’ve seen a continuing series of incidents over the past couple of years, since the time that the jury was unable to find a guilty verdict in his case. The right wing would like people to believe that Trayvon Martin was a thug who was appropriately killed in self-defense by a decent guy who then got railroaded. Given the history, Occam’s Razor tells us that it’s more likely that Zimmerman was the same angry and violent man he’s always been at the moment he shot Martin to death. Nothing complicated about it. And frankly, nothing political about it either. But the right wing would prefer not to hear that point of view.
But all of this is a side-issue. The point of this discussion is the fact that Fox News and right wing media in general are appropriately being castigated for blatant hypocrisy. They were fine to gossip about Trayvon Martin’s confidential records while his killer was on trial. They were fine to gossip about all the gory details of Roman Polanski’s rape of a minor, even after the girl repeatedly asked them to stop doing so. But they’ve suddenly found their moral compass when it comes to the Duggars? That’s a bit of a reach. And August has no answer for it.
No matter what Fox News did or did not do, I still have no idea what makes this a left/right political fight.
As to Occam’s razor, Brother Occam tells us that we as a society have settled the issue through the legal system, flawed or not, that Zimmerman was not guilty. It doesn’t really matter whether you like that outcome or not. It is done.
I’ll try to be clearer, as what is quite evident seems to be eluding him. The right wing took pains in the case of Trayvon Martin to use anything they could, including confidential records of various allegations, to smear him and attack his character. This was done to bolster the case of George Zimmerman in the public mind, and to take a cheap shot at Martin’s family and sympathizers. Fox News had no problem with causing considerable pain and suffering to Martin’s family – as the right wing considered Martin to be a criminal punk who deserved what happened to him. Right wing media similarly had no issue with re-reading the Roman Polanski case Grand Jury testimony on the air on multiple outlets – even after the victim herself asked for them to stop. The right wing position on that one was to say that it didn’t matter what the victim wanted – they wanted their version of justice.
And yet, today the right wing wants everyone to forget their prior conduct and just go along with a notion that they are truly concerned about the damage being done to the Duggars and the victims here. Their concern for the victims today is not the issue – it’s the moral high horse the right is trying to climb to demonstrate it. Because the right wing doesn’t get to pick and choose when they feel like observing moral principles. To do so, like Megyn Kelly is doing right here, is to demonstrate hypocrisy and frankly, moral bankruptcy. Like I pointed out earlier, if the right wing wishes to not be called out for that, they shouldn’t engage in it.
And it is quite a political statement to declare George Zimmerman innocent. He was not, nor was he found as such by the jury. And it wasn’t the public smearing of Trayvon Martin that led to the jury’s inability to convict Zimmerman – they were sequestered from such influence, as much as the right wing tried to poison that well. It was a situation where some of the jurors were noted after the trial was over to have had biases against Martin and were thus unable to consider Zimmerman guilty of having murdered him. The most vocal juror after the verdict was specifically noted to have such a bias. So Zimmerman was able to get away with what he did. But Zimmerman’s subsequent episodes of uncontrolled rage and violence have borne out what everyone but the right wing noted about him throughout – that he’s an angry, unstable man who is prone to violence. Which, by Occam’s Razor, tends to explain his killing of Trayvon Martin a lot more convincingly than the right wing narrative still being propounded by voices like Sean Hannity. And Hannity and Fox News’ behavior in this area isn’t about personally hurting Trayvon Martin or damaging him in the future – it’s about smearing his name and trying to establish a false narrative of how Martin was a violent punk who deserved to die on that night. That’s a political position, and it’s a bigoted one. If the right wing doesn’t wish to be held accountable for taking it, they shouldn’t behave like this.
I remain baffled what this has to do with liberal v conservative, nor what it has to do with the Duggars.
The Duggar story is creepy; but creepy doesn’t mean you get to publish sealed juvenile records. Again, what left/right politics have to do with the fact that sealed records should be kept sealed eludes me. In terms of effect on the parties, however, there is a clear difference between publishing the sealed record of someone who is living, and someone who is dead and beyond harm. The purpose of sealing juvenile records is simply to keep the errors of youth from contaminating the person’s future. Trayvon’s future prospects are as bleak as they get. I don’t think it will affect his future no matter what is revealed about him. There seems to be some implication the jury was influenced by it. If there is evidence of this a) I don’t know of it, b) I still don’t have the foggiest notion what it has to do with Josh Duggar, and c) I fail to see how it is a political issue in any event.
Zimmerman was found “not guilty” by the jury. He was not found “innocent.” There’s a difference.
Obviously, the Trayvon Martin and Duggar cases are different. But Martin’s private information was supposed to remain private and Kelly showed no outrage over the fact that George Zimmerman’s lawyers were trying to make it public. In fact, she helped them publicize it.
And for the record? Trayvon Martin was never on trial. He was the victim. Zimmerman was found not guilty of his murder, period. He was not found to be justified in killing Martin nor was Martin found to be a thug.
2. See one above.
3. As stated, the critical difference is Martin is dead; and sealing of juvenile records is for the protection of the living. This is not at issue no matter how much you would like it it be, though I do hope you are right and the authorities act on this.
3. Zimmerman was not guilty. After more than a year the feds announced there was no evidence sufficient for federal charges. Unless you think Florida and the US DOJ are part of the nasty right wing you need to make peace with the fact this is res judicata. Whine about something else. 4. The state of California and the US DOJ wanted Polanski, who remains a fugitive, extradited. To think that is a left wing/right wing political issue is delusional. If I am wrong, take it up with that well known right wing nutjob Eric Holder, and the President on whose behalf he was acting.
1. If there’s a legal issue here regarding the Duggar molestation records, that will be handled by the authorities, and not by right wing pundits and bloggers. The point about the hypocrisy over the right’s indignation about the Duggar matter as opposed their indulgence in the Martin matter, stands.
2. The crucial difference between the two cases is that the right wing enjoyed digging into anything about Trayvon Martin that would smear his character and potentially justify Zimmerman’s murder of him. Now that we’re looking at a situation where the right wing is sympathetic to the defendant, the right apparently thinks they can change the rules. They can, but then they open their statements up to the appropriate assessment of hypocrisy. If the right wishes to not be called out for their hypocritical behavior, they shouldn’t engage in it.
3. The fact about Zimmerman is not that he was innocent. The fact about the jury verdict is that jury members acknowledged that Zimmerman had acted improperly but the full jury could not agree that they could convict him based on the limited evidence and the lack of witnesses to assert what had happened. The primary juror who was cited by the right wing has been noted as having demonstrated her own bias in the matter. As was noted at the time, Zimmerman’s own record before he murdered Martin indicated issues with anger and violent tendencies. The right wing attempted to dismiss those issues – until his multiple subsequent episodes made it clear that he continues to be an angry man with violent tendencies. The jury may have been unable to convict Zimmerman on the charge, but that does not mean that he was innocent. The fact is that he initiated a confrontation with Trayvon Martin and during that confrontation, murdered him.
4. The right wing’s hypocrisy over the Polanski case has nothing to do with whether Polanski was a minor or whether the records were sealed. (And for the record, Polanski actually did serve 42 days in prison – something the right wing never notes when they allege he was never punished.) To make it clear for “August”, the right wing is being hypocritical because they are indignant about the Duggar molestation information being released, but they happily enjoyed the details of the Polanski rape being read over right wing radio and television. When Samantha Geimer openly asked to be left alone and to not have this stuff bandied around again, the right wing insisted that she had no right to her privacy on this – that it was more important that Polanski be extradited back to the USA and publicly tried again in the name of “justice for the society”. So Geimer’s specific wish to not be re-traumatized was dismissed by the same right wingers who now decry an identical issue as regards the Duggar molestations. The left has been consistent in their views here – noting that it’s terrible in both cases for the records to be publicly indulged like this. The right has been inconsistent and hypocritical here. Again, if the right wing wishes to avoid being called out for hypocrisy, they should stop engaging in it.
2. There are crucial differences between the two cases, the chief one being one person is dead.
3. Whatever position may have been pre-supposed, the fact is Zimmerman was innocent of the charge.
4. Polanski was not a juvenile, he was a convicted fugitive. Geimer was a juvenile when she was a victim, but the records in the Polanski case were not sealed. Polanski was and is a criminal fugitive, no different from any other such fugitive.
“August” certainly knows that the right wing smears of Trayvon Martin were not intended to hurt him directly, since Zimmerman had already murdered him. The intent was to cause emotional suffering for Martin’s family and for those who were upset that he had been killed in this manner. The Fox News position, along with right wing AM radio, was to pre-suppose a conclusion where Zimmerman would be seen by the right as totally innocent, where Martin would be seen as some kind of vicious punk who deserved to die and where the angry reaction of the community to the verdict would be seen as a typical inability of that group to accept the truth. If anything, the Fox News approach was intended to stir up those animosities – using a particularly unfortunate tack, which was properly noted here as both generally bigoted and specifically of interest for people like Sean Hannity.
It’s interesting that the right wing is suddenly so concerned about the privacy of Duggar’s victims. I actually agree with that concern. Except that the right didn’t show the same concern when they repeatedly focused on Samantha Geimer as part of their regular law-and-order rants against Roman Polanski. Nobody disputed Polanski’s crime – the issue was whether it made sense to repeatedly throw Geimer back into the public spotlight and re-discuss all the awful details again 30 and 40 years after the fact. The left has repeatedly asked the right to stop re-victimizing Geimer, particularly since she’s asked the same herself. The right has refused to listen to this argument, under the idea that somehow a right wing view of justice overrides any concern about the rights of the victim not to be harassed and traumatized.
Somehow, the right wing expects us to forget about their behavior regarding Geimer while they get on their high horse to defend the Duggars. If only wishing made it so.
‘Stupid’ just can’t be fixed, can it?
The Diddling Duggars covered up Josh’s incest in order to save their TV reality show. That was much more important than their daughters’ mental health.
“Do you think politics and race had anything to do with the discrepancy?”
Here’s my answer: IS THE POPE CATHOLIC??