At times it looks like this country has lost its moral compass. That is because basic concepts like due process, the presumption of innocence, and a person's constitutional rights get plowed under by the "rush to judgement" mentality that runs amok here.
Sean Avery's arrest in LA on August 5th provides more evidence that most people in the media practice a "rush to judgement" and pure speculation approach to journalism. And bloggers are no better. Waiting for the facts to be verified and perhaps doing some basic investigative journalism gets tossed out in favor of taking snarky shots and making wild speculation about someone, who it turns out was falsely accused of a crime.
This has become standard operating procedure for the media and most bloggers. The Duke lacrosse case was another example of a rush to judgement, damn the facts. The mainstream media had three Duke lacrosse players convicted of a brutal gang rape in short order. This despite a boatload of evidence that eventually proved they were framed by a serial lying prostitute, who is now in jail for murder, and a DA who wanted to win an election in order to max out his pension. He also went to jail. However, these boys had their reputations damaged forever by the smear campaign waged by the mainstream media led by the NY Times.
There is also the recent Dominique Strauss-Kahn case, where again a fancy pants French guy gets the bum's rush to a rape conviction by everyone in the media. But wait, it turns out the accuser in this case has some issues too. The accusing maid, Nafissatou Diallo, also appears to be an opportunistic serial liar.
So it it should not be surprising that the lynch mob formed quickly when Avery was busted in LA. Let's pile-on the bad boy gone bad. Gossipmonger TMZ certainly led the lynch mob with their apparently made up accusation that Avery challenged cops to a fight and he taunted them, by calling them, "fat little pigs."
Making stories up is what TMZ is good at and bloggers just lap it up. But, you would think the mainstream media would verify that kind of accusation. No, not the Rupert Murdoch owned, ethically challenged NY Post; their motto: trust TMZ, verify nothing.
Did any of the mainstream media attempt to interview anyone else who was at the LA party and might have witnessed the incident? Doesn't look like it. Why lift a finger to check a story when TMZ has it all verified?
Here at the RangerPundit we identified via Twitter that Avery's girlfriend, Hillary Rhoda, and model Heidi Mount were probably at the party. Did anyone attempt to interview them. Nope, doesn't look like it. Why seek out the facts when speculation is so much easier. Does anyone give a damn about the truth anymore, or is that some quaint concept from the olden days?
The Larry Brooks guilt-presuming story in the NY Post back on August 7th is an especially nice hatchet job. The story, entitled "Confrontation with police can't end well for Rangers' Avery," is a 723 word character assassination of Avery. Among other things Brooks says the following:
Avery has spoken with both Garden CEO Jim Dolan and Rangers president/general manager Glen Sather. One supposes Avery has apologized privately to the two men who, truth be told, are the reason he has a job in New York, which is to say are the reason he has a job in the NHL...Here Brooks is speculating that Avery "apologized privately" to Dolan and Sather because he was guilty. Brooks also writes:
Harm has been done here, not to the Rangers or the NHL necessarily, but to Avery, and it's self-inflicted...The harm that has been done is to the presumption of innocence by Brooks. Brooksie concludes with this indictment:
Avery has a place on the Rangers as long as he can contribute. But there is no excuse for what happened in Laurel Canyon on Friday night, whether it was criminal or not.Again, what exactly did Avery do? He held a private house party that got a little noisy and a police officer tripped. It was not criminal and when did we give up the right to have noisy house parties in this country? Larry should rename the column "Cheap Shots" instead of Slapshots.
No excuse at all.
Where was Larry today when the report came that the battery charge against Avery was dropped? Nowhere to be heard or read. The NY Post ran the newswire story that the Avery was cleared. Let's see if Larry "lynch mob" Brooks makes a peep about Avery's innocence.
Another one to turn to unwarranted speculation on the Avery incident was the Yahoo Puck Daddy, Greg Wyshynski. He wrote:
And hey, a high-profile NHL player getting arrested for battery in August has become a semi-annual tradition -- it's just that Avery wasn't in the back of a Buffalo cab.Wyshynski dribbles a little slime on Avery and goes with his speculation that "this feels like your classic late-night party screw up." Why wait for more facts and why question the reputable TMZ? Let's just go with our gut in these situations, right? A good guess might be right half the time. Thank you very much Puck Daddy.
This feels like your classic late-night party screw up. Trouble is that when you're Sean Avery and your critics are always sharpening their knives, this isn't the type of news that simply lingers in the police blotter....
That said, we are impressed that Avery challenged the cops to a fight -- sorry, a FIGHT -- and apparently didn't immediately turtle.
This snarky rush to judgement attitude was evident across the blogosphere.
Here is a sample of some of the junk that went up online:
Melt Your Face Off blog:
The C**knocker, Behind Bars
Sean Avery Arrested For Assulting LA Cop --
he [Avery] goes all in with his NHL career by assaulting an LA cop. Rodney King salutes you, Sean, as long as you tone down those racist taunts. And we all know you’re the gayest straight athlete that has ever lived, so stay strong in the LA big house. I know it’s gonna be tough without your Vogue and Cosmo, but there’s plenty of a** play to go around. Nighty night, keep your b**thole tight!NHL Feed:
Sean Avery goes to jail --
NHL tough guy and noted d***he bag Sean Avery reportedly spent 7 hours in a California jail yesterday, after he was arrested out side his home for ‘battery of a police officer’. What a classy guy. If there was one NHL player that is straight up dumb enough to push a cop, my vote would have to be for Sean Avery...Pitiful...
"Where Do I Go To Get My Reputation Back?"— the question asked by Ray Donovan, Reagan's Labor Secretary, after he was found not guilty of corruption charges