A matter of opinion

There isn’t one news channel I prefer.  In fact overall I have to say I don’t particularly like any one of them.  Apart from the tolerable retail angle (making money), the news channels are no different from any writer. They all want to be heard.  For the time being we’ve generally got what is called the news media (to which all broadcasters belong, feigning to be factual and unbiased).  And then there is FOX NEWS which is blatantly fulfilling a purpose beyond reporting the news.  It seems that adoption of opinion is a safer ground for cultivating one’s audience than relating the facts.

Gregg Jarrett is a Fox News legal analyst and commentator, and formerly worked as a defense attorney and adjunct law professor.

In mid-May 2014, Jarrett requested a leave of absence from Fox for personal reasons. His leave was granted and he was replaced by other journalists with no date set for his return. Jarrett was arrested in May 2014 by Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport police, who were called to an airport bar after reports that Jarrett seemed intoxicated and acted belligerently. Jarrett was booked into Hennepin County Jail and charged with misdemeanor interfering with a police officer as being “belligerent and uncooperative” and released on a $300 bond. Jarrett pleaded guilty in July 2014 to disorderly conduct in connection with the incident. CNN reported that Jarrett’s arrest occurred right after Jarrett had checked out of a rehabilitation facility and was dealing with “personal issues”. Jarrett returned to Fox News before the end of 2014.

The latest article by Jarrett is fraught with loaded guns and assorted ammunition.  If he has succeeded to anything it is the assessment of behaviour on convoluted premises with inadequate – though admittedly colourful – conclusions. Essentially his logic amounts to inductive leaps all of which just happen to respect the FOX NEWS model of supporting the latest Republican kerfuffle. The only convincing assertion Jarrett failed to make about the judge in this case is, “You’re ugly too!”

Otherwise we have a battery of calumny such as “insufferable Cohen, who is a convicted liar who went to prison”,  “If polling data is correct, Americans are offended by this big top spectacle”, “When the election drew near, Stormy Daniels ratcheted up her greedy scheme to profit from Trump by threatening to go public about a supposed affair, which he denied”, “More to the point, it is not a crime for Trump to know about a non-crime. That would be a senseless syllogism”, “There is, however, no mystery behind Alvin Bragg’s politically driven prosecution of Trump. Out of thin air, the DA conjured up expired misdemeanors, dumped them into a Cuisinart, tossed in a garbage state statute that doesn’t apply to a federal election, hit the ‘puree’ button, and then poured out an absurd concoction of faux felonies”, “It was booked in Trump’s private business records as ‘legal expenses’ because that is what they were. Nothing was falsified” and finally, “…the infamous ‘Access Hollywood’ tape. It has no bearing on the case, mind you, except to smear Trump with irrelevant and prejudicial information”.   So basically, Trump is right because I say so! Judging by Jarrett’s “senseless syllogism” and “faux felonies” I think it is pretty clear what clothes the king is wearing. And lest there be any dispute whatsoever, Jarrett takes his swan-song dive by saying, “So, where exactly is the crime? To quote a memorable line from ‘Shakespeare In Love’, “I don’t know…it’s a mystery!”

Reading about the identical story on another news channel doesn’t afford an entirely refreshed look at things. We just get another more cogent examination of the details without the rhetoric and without Jarrett’s so-called “absurd concoction of faux felonies” which I found to be a more gratifying gastronomic invention than anything else. What however works for Jarrett more than any of the legal dissection is the plain truth that voters are more interested in platform than private behaviour (though punctuated by ad hominem slur for good measure).

In the end, it didn’t seem to matter much to voters who were more invested in policy ideas rather than personal issues. The unlikeable Hillary Clinton was also a factor.

Although it is often difficult to find mutuality among voters, it is almost inescapable human nature to tolerate the inadequacy of others; viz., “We all make mistakes!” And I suppose if indeed we do, it isn’t beyond any one of us to seek to hide those mistakes. As a result, we are back to where we began.  The petty mistakes of cheating, lying about it, trying to hide it, have no relevance to the greater ambition of being elected to the office of president of the United States of America. And the standard, “I plead the Fifth” is of little improvement to the overall infection.

Meanwhile we’re left with conflicting opinions, nothing else, nothing more probative even though unquestionably persuasive.  Upon further examination of FOX NEWS headlines, most others address stories with shocking detail such as, “Fisherman hooks prehistoric 200-pound alligator snapping turtle before catching monster alligator gar.” Rivetting!