Thursday, August 30, 2007

 

Great Moments in Self-Pity

The death of Richard Jewell reminds us of the dangers to individuals of a careless and spiteful government (and the headline seeking cadre of professional journalists that abets them). Nothing about his life ever gave cause for the horrific indignities inflicted on him by our government and the breathless media that made him a household name.

Mr. Jewell wasn’t a wealthy man nor particularly educated. But he knew he didn’t do what many suspected him of. And he knew enough that it was still the state that had to prove he did it. To his credit, he didn’t capitulate and eventually he was cleared. R.I.P.

Now let’s contrast that story with a story of apparent greed and hubris:

“California plaintiff's lawyer William S. Lerach yesterday told his partners that he would resign this week to resolve a long-running criminal investigation into his tactics and business practices.” Lerach to Leave Law Firm As He Tries to End Probe

The suspicion in this case is that “…he and colleagues paid millions of dollars to clients in exchange for their agreeing to be plaintiffs in securities lawsuits against some of the nation's largest companies.”

This major Democratic donor then sent out the requisite farewell memo to his current law firm:

"Now that I have outlasted Karl Rove, John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzalez [sic], it is time for me to retire…But I’ve also always understood that when you spend decades challenging powerful interests, the powerful interests will fight back with a vengeance.”

Well, perhaps but from my vantage point, Mr. Lerach is a “powerful interest” in his own right and even he admits in his memo to “mistakes”. If he is innocent of the suspected wrongdoings, I would expect a man as rich and educated as him to take advantage of all the rights afforded him. But any kind of plea deal on his part would seem to indicate that the most prominent powerful interest fighting back at him “with a vengeance” is the one staring back at him while shaving in the morning.

Comments:
It's interesting isn't it that the Post can't resist taking potshots against Jewell in the obit. OK so maybe he was on the fringes of law enforcement. The fact that at a critical moment he acted decisively should have outweighed all but a cursory mention of his troubles.
 
You're absolutely right SD - maybe they figure such factoids give some cover to the journalistic slop that passed for press coverage back then.
 
This is much better.
 
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