Dinesh puts his foot in it again, this time about Ferguson

Well, this bit of political theater (video below) occurred on “The Steve Malzberg Show,” a Newsmax talk show, last Thursday.  Not only does Dinesh D’Souza compare the American Left’s attitude toward the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri to the behavior of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, but he argues that the Obama Administration has simply decided that Darren Wilson the policeman under investigation for shooting Michael Brown, should be “put up against the wall.”

Based on the news I’ve heard, my own view is that Wilson probably did commit murder or manslaughter, but there’s simply too much prejudgment on the Internet about this affair. I’d prefer to see what evidence comes out in court and let the justice system work it through instead of convicting Wilson before a trial, which seems to be happening at some places I’ll characterize as “blogs.” I reserve judgement—as I did with the first O.J. Simpson case—to disagree with a jury’s verdict, but a jury trial guarantees that a lot of evidence that we don’t know about will be produced and vetted.

But  D’Souza, as always, is simply a jerk. Of course, he’s trying to sell a new book, and controversy helps with right-wing loons like him  and Ann Coulter. And, by the way, why isn’t he in jail yet?

 

h/t: Diana

71 Comments

  1. E.A. Blair
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Maybe he should take a cue from Romney and “self-deport”. I, for one, wouldn’t miss him. On the other hand, in any other country, he probably wouldn’t get the attention he craves but doesn’t deserve.

    • Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      He can’t. He’s due for a prison sentence. His sentencing hearing is in September I believe.

      • GBJames
        Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        You’d think he would totally shut up prior to sentencing. But that would require a bit of common sense, which the fellow just doesn’t seem to have.

  2. dorcheat
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Dinesh’s sentencing date is September 23. According to an old article at politico.com, the sentencing guidelines call for ten to sixteen months of incarceration. Also he will be a convicted felon as well!

  3. Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I strongly suspect that Dinesh D’Crook didn’t “put his foot in it”, at least as far as having done something he didn’t fully intend to do. He’s following the playbook of his old flame, Ann Coulter: the more vile and outrageous the slander, the better his customers like it.

  4. anon
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Confession: Up until he mentioned ISIS and Syria, I thought his points were reasonable if not solid.

    Then he went to Syria and Ferguson and leftists, and yeah, he certainly lost it.

    But anyone else think he made a bit of sense up until then? If not, why not?

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted August 27, 2014 at 1:19 am | Permalink

      Agreed.

  5. Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Long ago, when I first discovered Dinesh, I read biographical information about him that said he attended Dartmouth College. This intrigued me, because I had attended Dartmouth, too.

    Over the years I have repeatedly wondered what classes and courses Dinesh attended, because he certainly wouldn’t have received a passing grade in any I took. Somewhere along the line he must have stuck his head into a microwave while he using it to make scrambled eggs, because he seems to have ended up with a generous serving of scrambled brains.

    • J Smith
      Posted August 25, 2014 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Laura Ingraham is also from Dartmouth. Is there collusion going on?

  6. Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    If you think the Michael Brown shooting looks bad, this one is looking incredible!

    • Rick B
      Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      WARNING! There is a video in that link that autoplays! If I want to watch or listen to a video I want to choose when it starts.

  7. Barry Lyons
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Yes, good question: why ISN’T he in jail? I guess we’ll just have to wait a bit longer to see that happen.

  8. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Nice false equivalency. In what universe does looting = beheading? Please never let this man serve on a jury (maybe his record will prevent such a thing).

    And why is this all Obama’s fault? How has Obama decided this man is guilty? Is there some White House press release I missed? Why did Obama sanction sending in the military? To show how guilty the guy was? Puhleeeese Dinesh, if you’re going to make accusations, show some evidence.

    • quiscalus
      Posted August 25, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Those on the “liberal” left media have made their own intellectually dishonest comparisons, boldly stating that Ferguson resembled Fallujah. Can’t let a good tragedy go to waste, eh? Not when there’s money, book sales, or ratings involved.

      btw, does anyone else feel slightly dirty for watching that RWW news clip? I’m gonna go wash my hands and brush my teeth for good measure…

      • mecwordpress
        Posted August 25, 2014 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        “Those on the “liberal” left media have made their own intellectually dishonest comparisons, boldly stating that Ferguson resembled Fallujah.”

        Citation?

        • quiscalus
          Posted August 25, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          I think the non-a-hole way of asking would be something like, “where did you hear that?!” and I’d reply, on NPR last weekend, but I don’t remember which program, might have been On the Media, but I doubt you really want a citation, just an argument.

        • quiscalus
          Posted August 25, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, let me step back a second, and check my attitude. I don’t know why I was so snippy.

          You may very well have been wondering where I heard that comment without any malice, so, let me say again that I think it was NPR On the Media, with Brooke Gladstone, last Sunday on my local station, but I could be wrong. I’ve been taking note on the language being used to describe the incident, from both left and right and finding no middle ground, no reasonable discussions, no waiting to hear more evidence. I have lost so much respect for NPR over this and the Martin/Zimmerman fiasco. I had hoped for better, less biased reporting but it ain’t happening.

          • GBJames
            Posted August 25, 2014 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

            Since we’re in the domain of vague memory, it seems that vague supposition might be relevant. I’m speculating a comparison based on the appearance of military equipment. The point of such a comparison would be to call to mind the absurdity of transferring large amounts of military surplus to domestic policing.

            My speculation seems less dramatic than your vague memory, but without more factual support for your case, I’ll go with my version.

            • quiscalus
              Posted August 26, 2014 at 5:08 am | Permalink

              Sorry, I didn’t realize I was up for my thesis defense!

              Now, here’s a link, although not the one I was thinking of, where Ferguson is compared to Fallujah, although it was probably still from NPR where I heard the story:

              http://www.politico.com/story/2014/08/emanuel-cleaver-ferguson-reaction-110139.html

              The sad part is that I have voted for Cleaver, repeatedly, and yes, it was the military-style arms, uniforms, and vehicles used by the police that would have led to the comparison.

              Interestingly, I found, as anyone vaguely familiar with the internet and search engines could have, that an Infowars twit, talking to a Iraq combat vet said the same thing, so bully for him too!

              But, however, I’m really not sure how you think my original statement was “dramatic”. The drama was solely that of Cleaver and the media, which was exactly what they wanted. That was my point. An excess of drama being drummed up to support one side’s unbalanced opinion.

              • GBJames
                Posted August 26, 2014 at 6:33 am | Permalink

                How you can blame the media and Cleaver for the “drama” and not events on the street is a mystery to me.

                I guess if you don’t talk about policing failures like Ferguson then you are somehow “balanced”.

              • quiscalus
                Posted August 26, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

                How can I blame the media and not the events on the street? Well, I’m not putting the blame solely on the media, but my original post was in fact ABOUT media. If you peruse my longer post further down in the comment section, you’ll find that I blame pretty much everyone involved, the liberal and conservative media, the police, the citizens of Ferguson, politicians and so on. I think this whole thing is a huge cock-up by all involved, but I do feel that the media has enjoyed helping to stir up the shit storm, not that they limit their obsessions with race, as is evidenced by the constant and overwhelming coverage of every tiny tidbit of information following the Boston bombing, even when it included pure speculation rather than actual fact. But, in fairness, it is in the end the fault of the news consumer who tunes into this tripe.

                So, to recap, my post was about media outlets that I usually respect, about a bombastic and over the top statement by an elected official (whom I have voted for more than once) and that the media was feeding the problem because it is good for their business model.

                Now, I’m sure you’ll try to find yet another problem with my post, seeing as you’ve learned your discussion skills from creationists and the whack-a-mole style favored by them. This was meant as a simple post about something I personally found disturbing and exceptionally over the top, not meant as an opening salvo to an official debate, research paper, thesis defense, or otherwise. I’m done discussing this. Do go find someone else to bother.

              • GBJames
                Posted August 26, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

                “seeing as you’ve learned your discussion skills from creationists and the whack-a-mole style favored by them”.

                Finishing with a flourish and a smear! Keep it classy, quiscalus!

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted August 26, 2014 at 6:06 am | Permalink

              Have you seen John Oliver’s brilliant take? If you have, you should watch it again because the brilliant take is brilliant! The research is very good.

    • Posted August 25, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      I suppose you probably already know this, but D’Souza is just one very vocal member of a club that exists in American society that thinks the following equation is unquestionably true in every circumstance.

      Any problem on earth = Obama’s fault

      The willingness of the American public to believe the most outlandish criticisms of their political opponents is a near constant source of disappointment.

      • Another Tom
        Posted August 25, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        This is why my Cards Against Humanity set has a “__________, thanks Obama” black card.

      • E.A. Blair
        Posted August 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        To be fair, I used to blame George W. Bush for every little disaster. Cat urped up a hairball? Bush’s fault. Got a paper cut? Same.

        The difference? a) I never went public with these lame accusations; b) It was a joke.

  9. ladyatheist
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Racial stories bring out the best in TV news!

    That’s why they’re not covering the murder of a (white) schizophrenic teenager who had already been tazed and was restrained. How does someone become a cop and not know how to disarm someone with a screwdriver? I took krav maga for 2 years and I know how to do that, especially on someone who’s been tazed. sheesh

    • Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      I’m not uncritical of the British police – and it’s not too long since we had our own riots triggered by the police shooting of a young black man – but when Lee Rigby was hacked to death in the street the police still managed to capture his murderer alive.

    • Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      That article mentions two others:

      Too often, the mentally ill are on the other end of the barrel. Just last month, police fired 15-20 rounds at a schizophrenic man who they mistook for drunk, killing him. The month before that, in a similar incident to Vidal’s, a mentally ill man carrying a shovel was gunned down by police after his mother called them for help calming him down.

      It’s not a black or white thing, it’s that people don’t riot for the mentally ill.

      • ladyatheist
        Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        …because good riddance?

        • Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          A lot of people are afraid of being tainted if they associate themselves with mental health issues. It’s sort of like when straight people wouldn’t march for gay rights in case people thought they were gay.

          • Diane G.
            Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

            Not all straight people. Gay rights would never have achieved what it has without the support of many straights.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted August 26, 2014 at 6:40 am | Permalink

              My friend had a button in the 90s that read, “straight but not narrow”. I thought that was witty.

            • Posted August 26, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

              As far as I can tell this is more or less a historical law: victims of oppression seem to require “support” from those on the outside to get things to critical mass.

              For example, there had to be abolishionists, not just former slaves, speaking out against slavery.

              (Incidentally, I have discovered another possible law of ethical history: that ethical advances happen by people being shown their appeals to universalism really do include X for some heretofore excluded X.)

              • GBJames
                Posted August 26, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

                It is a bit of a tautology, of course. Given minority status and minority exclusion, the only possible way to change things is to get some of the majority to support the cause.

                The very definition of “change things” requires support from at least some of the majority.

              • Posted August 28, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

                Not necessarily. This is one reason some people oppose direct democracy, on the off chance that representatives are more enlightened than their constituents. Similarly for enlightened monarchs, etc.

      • Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Incidentally, shooting someone for being drunk is no more acceptable than shooting them for being mentally ill.

      • quiscalus
        Posted August 25, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        and there’s also the issue of “blue-icide” if I’m spelling that correctly, which, with overwhelming numbers of mentally ill PTSD soldiers, has seen an uptick since the Iraq/Afghan wars. As I understand it, blud-icide is where people essentially confront the cops in a violent manner in order, knowing full well they will be gunned down. This says a lot about our mental health system, our police training, and our overall acceptance of the use of violent force to “keep the peace”.

        • Diane G.
          Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

          I usually hear that called “suicide by cop.”

      • Posted August 25, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        “police fired 15-20 rounds at a schizophrenic man who they mistook for drunk, killing him”

        As though shooting someone 15-20 times for being drunk is reasonable. I bounced at some of the skeeviest punk bars in the southeastern United States all through college. I’d have to use both hands to count the number of times a skinhead came after me with a broken bottle. I’ve had to deal with some of the rowdiest and recalcitrant individuals you can imagine a lot of whom were on way more drugs than just alcohol. I had no more legal authority than anyone else and I was usually prohibited by municipal ordinance from carrying any type of weapon, not that I would anyway. I was able to defuse situation after situation rarely ever having to throw a punch. Anyone who needs 20 rounds of ammunition to subdue a drunk is doing it wrong.

        • Posted August 25, 2014 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

          . . . most recalcitrant . . .

        • aljones909
          Posted August 26, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          “police fired 15-20 rounds at a schizophrenic man who they mistook for drunk, killing him”

          The London police fired a total of 15 rounds (in earnest) over a 4 year period.

          • Posted August 27, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

            Contrast that with 9 fatal police involved shootings of individuals who were not armed by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in 2012. So a metropolitan capitol city like London with millions of residents and the police fire off 15 rounds in a 4-year period as compared to a department that polices 15-20 bedroom community municipalities in South Florida with a population of a few hundred thousand. Add that to the fact that we are a staunch “stand your ground” state and I’m seriously considering buying kevlar underwear.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Recently a guy had a little knife in Toronto and a cop (an experienced cop at that) emptied his clip into him. So terrible and really crazy.

      • merilee
        Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Was that the kid on the streetcar?

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted August 25, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

          Yeah that’s the one. He was exiting the bus and everything and complying to orders.

          • merilee
            Posted August 25, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

            Very sad.

  10. Peter Gruett
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I agree that there’s been an awful lot of jumping to conclusions about this case on the internet but let’s remember that your (and my) preferred outcome of waiting for a jury trial would never have happened without the public outcry.

    I haven’t scoured the news today but, as far as I know, Wilson still hasn’t been charged with anything. If this hadn’t caused riots, the possibility of a charge wouldn’t even exist. The matter would have been ‘investigated’ by the same department that’s acquitted itself so well in the aftermath. The shooting would’ve been deemed justified and Micheal Brown forgotten.

    • ladyatheist
      Posted August 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      I think it would have been investigated without riots, but perhaps not internally. It certainly doesn’t take riots to get justice done elsewhere, but we don’t know that because CNN only reports on riots (or causes them)

    • Posted August 25, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      That’s very probably true.

  11. NewEnglandBob
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    D’Souza is such a lying pig. He accuses people of saying/doing exactly the opposite of what they say.

    Reich-wing people like him and Coulter have no ethics whatsoever.

  12. merilee
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    sub

  13. david
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    D’souza is an ass, but he’s right about the involvement of Obama and Holder. The DOJ does indeed have the responsibility to make sure the Ferguson police properly investigate the matter, but it’s absurd to send White House delegates to the funeral, which gives the message that the federal government presumes Wilson’s guilt.

    • NewEnglandBob
      Posted August 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Sending White House delegates to the funeral is an attempt to calm the situation, not take sides.

      Otherwise you can say the same thing about Jesse Jackson’s attendance and others.

      • david
        Posted August 25, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        Oh, but I do say the same about Jackson, Sharpton and their ilk. They instinctively take the side of the racial minority, regardless of the facts of the case, and I think they do so for the rather pernicious reason of wanting to further their careers as professional umbrage-takers. I sincerely believe that Sharpton is secretly happy when something like this occurs.

        I will grant that Obama, Holder, et al have a role to play in calming the situation, and that Obama’s status as the first black president even gives him a special duty to do so. But sending delegates to the funeral will not do that because Wilson and his supporters will inevitably perceive it as taking sides. When a large portion of whites believes Brown was justifiably shot, how can that not be the perception?

        By the way, lest it seem like I am taking sides myself, I am not. I agree with Jerry that Wilson is very likely guilty of something, though I lean towards manslaughter rather than murder. However, that has not yet been established, and anything that gives the appearance of the President of the United States taking sides is totally inappropriate.

        • Aelfric
          Posted August 25, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

          This is a bit of “inside baseball,” if you will, but can you explain to me why you lean towards manslaughter? I would lean towards either murder or acquittal; I can’t conceive of a scenario which amounts to manslaughter here. In Missouri, the relevant provision for voluntary manslaughter (I don’t think involuntary is applicable at all) is: “[A person] Causes the death of another person under circumstances that would constitute murder in the second degree under subdivision (1) of subsection 1 of section 565.021, except that he caused the death under the influence of sudden passion arising from adequate cause.” The classic adequate cause taught in law school is finding the deceased in bed with one’s spouse. I cannot think of what might suffice as “adequate cause” in the stories of either the Ferguson P.D. or the eyewitnesses–if Officer Wilson legitimately feared for his life, he is guilty of no offense. If he did not, I see no adequate cause and he’s guilty of murder. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

          • NewEnglandBob
            Posted August 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

            if Officer Wilson legitimately feared for his life, he is guilty of no offense. If he did not, I see no adequate cause and he’s guilty of murder.

            I agree, if that’s the case, except that it depends on when the shots were fired. Those in the vehicle could be differentiated from those out of the vehicle and how far apart the two people were.

            I am waiting for the results of investigations or a court case before I will have an opinion.

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted August 26, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

              I don’t get why the response of a police officer to an unarmed person is six bullets. Imo, a taser would have done the job, and no-one would be dead.

  14. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    The bizarre thing about Dinesh D is that his first book from a major publisher had a thin veneer of rationality to it and it bought him street cred in major journalism. D’Souza then spiraled down to crazier and crazier. His book and film on Obama don’t have one iota of truth in them- they are just fully delusional.

    That slightly semi-credible book was “Illiberal Education”. It got some cautiously favorable reviews in some progressive publications. It was the very first look at excessive political correctness in academia. A far superior book on the same subject was published a few years later “The Shadow University” by Alan Kors and Harvey Silvergate. Kors was one of my favorite history profs at U Penn.

    Kind liberal reviewers of DD’s “IE” might have been less kind if they’d looked at his earlier little-known bio of Jerry Falwell from a small religious publisher. His website used to have an allegedly complete bibliography not just books for sale and it omitted this scurrilous book.

    In fact, while it’s really 2% vs 0%, I would even say Alex Jones’ film on Obama has more truth in it then the film DD made.

    IMO a similar publishing trajectory was taken by Michael Medved.

  15. quiscalus
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I had enjoyed taking a break from the Ferguson debacle, seeing as all sides are pretty much letting their emotions and prejudices run rampant. I’ve tried not to comment on it; I’ve seen no good side of it anywhere, especially from the twin publicity whores of Rev’s. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. I won’t excuse the police, who do seem to have some serious issues,especially in regards to their trigger fingers, nor will I excuse the “good citizens” with their “no justice no peace” mentality, claiming it’s only the out-of-towners who are rioting and looting, and I sure as hell won’t excuse the various media outlets throwing more fuel on the fire because it makes a good story, I won’t excuse the right for their usual racism, nor the left for their dubious “liberal’ views that Brown was an innocent little lovable giant who wouldn’t hurt a fly (store clerks don’t count, I guess).

    The TED talk you posted a week or two ago, though it was about campus rape, could be extended to cover situations like this one, where emotional prejudices on all sides gets in the way. I, too, will wait for the trial, even though our court system isn’t about justice, or truth, or fact, but revenge backed by “proof beyond a reasonable doubt”, held up by lawyers cherry-picking facts and marshaling evidence to support the predetermined opinion of whomever hired them. Of course, “justice” is already tainted in this case. The fear of more rioting, looting, and arson will hang like a dark and ominous cloud over the courtroom, as it did with OJ.

    My country tis of the, land of hypocrisy, at the I scream…

  16. Posted August 25, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Ah, Jerry. He’s not in jail yet because of the justice process.

  17. J Smith
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    I just wonder if D’souza has ever been right about anything? From his conspiratorial fantasies about Obama, boast about the greatness of Christianity and proofs of gods existence and of life after death, I really wonder. Then there’s all his boneheaded debates with atheists like Christopher Hitchens where he was royally pwned, but didn’t seem to notice.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 26, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      He was right once by my counts.

      • GBJames
        Posted August 26, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        I went back to that posting. I feel icky now, agreeing with D’souza.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted August 26, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I couldn’t believe I was agreeing with him either. It was like bizarro world.

  18. onceupona
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    While “wait and see” and “let our judicial system decide” sounds very wise and fair, I think the fact that the predominance of young black men who get sent to jail for the same offence that a young white man will not even get a ticket for (drugs use anyone?) gives testimony to the fact that our judicial system is fundamentally NOT fair. And waiting and seeing does not mean that justice will be done. Even if Michael Brown had just robbed a store (and it sounds like he may have done), that doesn’t mean he deserved to be shot the way he was.

    If young white men were being shot, killed and taken to jail with the same frequency of young black men in this country then perhaps we’d not all be so trusting of our police force(s) and things would change in this country.

    And yes I am the (white) mother of a young black man and I worry about what will happen to him when he is out at night because the police DO treat him differently then they treated my brothers OR me.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 26, 2014 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      CBC had a really good radio call in show titled The Talk about being that you might be interested i listening to. Below is the description from the site:

      Clashes over the shooting of Michael Brown aren’t just about life in Missouri. It hits close to home for many black families. An open lines on the Talk you’ve had with your kids about being black.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 26, 2014 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      Oops, deletion error – you see what I mean & the link works though.

  19. Sean
    Posted August 26, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I firmly believe that Ann Coulter is a piece of performance art. Andy Kaufman style.

    Has to be right?


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