Showing 1 - 4 of 4 posts found matching keyword: crime
Wednesday 5 April 2023
What's interesting to me about the New York State charges against a certain former American president is that all 34 counts stem not from having done something illegal but from having done that something in an illegal way.
To illustrate this point with a hyperbolic example, let's say I have $100 in a bank account. It's perfectly fine for me to withdraw my $100 from an ATM. It's altogether another thing for me to walk in with a gun and yell, "Give me my $100!" Just ask O.J. Simpson.
In this case, what's particularly funny is that if they had simply opened their checkbook and paid the former porn star her extortion money without the sideways "catch and kill" shenanigans, it would have been just another drop in the bucket of shitty things he's done, and he probably still would have become the "grab 'em by the pussy" president anyway. (Remember: the FBI confirmed they were still investigating his opponent 11 days before the election! America hates Hillary Clinton.)
By involving a fixer (who openly claims that the purpose of the payment was to aid a presidential campaign) and a publisher (who has reportedly testified to a grand jury that the purpose of the payment was to aid a presidential campaign) and lying about the purpose of the payment to accountants, he's gone out of his way to make things much harder on himself than they had to be. There's certainly a lesson here for other people who wish to make under-the-table hush money payouts to cover up extramarital affairs.
No matter what your definition of the word "is" is, it's never the crime; it's always the cover-up.
Tuesday 12 May 2020
Partial transcript of press briefing by the ACTUAL President of the United States on May 11, 2020:
Q: Mr. President, in one of your Mother's Day tweets, you appeared to accuse President Obama of "the biggest political crime in American History, by far." Those were your words. What crime exactly are you accusing President Obama of committing, and do you believe the Justice Department should prosecute him?
PRESIDENT: Obamagate. It's been going on for a long time. It's been going on from before I even got elected, and it's a disgrace that it happened, and if you look at what's gone on and you look at now all of this information that's being released and from what I understand, that's only the beginning. Some terrible things happened, and it should never be allowed to happen in our country again. And you'll be seeing what's going on over the next — over the coming weeks, and I wish you would write honestly about it. But unfortunately you choose not to do so.
Yeah, John, please.
Q: What is the crime, exactly, that are you accusing him of?
PRESIDENT: You know what the crime is. The crime is very obvious to everybody. All you have to do is read the newspapers. Except yours.
He keeps using that word, "crime." I don't think it means what he thinks it means.
(I also don't think he can read, but that's a different issue.)
Seriously, we are well into year three of this bullshit, and it still blows my mind that the so-called leader of the free world can stand in his front lawn and say dumb shit like this and everyone acts like it's business as usual.
If there's anything that should never be allowed to happen in our country again.... You know what it is.
Friday 29 July 2011
Earlier this week, three years to the day since I ran a blog post substituting him as the comic book hero Sub-Mariner, Alex Trebek injured both of his legs -- including a torn Achilles tendon -- while running down a burgler. Coincidence? (It was also 5 days after his 71st birthday.)
There are two ways to approach this story. Either heroic Alex Trebek was foiled during his valiant attempt to apprehend a crafty purloiner, or septuagenarian Alex Trebek was injured during a bungled try at catching a petty crook. I'm pretty sure you know where I stand on this issue.
I pity the poor contestants in next year's Jeopardy! episodes. "Oh, you ran a marathon? Well, I was in a footrace last year to catch criminals." "Bone marrow transplant, you say? During the surgery to repair my torn ACL, I distracted myself from the pain by giving the surgeon French elocution lessons." "You solved the national debt crisis? When I was in court for burglery, not only was I the expert witness, I was also the arresting officer, bailiff, and court stenographer."
That burgler must not have know from whom she was stealing. Alex Trebek is a national treasure.
Thursday 1 June 2006
I was complaining the other day about the preponderance of Crime Investigation shows on television. It seems that every other primetime TV show is about how to solve a crime or how to get into the mind of a killer. CSI (pick a city), Law and Order (pick a subject), Criminal Minds, Navy NCIS, Bones, Numb3rs, Without a Trace... Clearly, America really craves this sort of show.
Despite my irritation, the "police drama" is nothing new to television. Dragnet is the grandfather of the genre on TV and deserves its accolades. However, Jack Webb was obsessed with realism and truth at the expense of entertainment value. Webb's Dragnet has more in common with today's "reality television" Cops than with any of the shows that I listed above.
Today's police dramas are more T. J. Hooker than Joe Friday. They play fast and loose with technology and procedure in order to craft a more dramatic storyline. Computers can run DNA tests in just under an hour, digital images can be focused to provide a crystal clear magnification, and putting yourself in the figurative shoes of a deranged killer, while stressful, always achieves a tidy solution. (So, turning our police into a group of coordinated, sadistic serial killers is a good thing, then?)
Granted, television is now and always has been about formula. People watch TV to relax and be entertained. Television shows with successful formulas are always predictable and therefore lucrative. (In time, even the innovative, creative shows like Hill Street Blues or NYPD Blue, both very similar to begin with, probably because they had the same creators, develop predictable plot patterns.) And police cases are very formulaic by nature: a crime is committed, the police investigate, suspects are identified then culled, and the guilty party is finally determined based on evidence gathered. Anyone who can't turn that process into an hour long drama doesn't even need to be writing for USA Today.
My concern is not so much with the fact that modern TV has turned to so many make believe crime dramas. (TV has always been rife with fantasy police detectives on shows ranging from Burke's Law to Miami Vice.) What bothers me is that there are now so many of them on the air at once. Every night of the week there are hours of television devoted purely to police stories. In recent years, a police drama -- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation -- has ranked in Nielson as the #1 rated show of the year, something that a police drama has never done before in television history. Why does America suddenly want to see so much crime get solved? Is this another, prolonged reaction to 9/11? If we can't win the war in Iraq, at least we get to see some schlub go to jail on TV based on pubic hair evidence? >Ick.< Or is it something closer to home? As a generation grows up addicted to the internet and traditional socital mores are failing to take root in an impersonal environment, could our neighbors in fact be the very beasts that we see on the evening news raping our children and killing our grandparents? Quick, everyone, grab a pirchfork and bolt your doors! Save us, TV!
America, I propose a change. If it's escapism that you want, I say it is escapism that you should get. Let's abandon all of this pretend crime and turn back to the absurdist fiction of Fantasy Island of The Gong Show. Wait, I see that you're ahead of me. Thank you, television, for giving us Lost and American Idol (which actually suplanted CSI as the number one rated show last year). Now we can forget about all that crime and turn back to the things that are really important: celebrity couples.