Sunday, June 05, 2005

Felon lovin' Red Star economics correspondent?

Like an avalanche of PC absurdity, and liberal lunacy, the Red Star business page has now become infected with the odd leftist tendency to whitewash criminal behavior, and hold criminals as morally equivalent to law-abiders.

The front page of today's business section has an article titled "No bars, but still a prison". The reporter is Mike Meyers, the Red Star "economics correspondent", and apparent bleeding heart liberal. He profiles two criminals and the difficulty they have facing the consequences of their actions, as it affects their employment potential. Such The article is replete with editorial behavior minimizing of the subjects, as well as obvious sympathy for the criminals, one of whom is violent.

The author and/or editor was careful to choose a nice looking caucasion male named Kyle Phernetton for one profile, and a smiling black male named Richard Allen for the second profile.

Mr. Meyers lists the impressive, and rising, numbers of ex-cons in Minnesota and the nation in general, as well as the more sophisticated methods of researching background checks which reveal criminal pasts and eliminate many felons from job contention. Rambix suspects the author is trying to evoke sympathy and alarm for the growing number of unemployed felons. He doesn't tell us what would happen if the felons did not commit the crime in the first place. Here's a sample:

"While it never has been easy for a former convict to secure a full-time job, the rise of the electronic background check and fear of lawsuits among potential employers are creating ever-higher barriers to work for those leaving prison. And at the same time, there never have been so many ex-cons in America, trying to find a way to get by -- close to 12 million, or about 8 percent of the total workforce. That's up from 5.5 million, or 4.5 percent of the workforce, in 1988."

Here's the real kicker. In Richard Allen's profile, reporter Meyers unleashes every liberal trick he learned in Journalism school to advance his agenda, which in this case is portraying these cancers of society as sympathetic and as victims:

"Thirty-five years ago, he was convicted in an armed robbery in which a store clerk lost his life. Allen was not the killer, but he took part in the robbery and has paid for it ever since."
This methodology is so common at the Star Tribune, it's really not hard to find. In the above paragraph, Mr. Meyers puts Mr. Allen at the scene of the crime, but distances him from responsibility. The clerk "lost his life" in an unknown fashion. Did he slip on a banana peel? Did a gun just "go off"? Or, most likely, was Mr. Allen part of a criminal conspiracy to commit robbery and murder? Indeed.

Feel better about Mr. Allen already? Well, would you be surprised to learn that a bottle of booze put a black mark on Mr. Allen's record two years ago? One wonders if Mr. Allen was even present.

"He earned an associate degree in sociology at the University of Minnesota in 1978 and afterward tried jobs at charitable agencies -- helping to arrange shelter for the homeless or doing paperwork for new social services clients. But alcoholism got in the way of long-term employment, and the booze helped put a second black mark on his record two years ago -- a second-degree assault charge."
Mr. Allen was so reformed that he committed a second violent crime, thus illustrating the common sense theory that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. "The booze helped put a second black mark". "Alcoholism got in the way of long-term employment". It's a wonder Mr. Allen is always getting in trouble - inanimate objects conspire against him.

This is shameful reporting. Mr. Meyers is foolish and naive. These two criminals are responsible for the consequences of their behavior, and it is their own responsiblity to redeem themselves and move on. And that's that.