Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Washington Times Disaster Extraordinaire

Dave Boyer, Writing on Pardons
If Eric E. Sterling has written the Picasso Pardon Editorial for this Thanksgiving season, Dave Boyer of the Washington Times has certainly won the Hindenburg Prize for disastrous pardon journalism. Consulting no (as in not a single one) expert on the topic of pardons, it appears Boyer Google-searched the topic, skimmed the headlines, guzzled some White House press releases and then sailed his readership into a sinkhole of ignorance and stupidity.

Boyer's piece begins by suggesting, this year, President Obama's turkey pardon reflects something that is "becoming increasingly familiar in real life as he forges new policy at a record pace of reprieves for federal prison inmates." Boyer may very well be unaware of the difference between a pardon, commutation and a reprieve, but what on earth is he talking about? Boyer explains:
As of this week, Mr. Obama has commuted the prison sentences of 79 convicted felons in 2015, eclipsing the total number of commutations granted by all four of his predecessors combined. 
Boyer is, apparently, not so familiar with real life facts himself. Obama has commuted 89 sentences, not 79. But that is hardly the most egregious folly here. Boyer does not even mention the fact that Obama has eclipsed the four previous presidents by a grand total of 1 (count 'em - one) commutation of sentence. Nor does he mention the fact that Obama has received more than a thousand more applications for commutations of sentence than his four predecessors combined. Why? Because - on this topic - Boyer is an idiot. That's why.

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According to Boyer, Obama has "picked up the pace of clemency actions dramatically." Wow! He has? That's breaking news ... were it only accurate in some sense of the language. Let's see, here is a look at the "pace" Boyer has so expertly identified:

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Yep, that is quite an impressive stepping up of the "pace." Now, here is the net effect of the Obama / Boyer "pace" :

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In real life, few presidents have been less merciful than Obama, and most of them served a single term, or died before they could even complete a single term.

Boyer then pathetically wallows in the PR and rhetoric that has been the substitute for action for almost seven years now: Obama says "America is a nation of second chances," Obama has a push for criminal-justice reform, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. says there are “deserving individuals," White House counsel Neil Eggleston says there will be a “ramping up” efforts to grant clemency, Mr. Obama "even gave a shoutout to the Koch brothers," blah blah blah.

Perhaps this is all news to Boyer. If so, there is material for three more such "stories" here.

But, to those of us who follow and study this topic a bit more seriously, Boyer's piece is only slightly more useless than the many dozens of "stories" about, say, the origins of turkey pardoning that are relentlessly generated every year. See this train wreck of a story here.

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