‘Rightminds’ – which was always going to be a cesspit of ideologically driven drivel – has surpassed even my expectations today with what must go down as one of the worst pieces of ‘journalism’ I have ever read on the Mail website. The article – ‘Death is a fitting punishment for grown-up societies‘ – is about Troy Davies and is written by Charlie Wolf (‘an American broadcaster currently living in the UK’) and it seems he wants to make a name for himself – he appears to be trying to be Glenn Beck. His article lambasts the UK for not having a death penalty – but allowing abortion – and tries to imply that executing Troy Davies was an act of charity:
Last night, after a three hour delay while the Supreme Court reviewed –and rejected– his appeal, Troy Davis was strapped to a gurney and brought into the death chamber at a jail in Jackson, Georgia.
A needle running harmless saline solution through a tube was inserted into his arm; he then lifted his head to speak to those witnessing his death through the glass; still to the end pleading his innocence.
Minutes later a combination of chemicals was passed through his veins and in 15 minutes time, after shutting his eyes one last time and falling asleep, he stopped breathing, his heart stopped pumping and he died, pretty peacefully.
Putting down the family dog would have been a lot worse.
Far from an execution, this was more like state-ordered euthanasia.
Troy Davies deserved to die, you see, because ‘he did it and was guilty as hell’. All of the people suggesting that justice was not in fact being done, and that Troy Davies was innocent, were easily dismissed by Wolf:
There has been a firestorm on Twitter; as if a bunch of people can decide a case better in 140 characters than can the American justice system.
In Davis’s case that included 34 state witnesses (not the 9 the press keep referring to), the jury of his peers including seven blacks and five whites who took less than two hours to convict him, or the many retrials, appeals, calls for clemency and protestations of innocence over the last two decades.
The Troy Davies case is troubling, as Amnesty International point out:
The case against him consisted entirely of witness testimony which contained inconsistencies even at the time of the trial. Since then, all but two of the state’s non-police witnesses from the trial have recanted or contradicted their testimony.
Many of these witnesses have stated in sworn affidavits that they were pressured or coerced by police into testifying or signing statements against Troy Davis.
One of the two witnesses who has not recanted his testimony is Sylvester “Red” Coles — the principle alternative suspect, according to the defense, against whom there is new evidence implicating him as the gunman. Nine individuals have signed affidavits implicating Sylvester Coles.
But you won’t read about this in ‘Rightminds’ because it is just the latest attempt by the Daily Mail to tap into the significant American Right market – where truth is an irrelevance to be replaced by spitting, ignorant and paranoid ranting. The Daily Mail may pretend to rail against ‘dumbing down’ in any form, but the truth is that the Daily Mail has become the ultimate product for a dumb audience. Rightminds is just the latest shiny packaging for a product aimed entirely at the frothing masses of confused, bovine idiots who cannot attempt to think for themselves. The appeal to an American audience is the clearest sign yet that the Daily Mail understands its product is becoming more palatable to the sizeable minority of idiot Americans than it is to a largely tolerant and questioning British public.
You only have to see the kicking this article is getting in the comments to see that this might be a step to far for many.
The excellent No Sleep ‘Til Brooklands does a far better job of covering this here.