Blogs > Liberty and Power > Our Victimised State

Dec 22, 2006 1:25 pm

Our Victimised State

[cross-posted at Austro-Athenian Empire]

Two news items for today:

  • A recent study of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show and its viewers reveals that “exposure to the show lowered trust in the media and the electoral process,” and thus had “detrimental effects, driving down support for political institutions and leaders.”

    Another study reveals that the show is, horror of horrors, turning viewers off of both parties: “98% of the evaluations of Republicans prior to the election were negative, while 96% of the ‘reporting’ on Democrats was negative.”

    Voices of concern are being raised in the punditocracy; the Washington Post’s Richard Morin, for example, sounds the alarm:

    Jon Stewart and his hit Comedy Central cable show may be poisoning democracy.

    Two political scientists found that young people who watch Stewart’s faux news program, “The Daily Show,” develop cynical views about politics and politicians that could lead them to just say no to voting.

    Oh nooooooooo!!! The end is nigh!

  • So Saudi princess Hana al-Jader is being deported, and forced to pay restitution, for keeping her domestic servants’ passports locked in a safe, thus preventing them from leaving, and forcing them to work for low pay.

    Okay, fair enough. But what crimes was she officially charged with? Lying on immigration forms and harbouring aliens.

    In other words, her real crimes against these actual people had to be redescribed as fictional crimes against the state and its immigration laws in order for justice to be done.

    You see, it’s really the state that’s the aggrieved party in every crime. The human victims are merely occasions.

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More Comments:

Sheldon Richman - 12/24/2006

Could Stewart have meant it? I hope so but remain skeptical. Whenever he has people like Madeleine Albright on, he is so worshipful. Argh!

Sudha Shenoy - 12/23/2006

1. She was charged under the relevant _legislation_: that is, that she had failed to obey properly the regulations set out by the relevant govt officials. Had her _servants_ sued her, _under common law_, _then_ they would've alleged the personal wrongs they suffered.

2. Legislation _has_ to be passed by a legislature. Common law _cannot_ & _is not_ legislated. It grows out of just such inter-individual cases.

Keith Halderman - 12/22/2006

The other night William Kristol editor of the Weekly Standard was the guest and he described Stewart as an uptown liberal and the host replied, no, he was a downtown libertarian. So, the 98% unfavorable for Republicans and 96% unfavorable for Democrats does sound about right.

Jonathan Dresner - 12/22/2006

Frankly, Stewart's got it about right. You know some conservative commentators are going to spin it as "Stewart twice as nice to Democrats"....

Interestingly, he has more serious writers and thinkers on his show than you'd expect, and they get a word in edgewise, sometimes.

Robert Higgs - 12/22/2006

Protecting and preserving the rights of the prey is invariably nothing more than an absurd pretext mouthed by the predators. For the state, the actual victims of crime are little more than rubbish to be cast aside once its little charade of justice has been completed for the day.