Skip to comments.Rodney King: Once a Bum, Always a Bum
Posted on 09/09/2003 1:20:38 AM PDT by JohnHuang2If youre not a news junkie you probably didnt notice that Rodney King was arrested again. He was speeding at 100 miles an hour, high on PCP, when he ran a red light in Rialto, California on August 27. It is just a matter of luck that King hasnt killed someone yet. This was his fifth arrest since a kangaroo court awarded him $3.8 million some years ago because the LAPD had violated his civil rights. Or perhaps it was because the court was afraid that rejecting Kings claim would spark another riot that would kill 58 people and cost the city $16 billion in destroyed homes and stores.
One of Kings post-riot arrests was for beating his wife, just in case you thought he was a nice guy harassed by police simply because he was black.
Apparently, in addition to going to jail again, Rodney King is now broke. Which is one of the reasons you havent heard much about his latest bust. Because the post-riot life of Rodney King gives the lie to virtually every liberal nostrum for improving society, eradicating poverty and making us all equal.
How can you go broke on $3.8 million? Lets say, for the sake of this example, King had to pay his lawyers a million dollars in legal fees. If he had put the remaining money in the bank in a long-term savings account it would have netted him a six-figure income for the rest of his life -- without requiring a stitch of work to get it. But if you give money to a self-destructive lout like Rodney King, all you are going to get for your money is trouble.
Poverty, as a friend mine has said, is different from being broke. Being broke is when youre out of pocket. Being poor is a dispiriting and disabling state of mind. Giving money to dysfunctional people is not a way to make them rich or even comfortable. Its a way of enabling them to pursue their self-destructive behaviors at an even higher velocity.
If Rodney King had obeyed the orders clearly given and had laid down in a prone position on the night of his famous encounter with Los Angeles police, 58 people would be alive today, $16 billion would be circulating in the economy and four dedicated LAPD officers who were working to the book that night would not have been forced to endure two trials (the first had acquitted them) and had their careers destroyed to appease the liberal conscience.
But liberals had to make their point. They had to roll out the racial melodrama, insisting that every time a black man is arrested even one fleeing and refusing to be cuffed -- a hate crime is committed by the police themselves. Liberals had to wring millions of dollars out of Los Angeles taxpayers to pay reparations to a man whom everyone knew then and knows now is just a pathetic bum.
Will Rodney Kings fifth arrest teach anyone anything? Hardly. First, because no one wants to even talk about it. But second, nothing will be learned for the same reason that liberals reading this column will consider it mean-spirited and lacking compassion. Of course the same liberals have already forgotten the 58 people who are dead because of Rodney King and the criminals he and his supporters inspired (I am thinking of the late unlamented murderer Damian Football Williams). Nobody cares about the innocent victims of the protesters for social justice the 2000 Koreans who lost their businesses to black rage; the four cops who lost their careers because they beat a reckless criminal who was resisting arrest and refused to go prone.
And so is the inspirer of it all, Rodney King, forgotten too. But he is forgotten because remembering him would tell a liberal culture more than it wants to hear.
If only it was self-destructive. Most likely it will be destructive to people who have the misfortune of coming near them and to society in general.
As Horowitz says, it's fortunate that Rodney King hasn't killed anyone -- directly, that is.
Once a schmoe...
Nothing proves that more than the fact the media's Iraqi coverage looks to the past for Vietnam war-era rhetoric such as quagmire, calls for "exit strategy, "Tet offensive" set backs, and (next?) Iraqization. The "journalists" won the praise of North Vietnam General Vo Nguyen Giap who saluted the American press as his most important guerilla. Mullahs take note.
IMO the "motorist" story was the beginning of the end of repsect most had for the maintream media.
We make a profound error when we allow ourselves to suppose that "the press" is protected because it is objective, or even is supposed to be objective.
The First Amendment assures that the government has no authority to enforce any standard of "objectivity" or "fairness" on the press or on speech. The meaning of the First Amendment is not related to "codes of ethics" for journalists. To the contrary, the First Amendment announces to anyone who will listen that believing the press is strictly a caveat emptor proposition.
The implication of that, of course, is that there is no standard of objectivity to which broadcast journalists can adhere and thereby avoid accusations of tendentiousness. Which means that licensed (broadcast) journalism is illegitimate.
Why Broadcast Journalism is Unnecessary and Illegitimate
documents my ongoing effort to analyze the relation between journalism and liberalism. It includes a comment on the fact that journalists acted exactly like they wanted the RK riot.
The fact is that liberalism of the New Dork type in television journalism seems to be as conducive to a successful corporation as don't-offend-anyone Republicanism is in the regular kind of big corporation.
"What's bad for America is good for the media - and Vice Versa!"
101 posted on 07/07/2002 10:24 PM EDT by danielmryan
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Thank you for pointing that out. Indeed I believe exactly what you say, and I'm surprised to see that I nowhere earlier in this thread discussed that point. My favorite way to illustrate that point is to discuss the Rodney King riot.
The home video of the arrest of Rodney King made sensational news. But the entire tape, as commentated on by defense lawyers, shows behavior on the part of Mr. King which--the first Sgt. Stacy Koon jury held--explained the behavior of the police sufficently to make the police not criminally liable for what Mr. King endured. But the interesting fact is that the videotape made even more sensational news after editing than it did initially--for the very understandable reason that all portions of the tape having any bearing on the reason for the police behavior were edited out.
Endlessly rebroadcasting the remainder of that tape is exactly what I would have done if I had wanted to see a riot in Los Angeles. That is exactly what broadcast journalism did after the initial Stacy Koon verdict of "Not Guilty" came down. Not only so, but reporters broadcast interviews of the "No justice, No peace" activists. And to top it off broadcasters reported, in real time, where looting without police interference was ocurring.
In sum, if journalists had any other thought than to exacerbate the situation and cause the nation to watch in horrified fascination, they had a remarkably strange way of showing it. And were I a business owner who had been burned out in that riot, I would have wanted to sue the broadcasters for their very underwear.