I seem to be seeing irony everywhere I look lately. I don’t know if it’s the world, or if it’s me.
At any rate, this morning I awoke just before 5, finding that an article I’d been thinking of writing since the day before had fallen perfectly into place: I was ready to write. I titled the article “Yellow Journalism: The Minority Reports.”
The reason for the title will, I suspect, be evident to those who read it; those who don’t read it, probably won’t care anyway. (Actually, if you don’t care about that, you won’t care much about the rest of this note, either. ;))
Now, mind you, that article was written before I had a chance to see today’s Fresno Bee. So you can imagine how I felt later in the morning when I opened the Bee to pages B4 and — rats, I threw out the other section of the paper already.
Well, on page B4, The Fresno Police-Gazette — um, er, uh…I mean The Fresno Bee — simultaneously seems to want to chastise Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims and pat itself on the back for a really crappy what they think is a good piece of “journalism.” In an editorial titled “Mims’ tactics not working,” they complain that Mims’ attempts to extort more money — and those of us with brains think it looks very much like an extortion attempt — from the Board of Supervisors is putting the public at increased risk of being victimized by crime. They know this because their own analytical reportage has demonstrated that one out of every five people who were released from jail early during a particular period apparently committed new crimes.
As I covered in more detail in my “Yellow Journalism” article, there’s more to it than just that. However, as I also pointed out in that article, the wrong-headed policies pushed by the “tough on crime” crowd, which apparently has a mouthpiece on this issue in the Bee, mean increased unnecessary costs.
Here’s where the irony creeps in: when I wrote my article, I pulled in, as another “minority report,” the fact that elsewhere in yesterday’s Bee was a story about domestic violence shelters being forced to close due to lack of funds; funds which I suggested were being spent to keep too many people in jail unnecessarily.
And what do I see in today’s Bee? An editorial complaining about the domestic violence shelters being forced to close down is right next to the editorial complaining that Mims should be keeping people in jail longer, even though 80% of those people probably will not commit any new crimes.
Like the rest of California, The Fresno Bee has lost its mind: It wants to have its cake — sans nail file — and eat it, too. Like the rest of California, The Fresno Bee apparently believes that jails, guards and domestic violence shelters grow on trees, with no need even to water the trees.
It’s a case of irony, irony everywhere…and not a brain to think.