Archive for January 31, 2023

A small victory for sanity

Posted: January 31, 2023 by datechguy in Uncategorized

In Yesterday’s Under the Fedora I noted that it was disgraceful that even a single juror in the Mark Houck case was willing to vote guilty in a case that was all about the basic freedom of religion.

Apparently this disgrace has been rectified.

A Philadelphia jury acquitted Mark Houk, the devoted Catholic father of seven, of federal assault charges for supposedly shoving an abortion clinic volunteer.

Peter Breen, Thomas More Society Executive Vice President and Head of Litigation, said via email: “We are, of course, thrilled with the outcome. Mark and his family are now free of the cloud that the Biden administration threw upon them. We took on Goliath – the full might of the United States government – and won. The jury saw through and rejected the prosecution’s discriminatory case, which was harassment from day one. This is a win for Mark and the entire pro-life movement. The Biden Department of Justice’s intimidation against pro-life people and people of faith has been put in its place.”

What’s worth noting is that one juror was dismissed and replaced with an alternative:

One of the 12 jurors deciding the fate of the pro-life father of seven Mark Houck in Philadelphia federal court has been replaced by an alternate.

The alternate took the place of the original juror at approximately 1:30 p.m. Monday, when deliberations began again. Defense lawyers for Houck could not comment on the reason for the replacement.

The jury began deliberations on the case on Friday but said they were “deadlocked” and would not come to a decision that night.

Legal insurrection notes that the juror who was replaced didn’t take part in deliberations but once he was out it took only an hour to acquit.

Make of that what you will.

By Christopher Harper

The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Associated Press combined to create arguably one of the worst weeks ever for mainstream media.

Although I realize that most of us have given up on news organizations, the outrage has grown among some of the media’s longtime defenders.

The Columbia Journalism Review, a left-leaning organization tied to Columbia University, published a four-part series that savages The Times’ coverage of Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

“No narrative did more to shape Trump’s relations with the press than Russiagate. The story, which included the Steele dossier and the Mueller report among other totemic moments, resulted in Pulitzer Prizes as well as embarrassing retractions and damaged careers,” CJR executive editor Kyle Pope wrote in an editor’s note. 

Jeff Gerth, the critique’s author and a former Times reporter, said he believes the Times damaged its credibility outside of its “own bubble” and that even famed journalist Bob Woodard told him coverage of the Russia probe “wasn’t handled well.” 

The Associated Press, once a venerable outpost for objectivity, fairness, and balance, has lined up with the woke crowd.

Last week, the AP, where I once worked, issued a directive for its stylebook, once regarded as the most important set of guidelines for journalists.

The organization tweeted advice not to use generic labels for groups of people who share a single common trait, giving as examples the poor, the mentally ill, and the college-educated.

But the AP backed down after the guideline came under fire. The French embassy in the United States joked that it should possibly change its name to the Embassy of Frenchness.

Then The Philadelphia Inquirer weighed in on the foibles of a private restaurant’s failure to uphold political correctness.

Restaurant critic Craig LaBan decried the Union League Club for honoring Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

“At the end of December, the Union League announced plans to build a $25 million rooftop restaurant with an expansive terrace. Imagining the gorgeous city views from atop the elegant red brick bones of this ornate 1865 building, with breezy outdoor dining and a more casual dress code planned to debut later this year, I’d begun to think this grand addition to the city’s culinary skyline might be just the cue for me to finally write about the city’s reviving private club restaurant scene.

“Or maybe not. This week’s gold medal celebration of Florida governor and potential presidential candidate Ron DeSantis was a stark reminder that the Union League isn’t just a private social club with pretty good food: its mission is served with an increasingly MAGA-flavored side of political ideology.”

I realize that business and sports reporting had been taken over by leftists, but I was surprised that food reporting had been usurped by lefties.

Nevertheless, all three of these once-venerable institutions got a fair amount of grief from nearly every slice of the political spectrum.