In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Tribunal,”* we’re introduced to the Cardassian system of what they call “justice.” I was powerfully reminded of this episode (which is one of my favorites) during the last week.
In the Cardassian system, the accused is automatically guilty, and the only reason for the trial is to allow the criminal to make an impassioned confession, in order to teach the populace the folly of going against the wishes of those in power. The sentence is also pre-determined, and is usually death.
Now, consider the immediate–and erroneous–attacks against Sarah Palin, the Tea Parties, and others that don’t follow lefty orthodoxy in the wake of the Tucson shooting. Even before we knew the name of the shooter, people such as Paul Krugman were already trying to blame Mrs. Palin. And when she attempts to defend herself, she’s then castigated for doing so… after all, the elite has already determined her guilt, why would she attempt to argue that she’s innocent? All she was supposed to do–at least according to the Cardassians in the Dinosaur Media–was confess and confirm to the little people the wisdom of the elite.
Fortunately for us, and for Chief O’Brien (the accused in the DS9 episode), facts are stubborn things, and the more we learn about what happened, the more the elite story is breaking down. And the more it’s breaking down, the more the Cardassian Media Trial Machine is working to smear the accused.
Unfortunately, it’s really not likely that the Cardassians in the Dinosaur Media will learn the lesson that presuming guilt is bad, because, let’s be honest, they’re not going to admit that they were ever wrong. So the Cardassian-style Trial by Media will continue. Be prepared.
And with this, I am hoping and praying that I can stop writing about the Tucson shooter, at least for a while. But I just had to get that off my chest.
* If you’d like to see the episode, a couple of people have broken it into segments and posted it on YouTube.