Friday, March 12, 2010

Jon Stewart vs Marc Thiessen

Jon Stewart eviscerates torture promoter Marc Thiessen:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Marc Thiessen Extended Interview Pt. 1
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It's pathetic that Jon Stewart is the only person who will actually conduct this interview the way a journalist should. At the end of this clip, Thiessen is angry that Stewart has challenged him. His complaint is that Stewart, unlike most of the mainstream "journalists", actually call him out when he lies or omits important facts.

Thiessen tries to defend, among other things, the despicable ad run by Liz Cheney which accuses lawyers who volunteered their time to make sure that innocent detainees were afforded their constitutional rights of being Al Qaeda sympathizers. Thiessen compares them to mob lawyers or drug cartel lawyers, a comparison so grossly dishonest that it fits right in with the whole "Keep America Safe" viewpoint perfectly.

Here's the difference: when you refer to "mob lawyers" or "drug lawyers", you are making an assumption about these lawyers, and that assumption is that they are dishonest, that they will do anything to get their clients off, that they are in bed with their clients, and that they are in fact just criminals who haven't been caught yet. To the extent that they are honest lawyers trying to defend their clients within the context of the law, we would not refer to them as "mob lawyers" or "drug lawyers". 

The GITMO attorneys were defending people that were, in most cases, innocent. They volunteered their time, they did not profit from it, and they have no other connection to their clients. These attorneys did this because they believed in the American ideals of justice and innocence until proven guilty and the United States Constitution. For defending these American ideals, Liz Cheney accuses them of being terrorist sympathizers and Marc Theissen goes on nation television and compares them to criminals posing as lawyers.

And it should be pointed out that the innocence or guilt of their clients is not relevant. You are not supposed to know if someone is guilty before you begin the process of determining whether they are guilty or not. This is why you have lawyers and trials and constitutional safeguards. Thiessen incredibly claims that we should consider lawyers who defend accused pedophiles of being pedophiles themselves. Notice the two massive errors he makes in this one claim:

1. Lawyers who defend people accused of crimes are guilty of those crimes themselves.
2. People who are accused of crimes are automatically guilty.

It's  both incredible and frightening that someone with such a warped and disgusting view of the most basic concepts of the American legal system and the Constitution could have ever set foot in the White House, much less write speeches for the most powerful man on earth. 

And it's equally frightening that the only person who is willing to call him out on it is a comedian.

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