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Crime

Janesville Gazette’s Reprehensible Story About an Alleged Sexual Assault

At the nearby Janesville Gazette, there’s a story about an alleged sexual assault that’s simply reprehensible reporting: Excessive drinking was prelude to sex assault, court document alleges. (The reporter, Frank Schultz; editor, Sid Schwartz.) Here’s how Schultz’s story begins – a single-sentence first paragraph: An 18-year-old Janesville man is accused of second-degree sexual assault after…

UW-Whitewater’s Administration Covers Crap with Catsup

For months, UW-Whitewater has publicized on its website a sham study from a burglar-alarm company as confirmation that Whitewater has the safest campus in Wisconsin. The study is a shabby fraud, with a methodology so far below proper academic standards that it taints the serious work of faculty and students at the school, in the UW…

‘Do Deportations Lower Crime? Not According to the Data’

Anna Flagg writes Do Deportations Lower Crime? Not According to the Data: In one of Donald J. Trump’s earliest moves as president, days after his inauguration, he revived the deportation program known as Secure Communities. Proponents argue that it helps prevent crime and also increases the police’s ability to solve crime through collaboration with federal…

Truth-Telling and Tale-Weaving

In conditions of real injury, in which truth-telling is important, tale-weaving about irrelevant matters is worse than wasteful: it’s a misdirection from the significant to the insignificant. Three recent stories illustrate the critical difference between these approaches. As a truth-telling story, Hope Kirwan of Wisconsin Public Radio reports ‘Students Deserve To Be Heard’: UW-La Crosse…

‘Keeping Harvey Weinstein’s Secrets’

Harvey Weinstein is responsible – directly and personally – for his actions. Others, however, assisted him in concealing his violent coercion. Astonishingly, as the New York Times reports, some of those who aided Weinstein were – of all people – attorneys who made public careers as victims’ rights advocates. The two podcasts embedded below detail…

Unbelievable

In December 2015, T. Christian Miller of ProPublica and Ken Armstrong of The Marshall Project published An Unbelievable Story of Rape, about a woman (her middle name is Marie) who was raped, pressured to recant her account, and later found herself charged with a misdemeanor offense.  In fact, she was raped, her attacker was later…

Why We (Now) Fight

American director Frank Capra, among others, was responsible for the Why We Fight series of films during the Second World war.  The films helped American soldiers understand what was at stake in a war with the Axis powers. At bottom, it wasn’t Capra’s talent (although he was talented) that supplied the answer to the question why…

What Trump’s ‘Not My Type’ Defense Means

Writing at The Atlantic, Megan Garber explains The Real Meaning of Trump’s ‘She’s Not My Type’ Defense (‘The president, in attempting to downplay E. Jean Carroll’s rape allegation against him, isn’t talking about attraction. He’s talking about protection‘): There is, as always, a certain clarity to Trump’s cruelty. The president seems to understand, on some level,…

From Festival to Alleged Felony

One now reads – sadly, any normal person might have expected – that the promoter of Jefferson Wisconsin’s shabby Warriors & Wizards festival faces the prospect of felony charges for theft and misrepresentation. See Warriors & Wizards Fest organizer Cramer charged with theft. 1. Unfortunate, All Around.  I’ve been a critic of this festival, and those…

Treatment Courts as Practical Success Stories

Treatment courts, whether for drunk driving or drug abuse, have been successful in jurisdictions across the country.  Counties from coast to coast – red or blue – have seen positive outcomes from judicially-overseen treatment programs.  Despite this, there’s been opposition to a drug treatment court in rural Walworth County, sadly beset by addictions of various…

No Connection Between Undocumented Immigrants and Crime

Anna Flagg, in Is There a Connection Between Undocumented Immigrants and Crime?, reports on the latest study finding no such link: A lot of research has shown that there’s no causal connection between immigration and crime in the United States. But after one such study was reported on jointly by The Marshall Project and The Upshot last year, readers…

Clever? Not Really…

One reads that the Daily Union, a local paper chasing alleged embezzlement first reported in the Janesville Gazette, has decided to grab the story and add a supposedly clever headline: Honest to goodness, how does editor Chris Spangler expect ordinary people to keep up with a subtle headline like that? One needs to take a…