Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Facts versus insults

A tenet of good legal writing is to stick to the facts. That is, you'll alienate the judge, and make yourself look stupid, if you opine that "the defendant is a genuinely evil person who should be locked up for decades." This is especially true if the subsequent facts reveal that the defendant's worst sin was to pass by a Salvation Army Santa without throwing a nickel into the pot. Infinitely more effective is to detail with credible evidence that "the defendant is a devout follower of a religion that espouses beheading nonbelievers; that defendant has repeatedly written well-publicized documents in which he repeats his belief, derived from his faith, that all non-believers should be decapitated; and that defendant was found in the same room as a headless body, holding a bloodstained sword in his hand." That's compelling. Which gets me to this story from Moonbat Central:

'Controversial Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci is to face trial for allegedly insulting the Muslim faith in her latest book, a court in Italy says....' Italian preliminary investigative judge Armando Grasso ordered the formulation of charges against the author, saying the book had expressions which were 'unequivocally offensive to Islam'. [Emphasis mine.]
Clearly, European law has utterly lost sight of the power of true information, versus the weakness of baseless insults. To the extent Fallaci wrote a book about Muslims, the Court is entirely unconcerned with whether what she said was true and corroborated. It cares only about the Muslim's hurt feelings. Well, what kind of a standard is that? Is that going to protect me if I ever show up in Court, and the Highway Patrol Officer swears under oath that I was going 100 mph on the freeway? "Your honor, he hurt my feelings!" "You're right. Case dismissed." What's even scarier, or maybe just as scary, is the fact that the American press is going the same way, although kind of from a different angle. Newsweek, Dan Rather, the New York Times, etc -- they're all infinitely more interested in hurting than in the facts. Facts seem irrelevant in the modern world; feelings and perceptions are everything.