April 13, 2015

Is George Will so craven that he simply refuses to acknowledge any uncomfortable reality that might challenge the authoritarian beliefs so beloved by Fox's key demographic? He gets in a dig that this arrest "proves" the Justice Department wrong about racism in police departments being pervasive, but Charles Lane quietly pops his bubble:

WALLACE: Perhaps the most explosive story this week, certainly the most surprising was this horrific video of a white police officer shooting a black man repeatedly in the back and by the end of the week, Hillary Clinton sent out this tweet, "heartbreaking and too familiar. We can do better, rebuild trust, reform justice system, respect all lives."

But Senator Lindsey Graham pushed back.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: With all due respect to Hillary Clinton, I think we're proving in South Carolina that our justice system is working.


WALLACE: George, given the fact that the police officer was fired from the force, charged with murder and is being held without bail, does Lindsey Graham have a point?


The default position of Eric Holder's Justice Department, from Florida to Trayvon Martin, to Ferguson, Missouri, is that racism is so undiminished to force in the American life that local institutions cannot be trusted. What we're seeing is some -- a very interesting phenomenon how technology, this thing the smart phone, is changing capabilities which change expectations which changes rights at the end of time.

We've got an enormous number of litigations all over the country about the right of people to film public officials in the performance of their duties, most especially, of course, policemen who have the lethal force of the state behind them. And this is going to change American life profoundly and for the better.

WALLACE: You know, I must say, Chuck, I was struck by that part of Hillary Clinton's tweet, "too familiar," which made it sound like this is the kind of thing that goes on all the time. Of course, that was the narrative in Ferguson, "hands up, don't shoot," get shot in the back as we now know, it didn't happen after multiple investigations.

So, what do you think Hillary Clinton saying, well, what happened in South Carolina, too familiar?

CHARLES LANE, THE WASHINGTON POST: I think it's a fact that the Democrats have treated these incidents as an opportunity to remind a big part of their political base, namely African-Americans that the Democratic Party is on their side, to put it very politely.

Now, to Lindsey Graham, that's politicizing. To me, that's the natural response of a party to one of its constituent groups. She is playing that same game.

But to George's point, I think what we have here is a big difference between what happened in Ferguson and what happened in South Carolina. Basically, the local officials responded much more transparently, not just in pressing charges against the officer, but talking about it more openly and expressing and it was -- but, of course, it was a much different incident.

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: That's the key, different facts.

LANE: This situation where the guy is running away --

WALLACE: And we have video of it.

LANE: And it's -- but that's the point where I somewhat disagree or would put a variation on with George, with all this accountability and transparency be happening without that citizen and his cell phone? I'm a little less sure, because these police officers, there's some indication they were ready to put on a cover-up and try and sweep this under the rug and obfuscate it. And that is something that is quite familiar, but it does happen in a lot of cases.

HUME: It's unknowable.

LANE: Right. Well, no, I'm not sure it's so unknowable. There is some evidence that there was an effort to do that.

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