It’s in the detail

Interesting what reading you come across sometimes.

I was just browsing Fail Blog and saw this post. Basically, they’re comparing someone who held up a bank by pretending to have a gun, then returned the single bill he stole out of guilt, with a CEO who embezzled billions. That’s billions with a “B”.

Well, the homeless black guy got 15 years. The white CEO got 40 months.

Cue people abusing the US legal system, and saying stupid things about Europeans (yes, Europe does in fact have illegal immigration!)

Well, I kept reading. And what do you know, the CEO had a minor role in the embezzlement. The guy who actually did the crime got 30 years.

I kept reading, past the arguments about how it is/isn’t a violent crime if you only pretend to have a gun, past the “if you think this is justice you’re on crack”, and past the “America is racist and this proves it” flame wars. Gypsies also featured.

And I discovered another comment that claimed that the homeless guy was actually wanting to get back into prison. Sadly too common, and fits very well with the reported facts.

So there’s a lot more than meets the eye.

From there I went to Kiwiblog. There, I started reading this thread.

What I find interesting is the massive difference in reporting around Darren Hughes and Richard Worth. Both men were accused of sexual crimes, and in both cases no charges were laid. In the case of Darren Hughes, the media report that he could stand again for Parliament in a few years

Yet when it comes to Richard Worth, the reporting suggests there is something wrong that he has got on with his life after Parliament and assumed one of his former roles – a role far far less publicly significant than standing for Parliament again.

Graeme Edgeler replied:

The difference is simple: Everyone who knows what happened in the Worth case and who has publicly pontificated thinks Worth isn’t fit to be an MP. Everyone who knows what happened in the Hughes case and who has publicly pontificated thinks Hughes may be able to be rehabilitated.

But later David Garrett points out…

When the police decided not to charge Worth, I dont recall them making any kind of “insufficient evidence to reach the threshold ” statement that they made in Hughes’ case…and that statement preceded Hughes foolishly publicly accusing his accuser of having made a false complaint, at which point the Police quickly made it clear there was no question of a false complaint having been made…

As people have pointed out, we don’t know what happened in either case. But painting Key’s sacking of Worth as some sort of indication of him being evil, and Hughes as OK because Goff was reluctant to go, ignores the outcomes of the respective police investigations.

Reading further comments, the police have made it clear that Worth was fine, but they have specifically said that Hughes was not falsely accused – as he’d tried to claim.

And DPF’s original point stands: why are people so keen to pile on the one, and not the other? Especially since the one who they are piling on was the one who was completely cleared?

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