Media Mashup: May 28, 2015

An anti-death-penalty protestor in Nebraska
An anti-death-penalty protestor in Nebraska
THE DEATH PENALTY DIES 

The national media generally failed to acknowledge the key role that conservatives played in eliminating capital punishment in Nebraska—the first predominantly Republican state to end the death penalty since North Dakota did it in 1973. Seventeen of the 30 Republicans voted against the death penalty, along with 12 Democrats and one independent.

Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, a national organization, played a crucial role in the vote. The group sees the death penalty as costly and inhumane.

“I’m not surprised that conservatives led the death penalty repeal effort in Nebraska. I think this will become more common,” Marc Hyden, the national coordinator for the group, said after the 30-19 vote to override a veto. “When I speak to conservatives across the nation, they’re eager to share their concerns about the death penalty. Conservatives have sponsored repeal bills in Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Missouri, and Kentucky in recent years. National conservative leaders are also speaking up because the death penalty violates the core conservative principles of fiscal responsibility, limited government and valuing life.”

We agree with the decision based on our Catholic beliefs, which oppose abortion, euthanasia and the death penalty. But it certainly feels weird to be on the same side as The New York Times. Like a broken clock, the Times can be right twice a day. For more details, see http://bit.ly/1ez3Dsd

SELLING HILL

The presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton has opened an online shopping mall, which is filled with absurd pieces of clothing and tchotchkes. The items include hoodies, T-shirts and handbags. Since Mrs. Clinton is not exactly a fashion plate, we are uncertain how well these items will sell.

We suggest a round-trip vacation to Libya as part of the offerings, or maybe coffee cups from the Rose Law Firm and a guide to cattle futures investing.id

Didn’t she and her husband just make more than $30 million in speaking fees? For details, see http://usat.ly/1HLKHjy.

ETHICS IN THE HOOD

“On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City” has received a number of rave reviews, but lingering questions exist about the book’s authenticity and the author’s methods.

Alice Goffman, who started researching the book as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, claims she spent months documenting the life of black youths in Philadelphia. But she has changed the names of her subjects, destroyed her notes and even admits to having participated in helping one man to find an individual in order to kill him. The latter may be a felony.

Having headed a project to report on underserved neighborhoods in Philadelphia, the location of Ms. Goffman’s study, we agree with the critics. The book seems a lot like Rolling Stone’s error-laden takedown of the University of Virginia—too many anonymous sources and too little proof. For more details, see http://bit.ly/1Q8qM0j

Read today’s column in The Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/staff/christopher-harper/

Send suggestions and tips to charper@temple.edu.

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