The Corner

The Contemporary Mob

We don’t ask much from our journalists these days, but even by contemporary low standards, ABC’s Brian Ross should have been suspended for his misidentification of a James Holmes (one of many in the Aurora area) as a possible mass murderer suspect on the basis of no other evidence than a similar name and apparently a tea-party identification. It’s as if the journalistic ethos prompts one to hear the name of a shooting suspect, then google it with “tea party” to find a match, and, presto, to go on the air to sort of, kind of float the possibility that some deranged conservative activist was the killer — all in a climate where there is very bad history of trying instantaneously to politically massage the horror and tragedy of rampage killings. Ross’s unprofessionalism in turning our attention to the wrong James Holmes at a time of national crisis reminds us of the similar mob-like pursuit of Shakespeare’s Cinna the Poet, who in Julius Caesar likewise shared an unfortunate name:

First Citizen

Tear him to pieces; he’s a conspirator.

CINNA THE POET

I am Cinna the poet, I am Cinna the poet.

Fourth Citizen

Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses.

CINNA THE POET

I am not Cinna the conspirator.

Fourth Citizen

It is no matter, his name’s Cinna; pluck but his

name out of his heart, and turn him going.

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Case for Trump.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Netflix Debuts Its Obama Manifesto

This week’s widespread media blitz heralding Netflix’s broadcast of its first Obama-endorsed presentation, American Factory, was more than synchronicity. It felt as though U.S. publicists and journalists collectively exhaled their relief at finally regaining the bully pulpit. Reviews of American Factory, a ... Read More
Culture

Jussie Smollett Jokes Declared Off-Limits

The Jussie Smollett story has been declared not fit for jokes. "It's a straight-up tragedy," declares the co-creator of a Comedy Central show, South Side, set in Chicago. Bashir Salahuddin, a former Jimmy Fallon writer, says “The whole situation is unfortunate. Particularly for the city, there’s bigger ... Read More
U.S.

Is AOC Politically Powerful?

I recently watched two voices I respect disagree vehemently about whether Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is politically powerful or not. The first observer pointed out that she’s one of 435 House members and 235 House Democrats. She can introduce big pieces of legislation like the Green New Deal, but they’re not ... Read More