Dharun Ravi is the Rutgers student who used a webcam to spy on his gay roommate, Tyler Clementi. When Clementi committed suicide by throwing himself off the George Washington Bridge, the tragedy became a morality play. It was widely reported that Ravi had posted a video of the closeted Clementi having sex, and thus outed him and drove him to take his own life. Shy and a talented violinist, Clementi became a national symbol of anti-gay bullying. “Something must be done,” declared Ellen DeGeneres.
The prosecutors have duly done something: After he refused to admit guilt in a plea deal, they have thrown the book at Ravi, who could face ten years in prison if convicted in a trial that has just begun. They are pursuing Ravi to the utmost despite the unraveling of the tidy black-and-white story that rightly outraged people at the time of Clementi’s death. In a long, nuanced account of the case in The New Yorker, Ian Parker reports that the initial narrative about the tragedy was entirely erroneous: “There was no posting, no observed sex, and no closet.”
Vox may still be keeping up its risible just-the-facts posturing, but it is tendentious to the point of dishonesty: “Colorado baker who refused to serve gay couple now wants to refuse to serve transgender person,” it says. That is not true, of course. (But everybody knows that.) Phillips serves ... Read More
I do not share my friend David French’s theoretical constitutional concerns about the president’s revocation of security clearances -- at least when it comes to former government officials who become media commentators and have no demonstrable need for a security clearance. Like David and many other ... Read More
Eric Sevareid (1912–1992), the author and broadcaster, said he was a pessimist about tomorrow but an optimist about the day after tomorrow. Regarding America's economy, prudent people should reverse that. This Wednesday, according to the Financial Times' Robin Wigglesworth and Nicole Bullock, "the U.S. stock ... Read More
Oxford, England — After five months of ferocious and futile slaughter in “the Great War,” an Oxford undergraduate — knowing his deployment to the Western Front was inevitable — used his Christmas break in 1914 to cultivate his imagination. Twenty-two-year-old J. R. R. Tolkien began writing “The Story ... Read More
The Democrats have decided that agendas are overrated. Back in May, the party unveiled its "Better Deal" program, calling for expanded broadband access, an increase in the minimum wage, and paid family and sick leave. Voters didn't bite. So last month the Democrats came up with "For the People," which simplifies ... Read More
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has one-upped socialists Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: She proposes to nationalize every major business in the United States of America. If successful, it would constitute the largest seizure of private property in human history. Warren’s proposal is ... Read More