On CNN, Hostin expounds: CNN is undergoing major revisions. Many new programs are being tried.
Last night, the channel began testing a new weekly show, “Making the Case.” It featured two high-profile CNN legal analysts, Mark Geragos and Sunny Hostin.
Late in the show, Hostin made a remarkable statement. Her statement helps us understand one of the forces shaping our national discourse.
The exchange began with Geragos explaining why he became a defense attorney. At the age of 12, he saw an 18-year-old sent to prison on a very minor charge:
GERAGOS (3/10/14): The case that got me to decide to become a criminal defense lawyer was when I was 12. My father was a prosecutor at that point.Uh-oh! Already, we were worried by the tone of Hostin’s reaction. Here’s what happened next:
HOSTIN: I like that.
GERAGOS: He got the, he got the—he saw the light and became a defense lawyer the following year. But I went to court with him when I was 12. And I actually watched him prosecute an 18-year-old kid, who was only six years older than I was, and send him to state prison for being in a room where marijuana was smoked. That had the most unbelievable effect on me.
GERAGOS (continuing directly): I mean, I said to my father, “How in the world can you put an 18-year-old kid right out of the box into state prison for being in a room where marijuana was smoked?” I just could not—Warning! When Hostin said she understood, she didn’t mean what you think she meant. As the exchange continued, she displayed a remarkable reasoning process:
HOSTIN: I completely understand that.
GERAGOS: That has completely changed the career trajectory of me.
HOSTIN (continuing directly): Well, I completely understand that. If someone is in a room where they're packaging cocaine, or someone's in a room where they are trading guns and illegally trading guns, and they do nothing about it and are, in fact, really participating in it, I don't see a problem with that.Wow, we thoughtfully said.
GERAGOS: This is exactly why prosecutors need like “Prosecutors Anonymous” or something. Because the idea that somehow you're going to go from being in a room where marijuana is smoked to international drug trafficking or gun trafficking—
HOSTIN: It's the same thing.
GERAGOS: I mean, it's not the same thing.
HOSTIN: It's the same thing. It's a crime.
HOSTIN: I think your father was right. We'll be right back.
On air, Hostin is a very pleasant, very attractive person. She also thinks that everybody should be in prison.
Smoking marijuana, international gun smuggling? It’s all the same!
Cable has been full of such former prosecutors at least since the OJ days. During the abduction of Elizabeth Smart, the worst of them all, Nancy Grace, got Richard Ricci thrown into prison, where he died.
As it turned out, Ricci had nothing to do with the crime, but Grace just knew he had done it. She screamed and yelled, and he got jailed on some minor outstanding warrant.
A medical condition took over from there. Eventually, on Larry King Live, Geragos savaged Grace about what she had done, and she pretty much lied.
We were especially struck by Hostin’s performance because of the role she played in the George Zimmerman trial. From early in the case, she played a leading role in the invention of false information which helped whip up feeling against Zimmerman.
Set aside what you think about Zimmerman. Think about Hostin now.
We’re so old that we can recall when it was considered a very bad thing to invent false facts about people accused of major crimes. Remember when everyone agreed that they shouldn’t have made up those bogus claims against Tom Robinson? In that famous novel?
We do remember that!
Right from the start, a string of bogus facts were invented about the killing of Trayvon Martin. Last night, we got a look at the kind of thinking to which the liberal world surrendered in that tragic, unfortunate case.
Temperamentally, Hostin seems like a very nice person. For years, she prosecuted cases involving the sexual abuse of children.
Judging from what we’ve seen on cable, people’s perspectives may get warped if they spend too many years chasing too many horrible crimes. We thought that exchange should be posted.
Final question: Where do you think that 18-year-old is today?
(Geragos was born in 1957. The incident would have occurred in 1969.)