SOCIETY DOWN: Murderer, Corey said!

TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2013

Part 1—Dismantling society’s norms: Angela Corey is a real piece of work, although she’s hardly alone.

Corey is the “crazy-ass prosecuta” we pseudo-liberals have come to adore. Yesterday, she was interviewed by HLN’s Vinnie Politan about the Zimmerman trial.

She sat with Bernie de la Rionda, who had argued her case in court. At one point, Politan asked the type of question which is dragging our intellect down:

“One word to describe George Zimmerman.”

A long silence ensued. It seemed that no one was going to speak. Finally, Corey provided her word:


That was a remarkable answer. We’d say it was the latest symptom of what we’d call “society down.”

As our society keeps fragmenting into tribes, its basic norms unravel. One example: Increasingly, we no longer have facts. Instead, we have pleasing stories our varied elites have invented.

When she gave that remarkable answer, Corey was walking away from one of our society’s most basic norms. But that should hardly be surprising. Corey is a real piece of work, even though the pseudo-liberal world has decided to follow her.

Corey is the biggest crackpot in Florida’s prosecutorial system. This explains why the loathsome Rick Scott handed her the task of chasing after George Zimmerman.

What makes Corey a real piece of work? For starters, consider two recent examples:

In 2011, Corey charged a 12-year-old boy with the first-degree murder of his 2-year-old half-brother. But don’t worry—before he was questioned, he was read his Miranda rights! For more on the case, just click here.

(Just so we can pretend to care, the 12-year-old boy was Hispanic.)

Currently, the pseudo-liberal cable world is pretending to be upset about the disgraceful prosecution of Marissa Alexander, who received a 20-year prison sentence last year for firing a warning shot over the head of her long abusive husband. Cable pseudo-liberals feign anger about the jury’s conduct, while ignoring the fact that this too was Corey’s work.

In short, Corey is the spawn of Nancy Grace. Like Rick Scott, she’s the kind of crazy person progressives have always worried about.

But now, we tribal pseudo-liberals like the cut of her jib! That’s the way a tribe will behave when society’s norms are devolving.

Why was Corey’s remark on HLN so strange? Consider the norms which have always guided our legal community.

Everybody understands that trial by jury is imperfect. In many cases, there simply isn’t enough evidence to let a jury know what has happened in the particular case. And in cases where there is plenty of evidence, juries may make strange decisions—or they may simply reach a decision with which you disagree.

Trial by jury isn’t perfect. But it is the practice enshrined within our legal system. The voters speak on Election Day. A jury speaks in the case of a criminal trial.

Our legal system also includes a long-standing “presumption of innocence.” In theory, a defendant is presumed to be innocent. The state is required to prove that he or she broke the law.

Traditionally, prosecutors state their respect for the decisions of our juries. But Corey, a crackpot, is part of a tribe which increasingly respects its own norms and beliefs as our society atomizes.

Corey is part of the (right-wing) tribe in which every defendant is presumed guilty. In her remarkable answer to Politano, she kept faith with the views of this tribe while breaking faith with the values which have defined the larger society.

What happens when we make way for the values of this particular tribe? For one thing, our prisons fill up with innocent people, a problem which has become more obvious in recent years.

Let’s consider two recent cases in which the gods of cable stupidity helped drag our society down, thanks to the influence of crazy people like Corey:

In June 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped from her family’s Salt Lake City home. The cable gods were of course very happy when this crime occurred.

The repellent Grace played a leading role in the cable witch trials which followed. At one point, Grace convinced herself, then much of the world, that the abduction had been committed by Richard Ricci, a handyman who was working in the Smart home at the time of the crime.

Largely thanks to Grace’s conduct, Ricci was arrested on an outstanding warrant. He was put in prison, where he died of a pre-existing condition, due in part to poor medical treatment.

After Ricci died, Grace even began suggesting that the police should go after Ricci’s wife. There is nothing people like Grace and Corey won’t say and do.

Later, of course, it became clear that Ricci had nothing to do with Elizabeth Smart’s abduction. In a glorious outcome, Elizabeth Smart was found in the grip of the actual perpetrator.

On March 12, 2003, Larry King publicly lamented the way Ricci had been tried and convicted on his program. Inevitably, Grace insisted that she had done nothing wrong. Finally, Mark Geragos said this:
GERAGOS (3/12/03): Nancy, I have reserved any kind of comments tonight because you have been, all along in this story, one of the worst perpetrators of convicting people. And you’ve done it on this show in this specific case. I don’t even remember the name of the guy before Ricci that they had focused on, and you had convicted him as well.
Grace said she had done no such thing. Along with everything else, Nancy Grace was now lying.

(For a fuller review, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/2/03.)

Alas! That's part of the way the world starts to work when the Tribe of Grace holds sway—when we hand society’s reins to crackpots like Angela Corey. But then, let’s recall another recent case—the so-called Duke lacrosse case.

In that instance, it wasn’t the tribe of the Crazy Prosecutors who drove the cable frenzy. In that instance, it was the tribe of the Hapless Professors, a tribe which includes some of the dumbest people who ever drew breath on the earth.

As Nancy Grace had convicted Ricci, so did the country’s all-knowing professors pre-settle the facts of this case. As it turned out, the Hapless Professors were horribly wrong, as they so typically are.

In that case, the Hapless Professors followed the ethos of Corey’s tribe. They threw away presumptions of innocence. They threw away the long-standing requirement that we have to establish real facts before we start telling the stories our dim-witted tribe may prefer.

The hapless professors invented their facts, just as Nancy Grace had done. Their facts turned out to be wrong.

Yesterday, the biggest crackpot in crazy-ass Florida appeared on your cable TV machine thingy. While there, she walked away from the tradition in which a prosecutor is expected to show proper respect for a jury’s decision.

Despite the jury’s decision, despite the presumption of innocence, she once again called Zimmerman a “murderer.” It was an extraordinary act.

Also extraordinary was the clowning conducted by cable pseudo-progressives. Last night, they lamented the prosecution of Marissa Alexander, failing to note that it was Corey who engineered this vile act.

At such moments, we think we see something. We think we see our highly imperfect society breaking down.

Over the past thirty years, our highly imperfect society has been breaking apart into tribes. Each tribe reserves the right to invent its own facts and logic.

Each of these tribes reserves the right to walk away from the larger society’s most basic procedures and traditions.

The Zimmerman case has helped us see the way we pseudo-liberals have purchased this trend. And make no mistake:

When we walk away from our most basic traditions, it’s a case of Society Down.

Long ago, in the 1960s, Norman O. Brown was suddenly very hot. Brown, a classicist at Cal Santa Cruz, had published Life Against Death in 1959. In 1966, he followed that with Love’s Body.

We can’t even recall what it was that made Brown so hot. But we’ve always recalled a vision he expressed in Love’s Body, a vision about the way societies die:
BROWN (1966): I sometimes think I see that societies originate in the discovery of some secret, some mystery; and end in exhaustion when there is no longer any secret, when the mystery has been divulged, that is to say profaned...And so there comes a time—I believe we are in such a time—when civilization has to be renewed by the discovery of some new mysteries, by the undemocratic but sovereign power of the imagination, by the undemocratic power which makes poets the unacknowledged legislators of all mankind, the power which makes all things new.
Is our society ending in exhaustion? Is its mystery being profaned? Or is our civilization being renewed? Is a new mystery being discovered?

Increasingly, we live in a world of invented facts and deeply inane tribal novels. Multimillionaires go on TV to hand each tribe its official stories. We the people then rush to our comment threads, where we repeat the phony facts our multimillionaire leaders provided.

We may not be able to see that this process is unfolding. But this process is unfolding on cable TV every night.

In our view, the Zimmerman trial brought this process into a new stark relief. To us, it looks like exhaustion more than new mystery. On that, opinions may differ.

It’s hard to keep up with all the nonsense. We’ll examine this process all week.

Tomorrow: In the current instance, where did the fake facts come from?

Crazy-ass crackpot speaks: By traditional progressive standards, Angela Corey is a crackpot. So is Governor Scott, who unloosed her on this case.

Yesterday, the crackpot spoke. This is what she said:
POLITAN (7/14/13): One word to describe George Zimmerman.

COREY: Murderer.

POLITAN: George Zimmerman.


POLITAN: Trayvon Benjamin Martin.

DE LA RIONDA: I don't know there's one word that can describe a victim.

POLITAN: Trayvon Benjamin Martin.

COREY: Prey, P-R-E-Y.
Corey, a genuine crackpot, was walking away from our society’s most basic norms and traditions. Tribal atomization is like that.

Our own tribe was wrong in the Duke lacrosse case. But so what? Flinging our poo all around our cages, our tribe didn’t much seem to care.


  1. Chilling stuff, wow.

  2. Apparently the fig leaf of media criticism can be dropped for some posts. If this post were about media criticism, it would focus on the inanity of demanding "One word to describe George Zimmerman."

    But that's not what this post is about, is it?

    1. Actually, that did get sufficient, disdainful focus, I thought: "the type of question which is dragging our intellect down." You don't get much bigger condemnation than that.

      And then there's more to the post.

      Is there something wrong with the remainder?

      You don't say yet, but you don't need an invitation to come right out and say what it is which which you so mysteriously seem to disagree.

    2. It's about the manner in which basic values seem to have been abandoned in order to support someone who advances a particular narrative about racism, regardless of that person's past behavior and character. Corey does not exemplify non-racist views, nor is she any kind of liberal. But she does support the current media narrative about racism and Zimmerman's actions. Bob asks why that segment of the media he calls "pseudo-liberal" has allied itself with someone like Corey and how it can approve of the prosecution's behavior during this trial including its latest disavowal of the way in which our justice system works. I find that entirely consistent with previous posts here and the purpose of this blog -- although a blog owner can certainly write about whatever he wants.

    3. Trollmes knows all *that*, 10:58. He prefers to keep his snark unspecific, unfalsifiable, useless.

    4. I wouldn't say the focus of this column is media criticism. Angela Corey is an elected Republican State Attorney. It's not clear how calling Corey "the biggest crackpot in crazy-ass Florida" is supposed to be media criticism. In countless other TDH posts this type of characterization is said to be unhelpful to progressive interests.

      Note that I do not try to say that Somerby is taking the side of torture advocate Alan Dershowitz in his criticism of Corey. But TDH seems to be using that logic to attack unnamed "psuedo-liberals."

  3. If nothing else good comes out of this, it's Americans now know you can legally shoot a cop who tries to taser you in Florida.

    1. A viciously insane comment. Viciously nsane and criminal.

    2. Yet typically tribal. The tribal left is insane.

  4. I see nothing "vicious", "insane" or "criminal" here. I'll give you credit for correctly pointing out it was a "comment", though.

    1. As a matter of netiquette, please hit reply at the bottom of the comment when you are replying to a specific comment instead of replying to the post itself.

      Your comment was criminal because it urges violence against police carrying out their duties. It was insane because it shows no reasoning whatsoever and because no sane person would suggest violence against cops. It is vicious because it seems to consider such violence a "good." It is irresponsible because it misstates law. It is ignorant because nothing has changed about self-defense law in Florida with this case, so Americans have learned nothing new.

      I would add that your comment was hostile and mean-spirited and entirely in keeping with the bad example Corey has set about accepting the jury's decision.

    2. Your comment was criminal because it urges violence against police carrying out their duties. It was insane because it shows no reasoning whatsoever and because no sane person would suggest violence against cops. It is vicious because it seems to consider such violence a "good." It is irresponsible because it misstates law. It is ignorant because nothing has changed about self-defense law in Florida with this case, so Americans have learned nothing new.

      I would add that your comment was hostile and mean-spirited and entirely in keeping with the bad example Corey has set about accepting the jury's decision.

      [Completely right and proper and needed.]

    3. "Your comment was criminal because it urges violence against police carrying out their duties."
      It does not urge violence against cops carrying out their duties.
      I see no such urging of violence. The violence is in a police officer shooting 15,000 volts of electricity into a living human being.
      "It was insane because it shows no reasoning whatsoever and because no sane person would suggest violence against cops.

      Sorry, the reasoning was implied. The reason being if you fear for your safety (and who wouldn't when someone is trying to zap you with electricity, especially when there have been quite a few deaths caused by tasers), you have the legal right to defend yourself, even if it's with the use of a gun.
      "It is vicious because it seems to consider such violence a "good."
      As opposed to the "good" violence being a cop shooting 15,000 volts of electricity into a human being.
      "It is irresponsible because it misstates law. "
      Go ahead, show me where the law is misstated. Particularly in regards to self-defense.
      "It is ignorant because nothing has changed about self-defense law in Florida with this case, so Americans have learned nothing new."
      True, nothing has changed about self-defense law in Florida with this case. However, due to the publicity surrounding this case, many more Americans learned something new (to them), which is there is much latitude in applying self-defense law in Florida and leans heavily to those who reasonably fear for their safety.

    4. As for the comment being hostile and mean-spirited, I saw it as being factual, but you're certainly entitled to your own opinion.

    5. I don't think the comment advocated violence, but even if it did, that wouldn't make it criminal. But if you think you can legally shoot a cop who's going to taser you, good luck with that.

      Florida statute 756.051(1) specifically disallows the use of force to resist a cop who is acting to execute a duty he believes in good faith to be lawful. (The cop must be reasonably recognizable as a cop.) In addition, if you've provoked the cop, you can't use lethal force even if the cop's initial action is unlawful.

      And anyone who thinks that it's always insane to suggest violence in response to cops might want to read up a little on the history of the Overtown Riots.

  5. Professor K. C. Johnson followed the Duke rape accusation case closely at .

    The "Hapless Professors" Bob alludes to called themselves the "Group of 88". Their shameful demonstrations had many bad consequences for Duke U. They roiled the campus. They forced the firing of an outstanding lacrosse coach who had done nothing wrong. They forced three innocent young men to leave the school. They helped to pemanently blacken the reputation of the three innocent defendants. They cost Duke a large amount of money to settle various lawsuits.

    The state declared the lacrosse players innocent, not just Not Guilty. Nevertheless, the Group of 88 members received no punishment for their conduct. On the contrary, various members of the Group of 88 received promotions and are in positions of greater influence on campus. One of them was recruited as a full Professor at my alma mater, the University of Chicago.

  6. Quaker in a BasementJuly 16, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    What now? Just a week or two ago, TDH was praising Jeralynn Merritt for her sterling character as she wrote equally inflammatory things in defense of George Zimmerman.

    I guess the difference between being admirable or a crackpot just depends on which tribe you belong to. Or is that just the pseudo-liberal in me talking?

    1. It isn't about which side you supported in this case. It is about how you use evidence and how you talk about what happened -- whether you do so fairly and even-handedly or whether you bend facts, spread misstatements, or omit inconvenient facts or evidence that doesn't support your narrative. Merritt is careful about how she talks about things, her comments have been from the perspective of a criminal defense attorney, and her speculations have been supported by the outcome of this trial. Jeralynn Merritt bends over backwards to not only post substantiated information but also to keep commenters from posting libelous or unsupported information. That is what makes her admirable -- not who she did or didn't defend. Frankly, I didn't see her defending anyone but mainly commenting on the process and the procedural mistakes of the prosecution, the likely outcome and basis for various motions, and so on. It was a process oriented discussion over there.

      Clearly, simply being willing to consider Zimmerman's point of view is enough to be labeled "inflammatory" and "in defense" of someone. The trial was about Zimmerman's guilt or innocence and the jurors were required to consider his point of view, in the context of the evidence. They did so and found it impossible to exclude the possibility he acted in self defense, just as Jeralynn and most other lawyers discussing the case thought would happen.

    2. Anons @ 1127 & 1131: Merritt's sockpuppets flinging poo in another blog's comments section. Getting bored with the Greek Choir you have over at her site?

    3. The only poo is your own matty. Clean yourself up.

  7. Without knowing all the facts, I'm quite sympathetic with Ms. Alexander's predicament. Why are there no calls for a pardon or commutation? Can the president pardon someone convicted at the state level? Would that open a floodgate of protests over people who cop a plea rather than risk a much longer sentence? We complain about food stamp expenditure when we're locking up everybody and his dog.

    The Alexander and Zimmerman cases are being connected (or conflated, to use the fashionable term) because in both cases the perceived victim is African American and the prosecutor is Angela Corey. Marissa was put away because of overcharging; Trayvon's killer got off because of overcharging.

    Moreover, Zimmerman is of Peruvian (Incan?) descent, Corey is of Syrian descent, Shiping Bao is of Asian descent and yet this is all being portrayed as a black/white thing?

    Dan Abrams said on This Week that the choice between Murder II and Manslaughter was irrelevant because reasonable doubt would have prevented any conviction. The Prosecution simply failed to make its case. But he allowed that it would be interesting to actually hear from the jurors.

    Now we've heard from one ambitious (book deal) juror who said it wasn't reasonable doubt for her. She believed Zimmerman.

    Still, given the bald prosecutor's insistance upon his almost perfect record of convictions, it's tempting to wonder if his team basically took a dive.

    Oh, press criticism. I was sure Chris Hayes would spend much of his Sunday rehearsing indignation and outrage. Judging from Monday's show I must have been right. But being a analytical intellectual by nature, he's not that convincing when doing outrage and indignation. About all he can do is slip more adjectives into his copy and end each paragraph with, "It's disgusting."

    1. The juror (whose husband is an attorney) had retained an agent to seek a book deal but she has now stated she has no intention of doing a book deal.

      Knowing some of the facts, I think the Alexander case may have been overcharged, but unlike Zimmerman, Alexander was convicted by the jury. In her case, she and her husband had restraining orders against each other (not just her against him, as has been stated by the press). She had previously attacked him and her shot, termed a "warning shot," could also be considered a shot intentionally aimed at him that missed. Further, she went and got her gun in order to shoot at him, showing intentionality. There was an ongoing conflict involving violence in Alexander's case, and a legitimate basis for considering her actions an attack with a gun on her husband. I believe that is why she was convicted whereas Zimmerman was not. Her case is very different.

    2. She got a long sentence because of Florida's minimum sentencing laws. Zimmerman would have been sent away for decades too, if he had been convicted of manslaughter. As stated on Jerilynn's website, the defense was concerned because it wasn't permitted to inform the jury that lengthy sentences are mandatory and it feared jurors would think manslaughter would mean just a year or two in prison (as it does in many other states) and consider that a reasonable compromise.

    3. Can the president pardon someone convicted at the state level?

      Of course not.

    4. Deadrat is correct this time.

    5. You haven't really shown another time where he was wrong, either.

      Just sayin'

  8. Jeffrey Toobin was trashing the juror who gave an interview to Anderson Cooper, saying his jaw dropped when she said she felt sorry for both Martin and Zimmerman. He said she was scum for feeling sorry for Zimmerman.

    1. Remember when we liberals use to say that we were so much better than everyone else because we had the "empathy gene?"

    2. majneb:

      No. Of course, I don't live inside your head.

  9. The HLN Channel: ahh, yes, that beacon of liberalism and progressive thought. Angela Corey, one of our liberal elites ... oh yeah, she's not a member of any media group.

    Two more inconvenient facts that get in the way of Somerby's "tribal" narrative.

  10. I wonder if Corey has opened herself up to a defamation lawsuit?

    1. Probably not, because Z is a public figure and because there's at least some grounds to believe that Z is a murderer.

  11. I could believe two things. I could believe she's a poor prosecutor AND that George Zimmerman lied about the sequence and nature of events that night.
    I don't actually retain the prosecutor. I don't have a choice. I suppose I could rush to the defense of George Zimmerman because the state lawyer is a bad person, then I would be authentically liberal I guess, but that's a completely insane test for measuring Zimmerman's truthfullness, so I think I'll pass.
    We had a bad county prosecutor once. A dope. I still didn't believe I had to join forces with the defendant in order to properly denouce the bad prosecutor.

  12. Are any of you legal eagles at all humbled by the fact that three of the jurors (the jurors we were told to LISTEN TO by Zimmerman's online defense team) wanted to convict?

    They didn't convict, of course, but the legal eagles all told me this was a bad case, and no one shoukd ever have taken it to trial! It was persecution even subjecting Zimmerman's witnesses to cross examination! It was open and shut!

    Yet the rather ambitious juror told us last night that three of the Rule Of Law honirable jurors initally wanted to convict.

    Maybe it wasn't as open and shut as you thought, and a trial on the shooting death of a 17 year old was a worthwhile excercise?

    Although very stressful for Mr. Zimmerman.

  13. Yes, 3 jurors initially voted to convict. But, they changed their minds when they carefully went through the judge's instructions. Ultimately it wasn't a hung jury. Not a single juror held out for conviction. And they reached their decision fairly rapidly. Apparently they spent much of their time working through a complex and confusing set of judicial instructions.

    Here's why the case shouldn't have been brought. The prosecution never had a supportable scenario. Normally the prosecution lays out what they claim happened, while the defense tries to create doubt. This case was the opposite. The defense presented a picture of what they say happened, while the prosecution was reduced to creating doubts. Since reasonable doubt benefits the defense, this sort of prosecution couldn't possibly succeed.

    IANAL but I think it's unethical to prosecute someone you don't think you can convict simply to punish him or for political reasons.

  14. "Are any of you legal eagles at all humbled by the fact that three of the jurors (the jurors we were told to LISTEN TO by Zimmerman's online defense team) wanted to convict?"

    **Before** deliberations got underway and were completed. Irrelevant, therefore not humbling.

    1. Are any head-bashing apologists at all humbled by the fact that three jurors who initially wanted to convict gave the matter further thought, listened to their peers and changed their minds, becoming convinced they could not rule out self-defense by Zimmerman, and therefore could not find him guilty?

  15. Yes, Bob and Jeralyn Merritt have rejected the evil liberals and now joined up with Ann Coulter and Ted Nugent. Jeralyn has this AM endorsed the Rolling Stone cover of that adorable Boston Marathon bomber while lamenting they called him a "monster". Join in Bob...How dare they call that cute guy a monster.