Last week’s headline here read: “Say it ain’t so, Fani.” It referred to Georgia’s Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis facing accusations she hired her boyfriend to prosecute former President Donald Trump and others.
The evidence the two were in a sexual relationship seemed convincing, but she declined to confirm or deny for the longest time. Now, in a court document sent last week to the judge looking into the allegations, Fani (pronounced “Fawn-ee”) admitted the affair, but said everything was good and proper because at the time she hired him, he was just a very, very good friend. It wasn’t until 100 days later that she started getting naked with him.
That’s a defense only lawyers in love can make.
In the real world where normal people live, it’s a distinction without a difference. Screwing around with the hired help is in no way appropriate – before, during or after the hire date. And, while there are a raft of legal points to be argued as to whether this warrants disqualification for the case, it demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt the deeply flawed sense of professionalism of the two. It raises legit questions about the love birds’ involvement in the case going forward.
Ironically, the court date to sort this mess out is scheduled for Feb. 15. That should make for a very interesting Valentine’s Day prep day for all concerned.
Last Wednesday (Jan. 31), the CEOs of Meta, TikTok, X and other social media companies appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to talk about the accountability they bear as it relates to the content on their platforms.
Let me simplify the issue at stake here.
In the old days, media companies such as CBS News, the New York Times and this little ol’ newspaper, were held strictly accountable for the stuff they published. Libel laws saw to that.
But the big tech firms today claim they are not accountable for the content they put up because they just provide a public platform. Think of it like a cell phone provider. Should Apple be held accountable for scammers using an iPhone to bilk seniors out of their savings?
Big tech firms spend billions every year on lobbyists to make sure the United States Congress doesn’t pass any laws that would upset that apple cart. Gawdforbid, Big Tech might be held accountable like newspapers have been and still are.
The odd thing about last week’s congressional dog and pony show was just days before the hearing a whackadoodle in Pennsylvania cut off his dad’s head and put it in a cooking pot. He did it live on YouTube and the grim video stayed active for quite some time for anyone to see.
I would have liked to hear YouTube’s explanation for that. If you are not accountable, why take the video down? If you are accountable, why did it take so long?
It’s a new world for media companies and I’m no longer sure that I’m seeing the signposts clearly anymore. It’s a funny thing, though. No YouTube exec was at Wednesday’s hearing.
Hummm. Color me jaded, but this makes me wonder how serious Congress is at exploring the questions at hand.
I ran across this thought from Jim Geraghty of the National Review, which I pass along to you for your personal edification on the general topic of immigration:
“Let us first dispense with the absurd accusation that the United States of America is a xenophobic country or that it does not welcome immigrants. Every year since the millennium, between 703,000 and 1.2 million immigrants have been granted legal permanent residence, a process also known as getting a green card. Green-card holders are permitted to live and work in the country indefinitely, to join the armed forces, and to apply for U.S. citizenship after five years — three years, if married to a U.S. citizen.”
ONE MORE THING
– Everything I know about the Kardasians I learned against my will.
(Sherman R. Frederick is a longtime Nevada writer and a member of the Nevada Press Association’s Hall of Fame. He can be reached at ShermFrederick@gmail.com.)