Oct 1, 2016

Fact Check This

During the 1st Presidential Debate, alleged moderator Lestor Holt sided with candidate Clinton in calling Stop & Frisk unconstitutional. He was wrong.

Stop & Frisk is the Law of the Land, found Constitutional by the Earl Warren Court in 1959 (Terry v. United States), every cop does stop and frisk in every part of the United States. Lester Holt was wrong and as moderator had no right to contradict Trump, but at least Hilary had an excuse as she failed the Bar exam. The Murder rate has gone down 65% in NYC (NYT article 9/27/16) since Stop & Frisk implemented. A single NY Circuit judge ruled Stop & Frisk unconstitutional as applied, which is different from unconstitutional. But the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit excoriated this judge for her ruling, basically said she was wrong, entered an injunction against her order and removed her from the case.

While I was initially making this point to some of my co-workers, one responded emphatically and strongly that I was wrong. As I made my points my co-worker conceded that even if Stop & frisk were Constitutional, it was not fair, and worse. He insisted on his point because he had been subject to what he considered stop & frisk. Later when I realized how hurt he was I apologized, stating that my intention was never to offend or hurt him and that I did not want either a police state or double standards. We need to address the problems in our country, but we have to state a problem before we can address or hope to fix it. My point on stop & frisk was a technical one, which is why it sounded so wrong to my co-worker, as he saw this from a personal point of view. Very personal. In that sense my coworker was right.

I still believe there has to be a way to address crime without being racist, but I also see what appears to be opportunists inflaming and taking advantage of people's feelings here. The reason I made the technical point about Stop & frisk so forcefully was because I saw Lester Holt contributing to that opportunism when he called Stop & Frisk unconstitutional, not because it could unfairly target people of color, but because he presented an observation as a fact-checked Legal principal. He took sides in the debate, and moderators cannot do that, and if they do we have bigger problems in this country.

Holt was also wrong about Trumps opposition to the Iraq war. During an early Howard Stern interview, Trump did say very lightly, “I don’t know, who knows” when asked if he supported the Iraq invasion. In an interview with Neal Cavuto Trump is on video as against the War. Sean Hannity verified that Trump was against the war before it started, as did Rudy Guiliani.

If moderators play Fact-Checker they should at least get the facts correct! What Holt did was completely unprofessional and totally unethical.

If Stop & Frisk is based on probable cause, it is a Constitutional Law enforcement procedure, and if it is not based on probable cause, then that particular search would be found unconstitutional, but to play fast and loose with words in order to give your candidate an edge when moderating what is expected to be a fair debate is unethical.

And if moderators take sides, or help candidates with errorneous information, or even appeal to emotions instead of facts or truth, then they are not moderators and no friends of either Truth or Freedom.

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