Look, it's easy to limit the blame to Stuart Rothenberg for writing this idiocy, but I also blame Roll Call, which publishes his blog and is presumably able to exercise some editorial oversight:
The Christie Investigation: From Inquiry to Lynching?No, Stuart, this is not crossing the line from investigation to "lynching." The point of a lynching is that it's the work of people acting outside the law, violently and brutally executing a suspect without trial.
... We still don't know whether Christie told the entire truth at his news conference last week or whether the many investigations that are now developing -- about the bridge scandal but also about other decisions made by the governor during his time in office -- will show poor judgment or even malfeasance.
But given the governor's immediate reaction to the personal crisis that has engulfed him, it isn't too soon to wonder when the accusations and media frenzy crossed the line from inquiry and investigation to political lynching....
Let me explain. Here's what's happening to Chris Christie right now:
... Christie is headed to Florida for a series of events with some of the GOP's deepest pockets -- three Saturday fundraisers and a Sunday dinner with major donors from around the country.All while legal processes, involving subpoenas and hearings, are taking place. Not anything remotely like this:
... The Sunday dinner is at [Home Depot co-founder Ken] Langone's house in North Palm Beach ... and was billed to donors as a chance to rub elbows with Christie, not a fundraiser. It is distinct from Saturday fundraisers Christie is slated to headline for Florida Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican Governors Association in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando....
... Neal was taken from the Brewton jail between one and two o'clock Friday morning, October 26. he was in the hands of the smaller lynching group composed of approximately 100 men from then until he was left in the road in front of the Cannidy home late that same night.Look, it's simple, and if Rothenberg can't figure it out, Roll Call should have some editorial standards. If it doesn't involve conscience-shocking violence or the equivalent in brutality, it's not a lynching -- or a rape or slavery, for that matter. When the person perceived as a victim has power, status, high-powered lawyers, media defenders, and a future that involves due process, and has not suffered grievous physical harm or been summarily deprived of human rights, do not say the person is being raped or lynched or enslaved.
Neal was tortured for ten or twelve hours....
A member of the lynching party described the lynching in all of its ghastliness, down tot he minutest detail:
After taking the nigger to the woods about four miles from Greenwood, they cut off his penis. He was made to eat it. They cut off his testicles and made him eat them and say he liked it....
Then they sliced his sides and stomach with knives and every now and then somebody would cut off a finger or toe. Red hot irons were used on the nigger to burn him from top to bottom.
From time to time during the torture a rope was tied around Neal's neck and he was pulled up over a limb and held there until he almost choked to death. Then he was let down and the torture began all over again. After several hours of this unspeakable torture, they decided just to kill him.
This should be an absolute editorial rule, at Roll Call and everywhere else. It's not complicated.