There’s nothing like the media throwing around a term it knows nothing about, to turn the average nitwit into an expert. Take, for example, the issue of Mirandizing surviving Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Let’s start with the en vogue practice of turning nouns into verbs. You don’t Mirandize someone, you read him his Miranda rights. But I know it’s hard to resist this nomenclature when we’re barraged with statements like, “When I’m president, I’m going to incentivize companies to hire more workers.”
“Hey, did you see the way LeBron James basketballed last night?”
“No, I was emergency rooming with my fiancee that was bird-fluing.”
Like the fiscal cliff a couple months ago, the infotainment industry has put Miranda front and center. Most people couldn’t tell you the state Miranda came from, or the crime he committed, or when his Supreme Court case became law. But all we need is to have the media throw around the word “Miranda” enough times and everyone becomes a Constitutional Scholar.
Some folks are ruing the fact that Tsarnaev wasn’t read his rights immediately upon his capture. While, this week comes the news that Peter King, the bloviating Congressman from Long Island is decrying Tsarnaev being read his rights. But one thing is for sure: most people don’t even know what Miranda represents.
Sure, they may have seen a couple episodes of Adam-12. But even Kent McCord and Martin Milner are unlikely to give a coherent recitation of the significance.
Ironically, King is a law school grad and former prosecutor, so you think he’d be a little ahead of the class on the Miranda curve when he says things like, “This was not required by American Law…”
Notwithstanding the gentleman from New York’s perspective, the mere failure to read Tsarnaev his Miranda rights doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have any.
Further, all Miranda does is potentially bar evidence obtained via the suspect’s testimony that occurs after the suspect is taken into custody. It doesn’t affect the vast body of evidence obtained from all other sources.
For a reactionary blowhard like King, I’m sure it’s hard to dissect complex, intertwined issues that can’t be readily addressed by insisting we invade Iraq. But, if he took a deep breath, and eased up on the 5-hour energy he may realize that, like all the other pots the infotainment sector stirs, it’s mostly bs. Read him his rights, don’t read them. It will make little difference.
But, like moths to the flame, it gives us all a reason to perpetuate cable news’ existence.