Despite my having little good to say about the Marshall Project, a point raised by criminal defense lawyer, activist and producer, David Menschel, evoked a response by lawprof Carissa Hessick that piqued my interest.
Both have a point. While the Pulitzer hook isn’t at all what one might suspect, it coming by dint of a MP writer riding the coattails of ProPublica, and the vast majority of the content at the Marshall Project being of the tear-jerker, legally vapid, sort that’s become so popular with the homebound and terminally unemployed, during the hours General Hospital isn’t on the air, are they an organ of the #Resistance, are they legitimate journalism or are they . . . something else?
This was the last post at the Marshall Project that caught my eye:
The Hardest Phone Call a Prosecutor Has to Make
Law school doesn’t prepare you for delivering bad news to victims and their families.
So sad. So very sad. So what?
“This is Jean,” I say. “I’m from the prosecutor’s office. I would like to talk with you regarding a case in which you were the victim. Could we meet in person?”
“No, just tell me why you’re calling,” replies Sue*, a sexual assault victim.
“I would rather speak in person.”
“Just tell me now.”
A conviction was reversed. Saved you a click. But this isn’t just some petty prosecution melodrama. The conviction was for rape. It’s one of the most elusive ironies of the day that social justice warriors applaud the reversal of a murder conviction for a due process deprivation, but are outraged by the reversal of a rape conviction for the same.
There is nothing wrong with Marshall Project running this post, whether it’s true or not. This reminds those who cry “JUSTICE!!!” that they’re wrong, that justice isn’t just their preferred outcome, and there are other perspectives, equally valid, that see it very differently.
But it does little to explain what the hell the Marshall Project exists to do. Is it an organ of the Resistance, as David argues, that just sucks at its job? Or is it journalism, as Carissa sees it, that just sucks at its job? Inquiring minds want to know.
*Tuesday Talk rules apply.