October 03, 2002
Guess they don't like him

We here in Houston like to complain about the Houston Chronicle for its many sins: it's mealy-mouthed, a corporate shill, doesn't have a good investigative reporting tradition (they missed the whole Enron scandal, after all), and is just as colorless as a glass of Perrier. All of which is true, but I sometimes fail to appreciate how true the latter item is until I come across stories like this from the Philadelphia Daily News, whose reporting on the Ira Einhorn trial has been a hoot. Take yesterday's entry, in which the Einhorn defense team gets to cross examine some prosecution witnesses:

APPARENTLY, women who don't love Ira Einhorn and his big, fat, bossy personality must be...lesbians!

In a shocking turn of courtroom strategy, Einhorn defense attorney William Cannon yesterday unleashed this sexual-orientation defense in an attempt to discredit female witnesses who saw bruises on Holly Maddux's face in the years before she was beaten to death.

Cannon implied during cross-examination, then confirmed to reporters later, that he believed the women were testifying about Einhorn's alleged beatings of Maddux because the women were jealous of the hippie's romantic relationship with the beautiful Texan.

Wowzer. It's not like Einhorn and his attorney, who went on to say "I think most of the women we have seen so far are the kind of ladies who were very much part of the pro-feminist movement, who could be termed as man-haters" and who are biased against "aggressive, outspoken strong men who dominated relationships", don't deserve this kind of open contempt. It's just rather shocking to see in a daily paper.

They keep it up in today's edition:

WE'RE NOW faced with the unpleasant task of discussing Ira Einhorn's sex life.

During Einhorn's murder trial yesterday, his attorney modified his previous "Lesbian Defense" to make room for the big, 1970s sex-romp diversion. The foray into free love stars the hygienically challenged hippie and his bevy of willing partners.

It's actually kinda refreshing, even though I know that it's just pandering to the masses. I wouldn't want a steady diet of this kind of indignant posturing - there's a reason I don't read the New York Post - but sometimes a little outrage in the daily fishwrap is useful. As long as it's not your own ox that's being gored (and if Ira Einhorn is your ox, please don't tell me about it).

Anyway, I think this is where I'll be tuning in for future trial updates. How can you go back to wire feeds after you've seen this?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 03, 2002 to Crime and Punishment