You know, I didn't understand the whole “Free Paris” movement. I mean, she broke a minor law and has to spend about a month in jail. Big freaking deal. But, for some reason, one very small percentage of the populace believes she's been treated unfairly – to the extent of being devastated when Hilton was told she had to return to jail. However, after reading this piece by Joel Klein (Which Mr. Greenwald thoroughly – of course – eviscerates. Oh, and keep scrolling past the Joke Line post to the comments section. It's a laugh or cry riot.) I think I understand.
Klein defends Scooter Libby the way that Hilton's fans defend her, although probably a lot more eloquently. And in much the same oblivious way. Not because they don't believe the guilty should be punished but because they genuinely can't believe that this person they know, like, and respect has done something wrong enough to deserve it. Guilt is something that happens to other people, not “our kind”. To them, it's all some kind of mistake. They find whatever justification, whatever rationale, they need to keep that belief from being challenged. And try to bend an uncooperative reality to fit their worldview rather than the other way around. Their inability to reflect, to adapt, to update their thinking is because it's clouded by personal feelings. You'd expect that kind of emotional response from the people who watch, say, “The Simple Life”, but from one of the bulwarks of the fourth estate?