I remember seeing COPS when it first came out and thinking, “My God, this can’t be constitutional, this really shouldn’t be legal, it’s totally jeopardizing people’s chances for a fair trial, and it’s making what should be a serious civic responsibility into an entertainment event.” After I’d watched it two or three times I found myself thinking “Damn, sure is compelling television, though, ain’t it?”
That’s kind of what I thought about the arrest of Roger Stone. It was a bit ridiculous to see all these guys in military gear, as if they expected him to have a cannon behind the door or at least be sniping at them from an upstairs window, but of course it’s better for the ratings than a couple of guys in suits, saying ‘would you come with us, please?”
And boy, do you know they wanted those ratings. That’s why the camera crews were there in the first place. I’m sure they weren’t just hanging around in front of Roger Stone’s house on the off chance that something might happen. Somebody gave them a heads up.
It’s compelling TV. In fact, if they arrested one Trump confidante a week, they’d have a popular show that could run for at least a year. But, some of the Trump apologist types who keep popping up on my Facebook page, I’ve no idea how, I didn’t invite them, have pointed out that this was a really inappropriate way to arrest somebody, and I have to admit they are correct on this. It’s the kind of thing you enjoy when the arrestee is somebody you don’t like, and it enrages you when it’s somebody you think is a good guy.
But it’s not right. Just as there should be separation between Church and State, there should be separation between law enforcement and entertainment. These are not compatible things.