The Fulford File, By James Fulford | Ann Coulter On Willie Horton, Joey Fournier—And What Life Is Really Like

You've heard of Willie Horton? I thought you had.

Joey Fournier, who you probably haven't heard of, was the young man he killed in Massachusetts. There are 31 mentions of Joey Fournier on Google, compared to 146,000 mentioning Willie Horton.

Here's what Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby said in 2000:

"Invariably forgotten in talk of the Horton 'issue' is the boy Horton killed. Joey Fournier was just 17 on Oct. 26, 1974. He was working alone at a Mobil station in Lawrence when Horton and two accomplices drove up, flashed knives, and demanded money. Joey gave them everything he had—$276.37. Horton then stabbed him 19 times and stuffed him in a trash can. When he was found, there were only a few ounces of blood left in his body. His last words were, 'Please don't hurt me.'''

That's part of the discussion of the Horton case in Ann Coulter's latest book Godless:  The Church of Liberalism.

Joey Fournier's father passed away recently at the age of 78. At his funeral, his family suggested that donations be sent to Joey Fournier Services, a victim advocacy group started by Fournier's sister, Donna F. Cuomo. (She recently received a Heroes Among Us award from the Boston Celtics. The publicity for that, for once, mentioned the victim's name, and made no mention of Willie Horton.)

For Joey Fournier's 1974 murder, Horton was sentenced to Life Without Parole. Thirteen years later, Michael Dukakis's furlough program let him out. Then, on April 3, 1987 in Horton assaulted a man in Maryland, and raped his fiancée, and stole his car. The Wikipedia article says

"On October 20, Horton was sentenced in Maryland to two consecutive life terms plus 85 years. The sentencing judge refused to return Horton to Massachusetts, saying, 'I'm not prepared to take the chance that Mr. Horton might again be furloughed or otherwise released. This man should never draw a breath of free air again.' This was reported in the October 1987 Reader's Digest."

Coulter also has point by point refutation of these strange claims that are made by Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Dean of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School of Communications:

"The reporting on the Dukakis record on crime is illustrative. Here the Republicans secured the complicity of the press in renaming convicted murderer William Horton, in redefining the relationship between Horton's Maryland victims, in adopting such words as "torture" and "terrorize" to describe his actions while on furlough, in defining the furlough program's purpose as dispensing "weekend passes," and in talking of the policy as a "revolving door." (INSINUATION AND OTHER PITFALLS IN POLITICAL ADS AND NEWS by Kathleen Hall Jamieson, [Send her mail])

Jamieson thinks it's a lie to call something a weekend pass when the criminals had to be back Sunday night, and that calling Horton "Willie" rather than "William J. Horton" was "representative of the naming practices of slavemasters."

Ben Shapiro writes on Townhall.com that

"Willie Horton, as all political science majors know, is trotted out routinely by leftists in order to show that Republicans are truly racists. (I was treated to a showing of the famed "Willie Horton" commercials by Professor Lynn Vavreck, Political Science 40, UCLA, February 26, 2002.)"

But in the end, the political issue in the Horton case was not anger at a "black rapist" to use liberal reporter David Gregory's phrase—after all, Massachusetts cops and courts had dealt with him, giving him life without parole.

The political issue was anger at the "Greek midget" (to use Ann Coulter's phrase) who had let him out.

If the issue was black crime, it certainly wouldn't have been raised by Al Gore, who attacked Dukakis on the issue before Lee Atwater did.

Ann also discusses the Pulitzer won by the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune for exposing the Dukakis furlough program. Apparently, one of the reporters at the Eagle-Tribune, Susan Forrest, recanted and said she was sorry she'd done the story.

My point here: people aren't supposed to mention that a criminal is black. The only way it's allowed to come up is if the criminal, not the victim, or the press raises it as a defense.

The other point: the press doesn't understand why the public is afraid of crime. Maybe police reporters know, but the editorial pages seem clueless.

Academics are worse. The webpage that posted Kathleen Hall Jamieson book extract linked above has an annoyingly formatted pull quote, which I reproduce, because the emphasis is hers:

"The Republicans' use of Horton shaped the visual portrayal
of crime in network news in ways that reinforced
the mistaken assumption
that violent crime is disproportionately committed by blacks,
disproportionately committed by black perpetrators against white victims,
and disproportionately the activity of black males against white females...."

First, it's not a "mistaken assumption." But even so, the political point remains that the Democratic Party, for philosophical reasons, refuses to fight crime.

A classic Simpsons episode has serial killer Sideshow Bob, (a white guy) being taken off to prison while shouting

"I'll be back. You can't keep the Democrats out of the White House forever. And when they get in, I'm back on the street! With all of my criminal buddies! Ba-ha-ha-ha-ha!! "

But apparently, Republicans aren't allowed to point this out, if the criminal is black, which of course, large numbers of criminals are.

So what we have is a conspiracy of silence on the part of the press, and apologetic stammering from Republican pols who try to apologize for the Horton ad, like they want to apologize for Proposition 187.

And, as I said, you've heard so much about Willie Horton, and so little about the young man he killed. This is normal in cases like this.

Have you ever heard of

The last two are immigrants, of course. Ann Coulter's criticism of the "Jersey Girls" has drawn so much flak that people aren't appreciating the rest of the book. I mean, she not only wastes lot of forensic skill bashing Darwinism, she spends some time defending The Bell Curve.

The primary message of conservatism is this: "Life is not like that."

When John Lennon sang Imagine, conservatives said "Life is not like that."

When President Bush talks about "the good-hearted people who are coming here to do jobs that Americans won't do," we say "Life is not like that."  

When people talk about how if the government could ban guns, there would be less crime, we say "Life is not like that."

Dukakis is the poster boy for the worldview that criminals will reform if we're nicer to them. And again, "Life is not like that."

On various liberal ideas about crime, immigration, and race relations, we continue to say:  "Life is not like that." It's made us at Vdare.com somewhat unpopular, and it's the fact that Ann Coulter taken the same line that has driven liberals crazy.

In the Duke rape accusation case, she said:

"However the Duke lacrosse rape case turns out, one lesson that absolutely will not be learned is this: You can severely reduce your chances of having a false accusation of rape leveled against you if you don't hire strange women to come to your house and take their clothes off for money.

"Also, you can severely reduce your chances of being raped if you do not go to strange men's houses and take your clothes off for money. (Does anyone else detect a common thread here?)"

Yes, I can. The common thread is this: "Life is not like that."

Remember it. Ann Coulter does.