The Internet Lynching of Marcus Epstein
June 07, 2009
Last month the left wing blog, One People`s Project,
story about one
Epstein. Within this story it was reported that two
years ago next month Marcus assaulted a black woman in
Georgetown calling her the
That blog and its hundred spinoffs then got to the
juicy part of the story: Marcus Epstein is executive
director of The American Cause, founded by
Buchanan and of Team America, founded by
With respect to the incident I have been asked not to
comment by Marcus` attorney since the case is still
pending. But putting the incident aside, the stories
about Marcus were for the most part inaccurate and
incomplete. Yet the left wing bloggers ran with this
little factoid because the assailant worked for
organizations associated with Pat Buchanan and Tom
What happened next was a
modern day lynching by a faceless, angry, ignorant mob
who reveled in the collective assault on their victim.
They had wounded an adversary and drawn blood—without
pausing to ask how so talented a young man could have
found himself in such a mess.
I am telling his story
because Marcus Epstein deserves to have his good name
returned to him.
I run both the organizations
Marcus works for. I have known him since he came to me
as a college grad and asked to be an intern for The
American Cause. That was three years ago. I knew of the
assault the day it happened and was with Marcus the
I write this story not as an
excuse for Marcus` actions. There is no excuse. Marcus
would be the first to admit this, and he has, many
half Jewish, and half Korean. He has a pronounced
speech impediment, an exceptional mind, and a remarkable
talent for writing. But it was only after this incident
that I came to fully appreciate his finest qualities.
In his final semester of
college Marcus awoke in a deep depression. He had no
idea what was happening to him. He only knew he couldn`t
do his work. Some days he couldn`t get out of bed. That
summer he began the long process of diagnosis—bouncing
from one doctor to the next, from one medicine to the
While his intelligence and
ability were evident, Marcus had serious problems. He
drank to excess and suffered periods of deep depression.
One Sunday early in 2007 Marcus called and asked if he
could come to my home to talk. He was afraid of what he
might do if he were alone another minute.
As he sat in my living room
my heart broke. Never had I seen a person in so deep and
dark a place. He spoke for hours of being a failure and
disappointment to family and friends. He didn`t think he
could live in this tomb of despair any longer.
After exhausting himself
emotionally he went to one of my spare bedrooms to
sleep. He stayed several months and left only when he
felt he was strong enough to be on his own again. But
the demons were too great.
Early one Saturday evening,
several months later, I received a call from a friend of
is in jail," he told me. The two of them had gone to
Georgetown to have a drink before joining others for
dinner, he explained. When they left their drinking
hole, however, Marcus was completely intoxicated, nearly
incapable of walking. It was then that the incident
Marcus was arrested and
released that same evening. Unable to face this new
level of disgrace and failure, he went to his office
where he drank to make the pain go away—for good. He was
hospitalized for a week. His parents flew into town,
conferred with Marcus, his doctors and his friends. It
was clear. Marcus urgently needed professional help.
Marcus agreed and spent six
weeks in a California facility. I told him if he did so
he would have a job to come back to. In the last two
years I have seen a transformation. He joined a 12 step
program for alcoholism, attends meetings several times a
week, and volunteers at detox and rehab facilities to
help others struggling with alcoholism.
As for the assault Marcus was
charged and a plea bargain was worked out.
It took Marcus a year after
this incident to start thinking about a future. He took
LSATs and was accepted at the
University of Virginia Law School on early
admissions. The presence of a strong recovery community
was one of the reasons he chose UVA and was ready to
move to Charlottesville next month.
But the Left doesn`t care
about any of this. They kept moving this little tidbit,
watching it ricochet around their shallow world in the
blogosphere, until it landed on a popular site for
incoming law students. There individuals who claim
they`re interested in carrying-out justice in this world
saw to it that Marcus paid again for his offense. With
nothing but a skeleton of a story they initiated a
campaign targeted at UVA`s Admission Office. And they
will not be attending UVA Law School in the fall.
Marcus Epstein is one of the
bravest young people I have ever known. He deserved a
second chance—as do all of us.
Bay Buchanan is President of
The American Cause