Deserve’s Got Nothin’ To Do With It

November 17, 2005 

Being one of a dozen or so people who made the mistake of watching MSNBC last Friday, I now know two things: (1) Why MSNBC is approaching a zero viewership (it’s rating are actually a bit better than the Hearing Loss Network News) and (2) You deserve what you get when you ask for it.   

It really is possible to be an academically well educated airhead and MSNBC’s Lisa Daniels is living proof.  Academic credentials are no substitute for the preponderance of intellectual independence necessary for the strength of common sense to hold sway over the timidity of politically correct dogmatic drivel.  Heaven help the elite “intellectuals” if individuals should have to assume some personal responsibility for their actions. 

Case in point...The Natalee Holloway whodunit. 

Daniels, who bills herself as having “graduated first in her class from Hamilton College” and graduating “cum laude from Harvard Law School”, guest-hosted Friday’s Abrams Report on MSNBC.  During the Your Rebuttal section of the program, where viewers (all 12 or so) have their comments aired, Daniels read a response to the Aruba Boycott coverage from a 19 year old Boston College sophomore, Katie. 

As we all know, 18 year old Alabama student Natalee Holloway went MIA in Aruba on the last night of a “Graduation Break” fling on the island.  After a night of what has variously been described as anywhere from “moderate” to “irresponsible” drinking, Holloway departed Carlos’n Charlie’s bar in a car with three Aruban youths she barely knew.  That was the last time Natalee was seen. 

Her disappearance strongly points towards foul play and...some guilty-as-hell-looking suspects.  Due to the perception of an inept (real or imagined) Aruban criminal system, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley has called for a travel boycott to the island in hopes of lighting a fire under the Aruban government’s prosecution of the case. 

Our Boston College student, Katie, wrote to the Abrams Report in opposition to this boycott.  Here is what she said: 

I am infuriated by those that believe that the general population of Aruba must suffer from some girl’s carelessness in a foreign country.  In my opinion and from my own experiences, I believe that Aruba is much safer than even Boston where I live.  My friends and I watched out for each other and didn’t take advantage of the 18 year old drinking age to become so inebriated that we would allow ourselves or one of our friends to leave with a local whom we did not know.

Katie sounds like a very sensible person and there is no misstatement of fact in her missive.  But, it didn’t take long for MSNBC’s Lisa Daniels to play PC assassin and try to dissuade Katie from any sense of common sense. 

Here is Daniels’ full response to Katie’s comments: 

Just a quick response Katie.  I’m fine with you not supporting the boycott, but don’t blame the victim for her fate.  That is totally unfair.  You’re acting like she deserved what happened to her.

Before getting into this, let’s get a few things straight.  I am no friend of Aruba, nor am I an enemy.  It’s just another Caribbean tourist destination.  The Aruban government’s handling of the Holloway investigation seems to leave much to be desired.  It appears to be less than a "Mayberry, R.F.D." episode.  And, whatever happened or is happing to Ms. Holloway leaves me deeply sorry for her and her loved ones.  BUT.... 

Lisa Daniels immediately assigned the victim label to Ms. Holloway.  Nobody, except Natalee and those who might be involved, has any idea of her fate.  Therefore, what exactly is she a victim of?  Is she: a victim of a heinous crime; a victim of bad judgment; a victim of an inept Aruban government or a victim of just tripping into the ocean?  Nobody, other than Natalee and those who might be involved, has any idea if she is indeed a victim.  But, victimization is a necessary component of 21st century PC life. 

As for that totally unfair drivel, the jury is still out.  Prior to deciding if Katie was unfair in suggesting that the victim assumes any blame (culpability?) for her fate, we might wish to consider if Katie actually meant that Natalee deserved what happened to her.  Perhaps Katie was suggesting that Natalee, through a lack of good judgment, contributed to her fate.  

Fair or unfair, let’s make the assumption that very few people actually deserve what happens to them.   

Take the case of 19 year old Colorado coed, Samantha Spady.  In 2004, Ms. Spady consumed copious amounts of alcohol while “partying” around campus.  In fact, on September 4 & 5, 2004: 6 p.m. -- Spady consumed at least 2 beers and 2 shots of tequila; 8 p.m. -- drank beer for 1 to 2 hours from a "supersized" cup; 12 a.m. -- Spady consumed at least 4-5 beers; 2 a.m. -- Spady drank more beer; 3:30 a.m. --. Spady and 7-10 people shared 1 to 2 bottles of Vanilla Vodka.  At 6:22 p.m. -- Spady was found dead from self-inflicted alcohol poisoning. 

Did victim Spady deserve to die as a result of consuming 30 to 40 beers and vodka drinks in 11 hours?  The answer is a simple no.  But, did Spady contribute to, and share responsibility for, her own demise?  The answer is a simple yes.   

Did Spady’s parents and friends deserve her death?  Was it fair? No, No and No.  But, could they also share some responsibility in this tragedy?  Could her parents have helped to mold Spady into a more responsible drinker?  Could her friends have intervened early on in the night to help avert this tragedy?  Maybe yes and maybe...we will never know for sure. 

There are consequences to one’s actions and one’s actions are a direct result of one’s judgment, or lack thereof.  Being “judgmental” is not the dirty word that PC liberals have branded it.  Every second of every day, people make judgment calls.  Do I stop at the yellow light or do I crash it?   

The quality of one’s judgments becomes a measure of one’s responsibility.  Rather than shielding children from the unpleasantness of unpleasantness in life, parents, and all adults, are well-advised to educate children in navigating life’s inevitable minefields.   

Lisa Daniels’ little on-air PC diatribe was “warm and fuzzy” but totally irresponsible.  Life is not fair.  And while we may not deserve most of what we get, we will surely suffer the consequences of our actions, or reap their rewards.  Deserves’ got nothin’ to do with it, but consequences do.    And that is something that Lisa Daniels, and all adults, should be teaching the youth of this country before they become the next victim.   

But don’t hold your breath on this one.  Victim pity parties get higher ratings than the humdrum dignity of responsible behavior.


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