Response to the Newgate Calendar

The Newgate Calendar portrays criminals in a manner similar to the media’s portrayal of George W. Bush. As the calendar notes John Smith “made bad connections” as a guard for lord Cutts, the comic strip Doonesbury recently portrayed George Bush holding a luncheon for his former Yale classmates and paying special attention to the dissolute fraternity brothers with which he drank voluminous amounts of alcohol and implied he has not become any more responsible since (P24, p2.) Jack Ketch and Jonathan Wild both resort to crime after acquiring huge debts through extravagant living; Bush detractors in the media claim that Bush’s modus operandi for the war in Iraq was to divert attention from the large budget deficits caused by his tax cuts (P61, p2; P75, p2.) Bush and Wild are both considered “white-collar criminals” who use their money, social status, and affectations of morality to dupe honest people who have suffered terrorism and theft, respectively (P77, p3; P79, p2; P80, p1). The media accuse both Bush and Wild of manipulating the government for their own gains: Bush in the executive branch and Wild in the legal system (P86-P93; P101, p1.) The similarities prove that the Newgate Calendar is as zealous to indict corrupt aristocrats as today’s media is.

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