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13 January 2014

Peach Pundit's Restrained Jubilation Over Political Opponent's Legal Troubles Turns to Silence

Schadenfreude: a feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people.

Last October, the political blog Peach Pundit exhibited a classic display of schadenfreude; a feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people.

Peach Pundit's front page was almost giddy --restrained jubilation is the more proper term here-- at mainstream media reports that former Georgia Republican Party 13th congressional district chairman Sahar Hekmati had been arrested and charged with impersonating a public official. The actual words used at Peach Pundit to describe Sahar were variations of "silly" and "petty" [Nathan (10 October 2013). Sahar Hekmati Accused Of Impersonating A City Official. Peach Pundit. Retrieved on 13 January 2014.].

The boys and girls at Peach Pundit seem to have forgotten the basic American principle of innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. In America, an arrest does not equal guilt. In America, when it comes to depriving someone of their life, their liberty, or their property, everyone is entitled to due process and the burden of proof is upon the government to show that the person accused of a crime is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Georgia Unfiltered was the first to report that a Henry County grand jury issued a no bill; meaning that a group of Henry County citizens met and determined there was not enough evidence to charge Sahar Hekmati with the crime of impersonating a public official [Walker, Andre (7 January 2014). Charges of Impersonating an Officer Against Sahar Hekmati Dropped in Court. Georgia Unfiltered. Retrieved on 13 January 2014.].

Three days later, the mainstream media picked up the Georgia Unfiltered story.

CBS Atlanta reported 10 January, "Charges dropped against woman accused of interfering with campaign signs".

Peach Pundit, the blog that claims to "brings you the latest in unfiltered, raw politics from the Peach State," hasn't brought the latest news to its readers. For six days now, Peach Pundit has been silent. The latest news that there wasn't enough evidence to charge Sahar Hekmati with a crime probably doesn't fit the Peach Pundit narrative that Hekmati is "silly" and "petty".

That's fine.

More than likely, Peach Pundit made the editorial decision that their readers would not be interested in hearing that Sahar Hekmati had criminal charges against her dropped. And that is their right. Fortunately, Peach Pundit does not hold a monopoly on political news in the state of Georgia.