Don’t Scapegoat the Kardashians

Re: “County Orders Probe of Kardashian Fireworks Show,” “The Great Los Angeles Air Raid of 2015” and “Why I sued the LAPD,” Sept. 3

Thank you for your brilliant pairing of the two op-ed articles following the news story about the Aug. 25-26 fireworks and their aftermath. The juxtaposition illustrates how, when our Fourth Estate falters, a foothold develops for the boot of a despot to step in.

First, the news story rekindled my indignation and fanned the flames of anger and frustration.  The U.S. Coast Guard gave at least tacit approval for the fireworks show, and the county Sheriff and Fire departments were notified. However, none of the agencies admitted to any jurisdictional responsibility.  The State of California is glaringly absent from the report. Am I getting the full story? What is the jurisdictional protocol pertaining to fireworks?

Khloe Kardashian is identified as the culprit, but I wonder why she and some of her private party guests are named (and unflattering images published online), while the Coast Guard’s refusal to identify the fireworks company is unchallenged. Unequal treatment makes me suspicious. It has yet to sink in:  the Kardashian clan is now firmly cast as scapegoat.

Why did none of these agencies act to prevent the fireworks or forewarn the community, although they had both the knowledge and the means to do so? The sole purpose of Supervisor Knabe’s “investigation” appears to be increasing interagency “cooperation.” Translation: increase government power. Yikes!

Many of us are familiar with German pastor Martin Niemöller’s famous statement about being sent to a concentration camp during the Nazi regime: “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Mr. Milam’s op-ed piece at the top of the following page is a take on this parable about the consequences for those who hide from the truth as fellow dissidents are vanquished. Although Milam’s outcome is less dire, I am nevertheless outraged by his tale of contempt for truth, justice and individual rights exhibited by those who are entrusted to protect them. People empowered to shoot from the hip and answer questions later. I shudder at the ever-grimmer implications.

Anger, frustration, fear and helplessness thus primed, I continue. For a few moments, Mr. Peyser entertains and lulls me with his witty, hate-the-rich mantra against the scapegoat Kardashians. His zealous invective appeals to my basest, vengeful impulses as it conjures visions of an SNL skit.

But this is about an event that was, unless I misread the article, both legitimate and officially sanctioned, and retribution is not intended for Khloe alone, but against her whole clan.

Then I recall that The Argonaut once characterized me as a dissident. And I am chilled to the bone.

Nancy Vernon Marino
Director, We ARE Marina del Rey