Sunday, December 17, 2006

Look who's invited out of the stye

Katrina vanden Heuvel is a mother.

We feel the need to note that because informed readers of the November 20, 2006 issue of The Nation might wonder, especially if they turn to page 14. That's where a contributor's 'credits' are listed but not in full.

Some things go unsaid such as "reported to have twice been busted in for attempting, online, to get fourteen-year-old girls to meet him so he could jerk off while they watched, reported to have walked through a deal that raised futher questions . . ."

If the hideous cover story to the December 25th issue exists for any reason, it might due to the fact that The Nation feels that people aren't being serious enough. They may feel the 9-11 Truth Movement is a distraction.

They can feel whatever they want but if they're going to present a man in their magazine who has refused to unseal the court records, who wants to argue his arrests were a "private" matter, they might want to ask how they think they're anything but a distraction?

We're all supposed to buy the logic that the Pig was shut out by The New York Times because Judith Miller gave the orders. Miller wasn't in the position to give orders. He was shut out as a source because of his arrests.

That's how journalism works. If you're a rapist, a child molestor or any other criminal, you're not supposed to be given a platform where you can self-present as an expert. You're not supposed to be glorified.

You're supposed to be shunned.

Now if Pig wants to argue that an arrest record is a "private matter," media should shut all doors on him immediately. If he wants to claim that the news of the arrests resulted from his outspokeness against the war, he can do so. But if he wants to be treated as a 'respectable' voice, he can't continue to avoid the issue of his arrests.

It's not a secret. It's been well reported in the press back in 2003. He's had years to correc the record, if it's even untrue, but instead of attempting that, he's 'drawn the veil' by claiming it's a 'private' issue.

If only Mark Foley could have thought of that, he'd still be in Congress!

By refusing to unseal court records, we're left with his word that it's a 'private' matter versus the very public record -- reporting on the arrests and the court happenings.

So those who continue to invite him on their programs or give him space in print are sending a message whether they intend to or not: He's okay.

If a fourteen-year-old girl ends up abused by him, are all those providing him with outlets prepared to speak to her parents? Are they prepared to face them?

If the sting had caught him purchasing or using drugs, we wouldn't give a damn. If anyone was hurt by that, it would be him hurting himself. But the public record doesn't say he was caught with drugs, it says he twice got busted by the FBI for trying to recruit under-age girls (including a female not even old enough to be Congressional page) to meet him -- he was a middle-aged, adult male at the time.

Here's how CNN reported it (far kinder than other outlets):

[Pig], a former U.S. Marine and U.N. weapons inspector who has been an outspoken critic of a possible war with Iraq, was arrested in 2001 and charged with a misdemeanor after allegedly communicating with an undercover officer posing as a 16-year-old girl, a source close to the investigation has told CNN.
[Pig] confirmed the arrest in an interview with CNN Wednesday but declined to confirm any detail about the nature of the case.
"The facts are simple," [Pig] said. "I was arrested in June of 2001. I was charged with a Class B misdemeanor and I stood before a judge in the town of Colonie in a public session with my wife by my side."

[. . .]
The source said [Pig] had arranged in an Internet chat room to meet with the girl at a Burger King in Colonie, a suburb of Albany, so she could witness him masturbating. The source said [Pig] was charged with "attempted endangerment of the welfare of a child," a Class B misdemeanor.
The source also said [Pig] was confronted by police in April 2001 after communicating with an undercover officer posing as a 14-year-old.
[Pig] declined comment on those claims.
"It's not my duty to clear the air. I'm not asking for forgiveness," he said. "I'm not asking to wriggle out of my responsibility. The judge made his determination. The case was dismissed."

It's not the duty of independent media to provide a voice for someone who refuses to clear the air. The continued refusal makes it appear that the issue is avoided because the public record is correct.

If there's no concern over future victims, you'd think at least the cover-your-own-ass impulse would kick in and independent media would grasp that they don't want to be associated in the public's mind with someone who is reported to have sought sexual encounters with an underage minor.
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