June 15, 2005

Wait, does flipping me off and walking away count as an answer?

I won't dispute Andrew Vachss' point, but couldn't he have found a way to make it without lying?

In the months since charges were filed, I have heard people profess intense anguish that Michael Jackson might "get away with it." Each time, I asked these people what other possible miscarriages of justice concerned them, past or present? I asked if they knew that in many states, including New York and California, the penalties for sexual abuse of one's own child are markedly less than those for abusing an unrelated child. I asked each of them if this incest loophole also provoked their outrage; if they were prepared to actually do anything to change such laws. Not one ever answered.

Really? Not one person was ever able to name another miscarriage of justice that concerned them? Not one person had the presence of mind to say, "No, I did not know about that disparity in the abuse laws, thank you for telling me"? Not one person wasn't so floored by Andrew Vachss' lawyerly rhetoric that they weren't able to coak out, "Why yes, that does outrage me, now that I know about it," or, "What can I do to change such laws?" or even, "Nah, I just like to gripe about celebrities," which, like it or not, would also count as an answer.

Or perhaps Andrew Vachss means that not one person ever gave an answer that showed a thorough enough understanding of the sexual abuse laws to justify, to Andrew Vachss' satisfaction, holding an opinion on a story that was in the news. In which case, he should have written that instead.

[Update: Feige says AV is wrong about the "incest loophole." Ooh! Defense attorney catfight!]

Posted by Daniel Radosh


I have to tell you--that was one of most absurd things I've ever read--I can't believe the Times ran it. Of the thousands of submissions they must have gotten on Jackson.

He's wrong on point after point and frankly the whole piece reads like he's a nutjob.

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