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September 14, 2009

Donald Douglas: Moral Relativist Extraordinaire

According to Donald Douglas, it is "hysterical" and "feminist" to question the idea that the American public can't fully grasp the horror of war unless they are allowed to view identifiable photographs of wounded or dying service men and women:

One of the more hysterical responses was Cassandra's at Villainous Company. As noted, AP explicitly violated the family's requests for non-publication, etc. But where Cassandra goes off the handle is in extrapolating the Marine's photo with situations away from the battlefield:

So if we buy into the notion that we need to see the results of violent episodes to truly understand their consequences, does this mean the media will now begin showing graphic footage of rape victims who have been beaten or tortured or cut to shreds by their attackers?

Rape - and the tolerance of it - has a cost, both to the victim and to society. How can we fully understand the tragic cost of rape unless we are allowed to view their injuries and vicariously understand their pain? According to the press, we can't.

Child abuse has a cost. Therefore, if a child is sexually abused or beaten, we need to see graphic close-ups of their torn vaginas or rectums. We need to see graphic photos of that little boy whose father ate his eyes. Otherwise, it's just too easy to gloss over the horrific damages - both mental and physical - done to these innocent victims. We have a right to know.

Would this further humiliate and traumatize the victims and their families? Undoubtedly. But the public's "need to know" outweighs silly concerns about the victim or family members who may be equally traumatized.

Here we get over to Cassandra's well-know [sic] proclivity to injecting hard-left-wing feminist perspectives into the debate. What we also see are rank double-standards and more of her ignorant hypocrisy. Recall how Cassandra attacked me for my initial report on the Erin Andrews scandal, and specifically my argument that the story was newsworthy. Here's what Cassandra wrote in reply (and the block quote at the middle there is mine):

For days I went out of my way not to make this personal. I've had many conservations with Donald in the past. As he repeatedly points out, he's hardly the only one who seems unable to understand that daring to work as a sportscaster or being "newsworthy" does not constitute voluntary surrender of the right to privacy in situations where any of us ought to have a reasonable expectation of privacy:

I wouldn't photograph my neighbor in a bikini by the pool, getting out of the shower topless, or shaving her legs in the bathroom. I am linking to the post though, for the purposes of argument. The difference between the Erin Andrew link and those links right here is that the latter have absolutely zero news values.

Good thing his neighbor isn't a Gold Star mother whose son was just killed in Iraq or Afghanistan! That would be newsworthy, and according to the media public curiosity about sensationalistic stories trumps all over considerations. It would seem many folks agree.

Okay, so here we have a young Marine killed in Afghanistan and Cassandra's attacking AP's argument that publishing Bernard's picture was indeed newsworthy.

Brace yourself. Donald is about to reveal the supposed hypocrisy of my arguing exactly the same thing in two consecutive debates over the same issue. Because, you know, radical Leftist feminists are so inconsistent. Oh, and illogical.

OK, so let's unpack Donald's "logic".

My argument that we don't need graphic photographs of individually identifiable wounded Marines in order to grasp the generic fact that people's legs get blown off in war and furthermore, that [gasp!] they sometimes die is inconsistent with my prior argument that we didn't really need to see actual video of Erin Andrews' nude body in order to comprehend that a peeping tom had filmed her in the nude without her permission.

Wow. That's some compelling reasoning there.

Furthermore, my using those particular examples couldn't possibly have anything to do with pointing out the inconsistency between the media practice of protecting the privacy of rape and sexual abuse victims to avoid inflicting even more pain on the victims and their families, and the media's insistence that when the victim is a U.S. Marine, the family isn't due that same consideration. Let's face it - only a radical feminist would demand that the media extend the same compassion they customarily extend to female victims of violence to male victims of violence. Yep - only a rad feminista would argue that the exact same privacy standard ought to be applied equally, regardless of gender. Only a radical feminist would argue that releasing identifiable photographs of a victim's wounds when any reader of average intelligence could grasp the essential nature of their injury by other means (such as a verbal description that doesn't expose the victim to public scrutiny) is always wrong. Such arguments are just downright hypocritical.

Note the part of Jules' argument that Donald didn't excerpt:

...The AP has no moral leg to stand on. In this business, you make a deal, you stick with it, until some extraordinary circumstances arise that call the deal into question. The horrible combat death of Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard and the resulting photograph do not represent an extraordinary circumstance within the context of the deal. It is an expected circumstance of the sort AP had agreed to terms on.

If not being allowed to release individually indentifiable photographs of wounded or dead Marines is an "expected" circumstance of having signed an embed agreement with those terms, surely the fact that in war, soldiers are wounded and die is an "expected circumstance" of being in combat? Does anyone seriously dispute this point? Is it really "news" that men are wounded and die during wartime? Is there no less invasive method of conveying the same information?

The point I have made all along is that material which adds no new facts to the story, but is included for shock value or to titillate the audience regardless of the additional trauma it may cause victims or their families ought to be redacted out of a sense of respect for their suffering and for their privacy. This is the reason news organizations do not generally publish the names of rape victims (though victim's names absolutely DO convey additional news value: the identity of the victim). Like members of the armed services, rape victims are not public figures. But even if they were, the media don't normally find it necessary to publish graphic footage of the dying moments of public figures either, do they? Some things - dying is one, walking around naked after taking a shower in a locked hotel room is another - are not moments the general public has a legitimate interest in seeing.

Since any competent writer can easily describe the horror of war via the written word without identifying combat victims and further traumatizing their families, I have to say I disagree with Jules. I don't think shocking the public justifies the use of graphic photos of identifiable subjects. But that's a moral question; one of values.

Donald, as usual, declines to take a stand. Feminist "hystericalness" aside, I understand Jules' point and it was well argued as far as it goes. I simply disagree with Jules. Donald's studied moral neutrality, on the other hand, seems a tad too convenient.

What Donald never bothers to explain is why hurting an already grieving family and violating your your sworn word in order to "personalize" (Jacobsen's words) a news story is morally justifiable. My guess is that he can't explain it.

I can respect someone who (like Jules) does the moral math and comes up with a different answer. I have zero respect for someone who avoids the hard questions altogether.

Update: In an amusing aside, my hysterical, radical feminist rantings won second place last week from the Watcher's Council!

I'm humbled, though of course shocked and thoroughly disapproving of folks with such radical, leftist leanings :p

Seriously, I truly am honored.

Posted by Cassandra at September 14, 2009 05:03 PM

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Comments

Stop. You had me at "rank double-standards and more of her ignorant hypocrisy." I remember writing those exact same words in a note to Jenny McClellen to describe Marylou McGue after she turned down my invitation to the Valentine's Day Dance in eighth grade.

Of course, I've grown up quite a bit since then, and so has my vocabulary.

Posted by: spd rdr at September 14, 2009 06:21 PM

[sniff!]

WHAT ABOUT MY "well-know [sic] proclivity to injecting hard-left-wing feminist perspectives into the debate"???

I am crushed, mr rdr... crushed into... umm... hysteria by your inexplicable oversight :p

Posted by: Cassandra at September 14, 2009 06:25 PM

Although the choice of phraseology is, at the very least, um... provocative, I perceive little gain in furthering a discussion as to whether you are, or you are not, prolific about injecting hard left-wing feminist perspectives into a debate. That is a direction that a gentleman simply should not follow.

Posted by: spd rdr at September 14, 2009 06:44 PM

I'm not sure I'm prepared to concede that objecting to photos of rape victims or abused children is a feminist position. I'd thought it was a point of common agreement. In fact, not only can I not think of any American faction holding otherwise, I'm not aware of any culture on earth that holds otherwise.

I could as easily define that same argument as a "right wing, Christian" position or a "deeply-held Malaysian" position.

Posted by: Grim at September 14, 2009 06:51 PM

Supported you, in a trying-to-prod-Donald way here.

Posted by: smitty at September 14, 2009 07:06 PM

He doesn't really have a clue what you're about if he thinks you're a "hard-left-wing feminist".

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at September 14, 2009 07:25 PM

You know, if the only way I can prevail in an argument is to rely on chivalry (no matter how well intentioned) then my arguments are clearly deficient and my time would be better occupied elsewhere.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 14, 2009 08:06 PM

It isn't chivalry, Cass. It's the triumph of the sensible over the sensational. Granted, my patience for the incoherent ravings of the incautiously insensible has been sorely tried over the last six years, and perhaps I've lost a step or two as a result, preferring to express contempt and ridicule rather than argue into the wind about the breeze.

Mr. Douglas is, in my estimation, a loud dog barking in the night without any reason other than to have himself be heard. His arguments are ill-conceived, paper-thin, and completely devoid of context when viewed in the larger socio-political context. Fore example, Mr. Douglas has apparently been asleep while the life images of dying children in Sudan and dissidents in China and Iran have been broadcast around the world via uploads to YouTube from cell phones and hand held cameras – despite severe restrictions by government censors. Does Mr. Douglas not understand that these images are political messages?

The visual impact of an eight year old Iraqi girl blown to pieces on her school bus by a martyr of Islam is a tragic reminder of the insensitivity and injustice that we, as civilize people, must reject. The acceptance of the remains of an American soldier returning home following voluntary service to those civilized principles is also an image positioned to serve political, rather than newsworthy purposes.

But it ain’t news, mister. It’s just a matter of supplying enough depressing imagery to fire the imagination of those paid by the word to follow their editors’ orders. Don’t tell me about the public’s “right to know.” If the public doesn’t know by now that that Americans are dying to further the policies of the United States overseas, then there is nothing short of beheading a captive journalist live on “American Idol” that will convince them otherwise.

And, sir, I might add that I find you to be an insufferable ass.

Posted by: spd rdr at September 14, 2009 08:57 PM

Cassandra:

I dropped an "n" on "known." It was a typo. You misspelled Jacobson's name and you have two "yours" in this sentence:

"What Donald never bothers to explain is why hurting an already grieving family and violating your your sworn word in order to "personalize" (Jacobsen's words) a news story is morally justifiable. My guess is that he can't explain it."

Thus, no points for ridiculing spelling errors.

Okay, how about Donald "declines to take a stand"?

Actually, I don't. As I said at both of my posts, "My own view is that the public gets inadequate coverage of our wars, and certainly press blackouts raise questions of government suppression of speech."

Jules Crittenden confirmed my point. And I have said all along that Jacobson breached her contract in violating Bernard's privacy.

So, again, no points for you.

Also, you have truncated my argument. I said:

"The fact is, for Cassandra all the talk about rape victims and the privacy of your naked mother in a hotel room are EMOTIONAL appeals, not rational ones. And these all come back to Cassandra's radical feminist perspective that it's (1) wrong to violate privacy in furtherance of public news values, and (2), because specifically there's an essential system of exploitation of women at work that makes all wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters at risk."

You don't address the point, but rather claim that your argument is consistent. But it's not. You say that graphic images are not newsworthy -- that is you don't "buy" the argument. For example:

"So if we buy into the notion that we need to see the results of violent episodes to truly understand their consequences ..."

But to make the case you don't appeal to newsworthiness, you appeal to feminine abuse and exploitation and violence:

" ... does this mean the media will now begin showing graphic footage of rape victims who have been beaten or tortured or cut to shreds by their attackers?"

So to summarize, (1) you do not "buy" that graphic war images are newsworthy, and (2) by comparing these to incidences of rape and feminine abuse, you condemn both situations equally, even though they are fundmementally incommensurate. Warfare and fighting are not the same as the perpetuation of criminal acts against a woman.

Remember though, you argued earlier that, "Good thing his neighbor isn't a Gold Star mother whose son was just killed in Iraq or Afghanistan! That would be newsworthy ..."

So, like I asked at my post, "what's it going to be?" You can't argue on one hand that you don't "buy it," and then say that a soldier killed in Iraq would be newsworthy.

Thus, the ultimate logic is that you argue on the basis of feminist emotional appeals to make a case against the publication of graphic war photography. Nothing you have written here refutes my case. You also ignore Lily Burana's argument from the military wives' perspective. She argues on the basis of reason, not radical feminist emotion.

If you don't like being identified as a radical feminist, perhaps you'd might stop arguing like one. It would be consistent to just admit you have something in common with folks like Catharine MacKinnon; but actually, you suppress the commonality, since you are a military wife (and you don't want to go whole hog with the leftist agenda). It must be hard for you, with all of this hypocrisy. You made a mistake in attacking my posting on Erin Andrews. You had a problem with profiting off of exploitative pictures of women, but then you were ashamed of your own exploitation of sexual images of women for use in a fundraiser.

It's about being consistent, Cassandra.

That said, I've made mistakes as well. I made mistakes in posting on Erin Andrews, and I have learned from that. But I refuse to be attacked online by hypocrites who have no leg to stand on. That doesn't make you a bad person. Radical feminism is an ideology, not an epithet. Don't take it personally.

Posted by: Americaneocon at September 14, 2009 08:58 PM

because specifically there's an essential system of exploitation of women at work that makes all wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters at risk."

Putting your words into my mouth (or dishonestly summarizing my argument) does not a rebuttal make, Donald.

"Good thing his neighbor isn't a Gold Star mother whose son was just killed in Iraq or Afghanistan! That would be newsworthy ..."

Your argument, essentially, distinguished publishing film of private moments featuring private citizens (your neighbor, for instance) from publishing film of private moments involving a public figure (Andrews). Supposedly, because Erin Andrews was "in the news", the public has some unspecified legitimate right to see her in the nude even though that has absolutely NOTHING to do with her job as a sportscaster and added nothing to the informational content of the news story about the crime committed against her.

And I responded, in essence, that if you buy that "logic", you would support publishing the private moments of Gold Star families. In retrospect, that proved an accurate prediction, since you seem to believe anyone who is unlucky enough to be in the news forfeits any right to privacy and dignity.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 14, 2009 09:12 PM

A moral relativist is a "Peeping Tom" at best or a pervert at worst. He/she satisfies their ghoulish fetish of hoisting the object of their blood lust on a petard for all to see. What they fail to realize is that the object on the petard is their own self and the dying embers of the 4th estate's future.

I will spell it out for them; they are unworthy to walk in the shadow of the victims they purport to champion. I prefer the light but encourage them to continue walking into the black void that awaits them when their assigned time arrives to ride in the windowless Black Mariah.

It surely sucks to be them!

Posted by: vet66 at September 14, 2009 09:25 PM

Cassandra:

Why do you refuse to own up to what YOU wrote? You argued that you do not "buy" the argument that graphic military images are newsworthy. But now you're changing that to say you're not buying the logical differences between warfare and crime. They are different, objectively.

But put that aside for a moment. If Erin Andrews was "in the news," that means that her story was really "news", and thus thought newsworthy. Simple. Relativism would be for you to deny these facts: CBS showed a fraction of second of Erin Andrews totally nude. Bill O'Reilly showed 4-5 seconds of her nude but shaded. New York Post still has images of Andrews nude, barely bar-blocked, at their website. This is fact. It was news. Was it right, ethically. Perhaps not. But it's pure denial with suggest that her story AND images we're not newsworthy, and of course denialism is a hallmark of the radical left. This is how you argue. Don't take it personally. I'm just pointing out how YOU debate, and how you attack selectively.

Posted by: Americaneocon at September 14, 2009 09:32 PM

I have not refused to own up to what I wrote.

I have pointed out that you misrepresented what I wrote.

You argued that you do not "buy" the argument that graphic military images are newsworthy. But now you're changing that to say you're not buying the logical differences between warfare and crime.

No, that is not what I said at all.

WHAT I SAID is that if the media claim the public must see graphic photography of wounded soldiers who are identifiable in order to "personalize" the consequences of war, then why not "personalize" rape or sexual abuse?

If the families and victims deserve compassion in the case of rape, why do they NOT deserve the same compassion in case of a war fatality? How come people who have never been in combat cannot "appreciate" the horror of war without graphic visual aids, but somehow people who have never been raped CAN fully "appreciate" the horror of rape without graphic visual aids?

I await your explanation with great interest, Donald.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 14, 2009 09:42 PM

Also:

If Erin Andrews was "in the news," that means that her story was really "news", and thus thought newsworthy.

Priceless. So whatever the media chooses to publish is, by definition, newsworthy! No matter whether it's true (after all, once it was published, it's "news"!). No matter whether it conveys additional information. No matter who it hurts.

No discussion is possible - it's news! And if you disagree with me, you're a Leftist/feminist/epithet du jour.

Amazing Donald. Truly impressive.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 14, 2009 09:55 PM

...if the only way I can prevail in an argument is to rely on chivalry (no matter how well intentioned)...

Well, that's plain enough: if chivalry isn't wanted, then I'm not. The lady wishes to carry this fight herself, and so let it be done.

(Isn't deference to a lady's wishes a form of chivalry? -ed.) Damn! It's a trap!

Posted by: Grim at September 14, 2009 10:06 PM

Well, that's plain enough: if chivalry isn't wanted, then I'm not. The lady wishes to carry this fight herself, and so let it be done.

That's not the point and you know it, Grim.

The point was that either my arguments have merit (in which case one might hope one's friends might say so just because that's what they believe) or they do not (in which case a friend should not fear to point out the error of my ways).

I'm done here.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 14, 2009 10:12 PM

What? I had been sure that last line would get a smile out of you.

But then I also thought you meant that you'd prefer to have us stand aside, and let you win without us piling on; how else to read your comment, when everyone writing seemed to be writing in your support?

"This is a private fight, gentlemen; let me win it fairly" is a very honorable sentiment. It's what I thought you were aiming at here. So I was ready to honor the wish, and as I sat down to say so, I realized that honoring a lady's wish was only another form of chivalry. Alas!

I thought you would find that as funny as I do; but it appears I have expressed myself poorly, and failed to convey the merriment that I intended.

Posted by: Grim at September 14, 2009 10:25 PM

You have got to be kidding me. He has somehow made the determination that you linking the Erin Andrews story (but not the video, which you did NOT do) is inconsistent with the fact that you linked a story about the photograph, even though you didn't link the photograph either?

You have been very consistent. He is looking for an argument. He is in hysterics himself. I strongly suspect he nearly had an accident when he thought he caught you.

Bwhahahahaha...what a maroon.

Next!

Posted by: Cricket at September 14, 2009 10:31 PM

"WHAT I SAID is that if the media claim the public must see graphic photography of wounded soldiers who are identifiable in order to "personalize" the consequences of war, then why not "personalize" rape or sexual abuse?"

You are saying that now. That's not what you wrote previously, as I carefully dissected above.

But, your latest response confirms my additional points: It SEEMS like every objection you have to personalizing something is how it affects women. You said the same thing at my Erin Andrews post: "If someone took a video of your wife or daughter in the nude through a keyhole, would you post the video?"

And I answered you. I would not, but Andrews was newsworthy, and frankly, you continue to dig yourself even deeper in refusing the reality that Andrews was in fact news. I have already said the reporting was ethically questionable. But it's not incorrect to indicate how the story was truly newsworthy. Andrews wouldn't have appeared on Oprah had her story not still had news value. And it will continue to have value as long as she's in the spotlight.

Cassandra: It's clear that both you and I are really committed to argument. However, I just read Smitty's post, and I see you're expecting a voluntary apology. Actually, I'd like an apology myself, or at least an explanation. What did I ever do to you to deserve such personal scorn? What drove you to go off on my posting, of which I've already apologized for labeling a "Rule 5" entry? That was a mistake, and I said I made mistakes above here, in this thread. But I have been proved correct that the story was news, and I don't think you'll concede the point because it's difficult to admit misjudgment. Is that fair to say?

So, I'll meet you half way with joint responsibility and joint apologies. We can move forward again and target our sights on a common foe, which at this point is the left and the Obama administration. What do you say? I am sorry we had this fight. I am sorry it got as nasty as it did, and I am sorry for fighting ruthlessly, because it makes me feel bad if I have harmed you or embarrassed you. I think you are a good woman. I am sorry if I have hurt you.

We can even talk by phone if you want. I'm sincere.

Posted by: Americaneocon at September 14, 2009 10:53 PM

Cassandra, a "hard-left-wing feminist"? Now THAT's rich! Ha ha ha!

Posted by: I Call BS at September 14, 2009 11:13 PM

Feminist (in the sense that women are entitled to full "citizenship" in every way - opinions, work, responsibilities), yes - HLW? When pigs fly.

Posted by: I Call BS at September 14, 2009 11:19 PM

WHAT I SAID is that if the media claim the public must see graphic photography of wounded soldiers who are identifiable in order to "personalize" the consequences of war, then why not "personalize" rape or sexual abuse?

If the families and victims deserve compassion in the case of rape, why do they NOT deserve the same compassion in case of a war fatality? How come people who have never been in combat cannot "appreciate" the horror of war without graphic visual aids, but somehow people who have never been raped CAN fully "appreciate" the horror of rape without graphic visual aids?

That's how I interpreted this post from the very beginning.

Someone left off the rest of the sentence when quoting, and missed the sarcasm that was readily apparent to me:

Good thing his neighbor isn't a Gold Star mother whose son was just killed in Iraq or Afghanistan! That would be newsworthy, and according to the media public curiosity about sensationalistic stories trumps all over considerations. It would seem many folks agree.

So, once someone is "in the news", they lose their right to privacy in what would ordinarily be private moments? Bullsh*t.

And, I, too, find it laughable that someone would accuse our hostess of being a "hard-left-wing feminist". If she was, I likely wouldn't keep coming back here.

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at September 14, 2009 11:27 PM

Couldn't resist chiming in at my place just in case you missed a spot. Since it's Donald and all.

Posted by: Cynthia Yockey, A Conservative Lesbian at September 14, 2009 11:50 PM

If Erin Andrews was "in the news," that means that her story was really "news", and thus thought newsworthy.

What was it, *exactly*, that made it newsworthy?

Posted by: BillT at September 15, 2009 12:42 AM

"Here we get over to Cassandra's well-know [sic] proclivity to injecting hard-left-wing feminist perspectives into the debate."

As others have previously stated (in essence) the above statement is beyond ludicrous; if it weren't so stupid, it would be funny...

Posted by: camojack at September 15, 2009 01:30 AM

Stupidity is rarely funny beyond a certain point, to be sure. Unless you know it was meant to be stupid.

Grim, I'm Malaysian, so I'm sure I can speak with some authority on some Malaysian attitudes. It is with great regret that I must inform you that to certain segments of the population (though perhaps not the majority, probably), nothing is objectionable. We are the kind of people who will slow down at accident sites; not to offer or render assistance, but to rubberneck and jot down the licence plate numbers for use in 4D (equiv of Lotto). We are the kind of people whom, having run down a chicken in a village, are taught by our school syllabus to drive away as fast as we can.

Donald, Can't say I've ever read your blog, but I gotta side with these folk here. We know war kills people. While I myself would like to see all kinds of stuff out of sheer prurient interest, I recognise this is a base impulse, and going against the wishes of the family in this instance while respecting the wishes of (possibly more influential) families smacks of a double standard, to say the least.

The MSM and other media outlets would do better to leave gutter reporting to the tabloids.

Posted by: Gregory at September 15, 2009 04:07 AM

Donald, a few points:

1. That's not what you wrote previously, as I carefully dissected above.

Actually, that's not true:

if we buy into the notion that we need to see the results of violent episodes to truly understand their consequences, does this mean the media will now begin showing graphic footage of rape victims who have been beaten or tortured or cut to shreds by their attackers?

... How can we fully understand the tragic cost of rape unless we are allowed to view their injuries and vicariously understand their pain? According to the press, we can't...We need to see graphic photos of that little boy [NOTE: NOT A WOMAN] whose father ate his eyes. Otherwise, it's just too easy to gloss over the horrific damages - both mental and physical - done to these innocent victims. We have a right to know.

Would this further humiliate and traumatize the victims and their families? Undoubtedly. But the public's "need to know" outweighs silly concerns about the victim or family members who may be equally traumatized.

2. It SEEMS like every objection you have to personalizing something is how it affects women.

Only if you selectively quote me. Writing an entire post objecting to the exploitation of a MALE Marine is somehow an objection ...to personalizing something because of how it affects women? Pointing out the ridiculousness of the media showing us graphic photos of that little BOY whose father ate his eyes is an example of me objecting to the exploitation of WOMEN? Really? And for the record, my other example (child sexual abuse victims) encompasses both male and female victims. But hey - two out of five isn't bad.

3. ...it's not incorrect to indicate how the story was truly newsworthy. Andrews wouldn't have appeared on Oprah had her story not still had news value.

I never argued that the story had no news value.

I said posting or linking to the video had no news value. It added exactly ZERO additional information that had not already been conveyed by telling the public that she'd been filmed in the nude by a peeping tom. We all know what that means. It's not rocket science. We didn't need to see her naked to understand the nature of the crime.

4.I see you're expecting a voluntary apology.

No, I'm not. If you look at what I actually said, I said I wasn't asking for an apology.

5. What did I ever do to you to deserve such personal scorn?

Disagreeing with you on the issue of whether it was morally or ethically right to hype the Andrews video day after day isn't "personal scorn".

On the other hand, asserting that my objection to the exploitation of a MALE Marine's death was "hysterical, hypocritical, ignorant, or radical left-wing feminist" seems to me more in the way of a personal attack than a thoughtful rebuttal of my arguments.

6. I have been proved correct that the story was news, and I don't think you'll concede the point because it's difficult to admit misjudgment. Is that fair to say?

No. Our disagreement was never over the news story itself, but over media exploitation of the video. Many media outlets refused to post the video out of compassion and respect for Andrews' privacy.

I have argued that the same compassion and respect should have been extended to the family of a male Marine. For the life of me, I can't understand how that makes me a radical feminist.

Finally, thank you for the apology. I, too, am sorry it came to this. I do not want an apology, though. I did not write this post to attack you, but to defend myself from the things you said about me and to try to ensure my arguments were understood. The only thing I said in this post that can even remotely be construed as an attack on you (rather than a rebuttal to your arguments) is the title.

I apologize for that. I interpreted this statement (at the end of your post):

Given so much sensitivity on the issue, I can't say exactly how I would respond if faced with similar circumstances (being embedded and taking fatal battlefield images).

...as a refusal to say whether doing so was right or wrong. I just re-read your entire post and don't see anywhere that you said whether you thought it was right or wrong - just that you have reservations about censorship. That said, I could have made that point without saying you were a moral relativist, and I gladly apologize for the intemperate language.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 15, 2009 04:15 AM

Grim, I'm Malaysian, so I'm sure I can speak with some authority on some Malaysian attitudes. It is with great regret that I must inform you that to certain segments of the population (though perhaps not the majority, probably), nothing is objectionable.

Gregory:

I was thinking, at the time I wrote the line, of this incident, which as I recall resulted in quite a bit of turmoil in Malaysia. It may be that the turmoil mostly arose from the initial report that the woman was Chinese (which sparked a severe reaction in China), rather than from the incident itself. Still, if I remember correctly, quite a few of your religious leadership stood up to say some things on the topic of strip-searching women.

I understand your point about 'certain segments' of the population, though. Goodness knows we have that trouble here, too.

Posted by: Grim at September 15, 2009 06:31 AM

Though I'm a lib, and while I take a more nuanced "I can see merit in the arguments of both sides" view when it comes to media photos of injured/dead soldiers, your argument *is* consistent, and certainly *not* based on "hysterical feminism."

As I commented on his post at the time, professor Douglas could have easily expressed his point of view without gratuitously including his (vindictive, if ya ask me) attack on you. (But I can empathize... According to him, *I'm* a "nihilist," (along with a whole lotta other things) and there is no more merit to his accusations about me than there are to his accusations about you. In disagreeing, we have "wronged" him, and that wrong must be avenged. or something.)

In "solidarity"
repsac3

Posted by: repsac3 at September 15, 2009 06:35 AM

I'm not sure I'm prepared to concede that objecting to photos of rape victims or abused children is a feminist position. I'd thought it was a point of common agreement.

I did, too, Grim. But I'm afraid that now you, too, are guilty of injecting hard left radical feminist perspectives into this dialog :p

Shame. SHAME ON YOU.

I had really hoped I was done with this, but I didn't read Douglas' first comment carefully and missed something important. Since it has been raised again, I don't feel that I can ignore this:

You had a problem with profiting off of exploitative pictures of women, but then you were ashamed of your own exploitation of sexual images of women for use in a fundraiser.

The video of Erin Andrews was "exploitative" because she did not consent to be photographed in the nude. The video violated her privacy. It was published without her consent.

There is no way in Hell that photos of professional Victoria's Secret models who not only consented, BUT WERE PAID TO APPEAR IN PUBLIC (and with all the naughty bits well covered to boot!) can honestly be termed "exploitative" or a violation of their privacy.

Try as you might to make more of the incident than it is, I was not - and am not - "ashamed" of what you know damned well was a good natured and humorous attempt to get the attention of a red blooded American male with an extremely full Inbox. Furthermore I did not "profit" from the joke, unless you consider helping wounded vets to be "profit".

My only concern - which you know, since you inexplicably decided to publish what I thought was a private email after telling me you would never do such a thing - was that a worthy charity might be damaged by your baseless insinuations. It would never have occurred to me that a fellow conservative would do such a rotten thing. That was a serious failure of judgment on my part.

When my poor judgment of your character became apparent, I immediately offered to step down and was told it was not a problem. So as you see, no one is ashamed and nothing that was done was by any stretch of the imagination "wrong".

I continue to be astounded by what you will stoop to, to win an argument. That pretty much tears it for me. I am beginning to wonder whether you have any shame at all?

Posted by: Cassandra at September 15, 2009 07:54 AM

Boy, am I sorry I didn't pay more attention to your blog yesterday.

Regarding;

"You know, if the only way I can prevail in an argument is to rely on chivalry (no matter how well intentioned) then my arguments are clearly deficient and my time would be better occupied elsewhere."
I think anyone who has read your works for more than a short while has little doubt in your ability to defend your well reasoned positions.

As others have pointed out, the Professor should smile, concede a misunderstanding on his part -saves face-, and politely back away from the keyboard.

Nope, chivalrous individuals need only enjoy the joust, which you executed with deft precision. As usual.

Cheers M'lady from a knuckle-dragging, card-carrying VRWC, Neanderthal fan.

Posted by: bthun at September 15, 2009 08:04 AM

According to him, *I'm* a "nihilist,"

Heh :)

Better that than a radical left wing feminazi!

Posted by: Cassandra at September 15, 2009 08:31 AM

As I said last time Donald decided that you were some left-wing feminist, why bother arguing with someone who clearly has NO CLUE who you are or what you're about? If he has EVER read this site with more than a cursory glance, he would know how foolish an insipid his idea of your "hard-line feminism" truly is. But that not being the case, I just can't see how any attempt at discussion would be possible. He is starting from a standpoint not based in reality, and thus his arguments can only get sillier from there.

Posted by: MikeD at September 15, 2009 08:58 AM

He is starting from a standpoint not based in reality, and thus his arguments can only get sillier from there.

I am not sure that "reality" plays a big part in anything this man has to say. If reality doesn't conform to what he wants it to be, he simply makes stuff up :p

You're right. It's a waste of valuable time.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 15, 2009 09:06 AM

You're right. It's a waste of valuable time.

HOWEVER! Please do NOT think that I imply, believe, condone, want, think or in any other way support the concept that your posting is a waste. Just want to be 100% crystal clear on that.

Posted by: MikeD at September 15, 2009 09:31 AM

If Cassandra is a Hard Left-Wing feminist, can I be Kathleen Turner, ca 1980?

Posted by: Cricket at September 15, 2009 10:31 AM

Donald, basic logic here.

1) If a then b.

2) If not b then not a.

You say you want "a". Cass points out that "a" leads to "b" and that appearently you nor anyone else for that matter supports "b".

Therefor, if you don't want "b" you also cannot have "a".

This is all basic logic 101.

And just because some of her particular examples of "b" are of a female victims is meaningless as she obviously doesn't support the victimization of males either (the Lance Corporal is, after all, [wait for it, it's a real shocker]........a man). So arguing that a man should be treated the same as women and men (remember her example of the little boy?) is hardly radical feminist.

I know you said it's a waste of time, but I just came off vacation and this asshat has harshed my mellow and needed to vent. :-)

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at September 15, 2009 10:45 AM

I just came off vacation ... :-)

Welcome back, Yu-Ain. I have been wondering if you were OK. You were missed.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 15, 2009 10:55 AM

Thanks.

After 9 days at the beach with just the LG and a 5-month old Mini-YAG. You were right to worry though. We seem to have a habit of bringing a hurricane or tropical storm into the Gulf with us :-) Gustav and Katrina while we were there, and Ivan and Frances shortly after leaving. I'm beginning to think my going to the beach is what causes hurricanes.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at September 15, 2009 11:29 AM

Oops, brain to fast for my fingers:

After 9 days at the beach with just the LG and a 5-month old Mini-YAG I was feeling really good and not at all prepared to deal with that level of, well, let's just say it's not printable.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at September 15, 2009 11:32 AM

If Cassandra is a Hard Left-Wing feminist, can I be Kathleen Turner, ca 1980?

Posted by: Cricket at September 15, 2009 10:31 AM

Hell, Cricket. I was thinking the same danged thing!

Posted by: spd rdr at September 15, 2009 03:07 PM

You wanted to be Kathleen Turner circa 1980, spd?
Ummm....does Mrs. Rdr know this? Better yet, does she read this blog?
0>:~}

Posted by: DL Sly at September 15, 2009 05:51 PM

(A) Well, it was 1980, after all. You'd prefer I prefer to be Cagnyandlacy? or was it Cagnyorlacy. I never could tell.

(B)Christ, I hope not.

Posted by: spdette redrette at September 15, 2009 06:42 PM

Great googly moogly!

All this link slut, metro-bass, sprouts infestations, Nekid women sportscasters, someone I've never heard of who googles in a red teddy, Kathleen Turner's Body Heat, and left-wang feminists run amok conversation needs a musical score...

How's bout this one?

Posted by: bt_in-a-crazy-mixed-up-world_hun at September 15, 2009 07:02 PM

Grim: heh, yeah, I remember that one. Made a huge splash, it did.

You will notice, however, that they went ahead and spread the clips far and wide. Further, if you looked at the website (and please note it is truly NSFW or anywhere else, really) www.gutteruncensored.com, you will notice that Malaysians don't have much in the way of shame.

Not when it involves celebrities, at any rate.

Posted by: Gregory at September 15, 2009 11:19 PM

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