A tawdry, disgusting, and distasteful week

As the Grateful Dead said, what a long, strange trip it's been.  And dude, the week is only half-over. 

I mean, like, there it was: the headline declaring that Bill Cosby, Mr. Jell-O Pudding, America's Dad, will spend the next three to ten years in prison trying to keep from being some bad boy's best girl while wearing the title of Sexually Violent Predator for the rest of his life.  Will they make him sew SVP onto the front of his shirt? 

I received no reply on my social media accounts to the question of whether I missed the throng of hundreds of angry protesters demanding justice for Cosby's victims, even for one of them.  Where were the TV talking heads laying out all of their moral reasons why the White House should take back his Presidential Medal of Freedom, or why the folks who hand out the Golden Globes, Emmys, and Grammys should demand he return all of them.

None of that happened.  That seemed strange, given the procession of protesters and talking heads carrying pitchforks and torches while demanding justice for the women whose unsubstantiated claims against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh come nowhere close to sinking to the sick level of the crimes that are sending Cosby to the pen.  The lack of moral outrage is its own moral outrage.

The week started over the weekend with what may be the most tawdry, disgusting, and distasteful news I've heard in a long time.  I was shocked, appalled, and embarrassed.  No, it wasn't the next installment of the Kavanaugh Capers.  It was the New Yorker story that alleged more Kavanaugh Capers.

My smartphone fell from my hands when I read the publication's admission that it had no real evidence that the latest (at the time) allegation took place.  Nothing.  Nada.  In fact, by its own account, the publication tried and tried to find someone, anyone, who was an eyewitness to the heinous deed.  The best it could come up with was someone who heard something from someone about something.  Even The New York Times, which printed an anonymous letter that purported to be the firsthand account of the president's weird and wacky behavior, complete with a statement that some high-level staffers and Cabinet members had considered a bloodless coup by invoking the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, would not print the story because the paper couldn't find anyone to back up the claim.

That was pretty bad, but things got worse when other media outlets picked it up.  They didn't just run with a story about a story; they had to add ad nauseam their shock that one of their own, a Pulitzer Prize-winner, would write such a tale.  Of course, they could not display their disgust without going over the allegation word by word and line by line, repeating the unrepeatable over more than one news cycle.  And you can be sure they all sat back and congratulated themselves on their journalistic ethics that kept them on the high road by traveling the low road.

My strange week continued with the surreal interview that found Kavanaugh trying to prove to his accusers and abusers the unprovable negative, like that "are you still beating your wife" political trap I learned a long time ago.  His denial included more than we wanted to know and more than any person should have to say.  Not only did he not sexually attack another person, he said, but he added that he remained a virgin until years after he graduated from college.  For some reason, I do not see his accuser offering the details of her virginity to the Senate committee and the watching world.

As I said, the week is only half over.  Only thing left to do is to keep truckin' like the do-dah man, man.

John David Powell is an award-winning journalist who lives in Texas.  His email address is johndavidpowell@yahoo.com.

Image: Don LaVange via Flickr.

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