The Corner

Noble People in a Thankless Task

Some years ago, I wrote a piece on pornography — I mention this in Impromptus today. This was a companion piece to a big piece on the subject by WFB. Those pieces were published in National Review, a very Buckley-friendly publication. I learned a fair amount in doing my research for the piece — and one thing I learned is that anti-porn researchers and activists are some of the most admirable, valuable, persistent, and courageous people on earth. They do a rotten task, and it is largely thankless.

They face three main obstacles, I learned in writing my piece: 1) They have to marinate in evil all day long — this is particularly true of workers against child porn. 2) There are always people who say, “Gee, you seem mighty interested in this. Kind of get a kick out of it, huh?” And 3) No one wants to hear about porn, especially the worst stuff. We naturally turn away — recoil — which benefits the pornographers enormously. They are let alone.

Anyway, would like to publish a note from a reader:

Jay,

I can echo / add to your comments about the thankless task undertaken by those who seek to combat child pornographers. A close friend of mine is a county prosecutor who was recently assigned to a child-pornography task force. We were talking about it recently and she shared that she has been horrified by the things she has had to view in the course of her work and feels like she needs to “go home after work and shower, to get rid of the slime.” Beyond that, she was shocked at the number of “normal” people who are involved in child porn and how quickly their friends, relatives, and even clergy leap to their defense by demonizing her for what she is doing rather than recognizing and addressing the wrong being done by others.

Agree wholeheartedly with exposing ugly stuff for what it is, even if it makes us a bit uncomfortable at times.

This last remark pertained to the question of whether I was right, the other day, to give the definition of “teabagging” here on the Corner. (I take up the question in today’s Impromptus column.) In my view, we ought to know exactly what Anderson Cooper et al. are talking and smirking about. You know?