The Corner

A Private Decision?

A tremendous amount of dumb prose has been written about Miriam Weeks, the Duke porn star. But the dumbest sentences have come from the Duke undergraduate herself:

My decision to do porn to pay for college was a private one I made, and then I was outed to my university classmates by another Duke student who had seen me on the Internet a few months ago.

Though I have spent some time on the porn beat of late, I do not have very much interest in anybody’s private pornography consumption habits, but the fact is that porn consumption is quite widespread. I do not know how one expects a decision to enter into a commercial enterprise engaging in sex acts published on web sites with millions upon millions of viewers could possibly be considered “a private one.” What, exactly, are they teaching in the way of logic at Duke these days? The decision to perform in commercial pornography by definition cannot be a private one.

Perhaps it may seem unfair, but the expectation of privacy associated with viewing pornography in the privacy of one’s home (as opposed to in a Las Vegas convention venue) does not reasonably extend to the enterprise of performing in pornographic videos — their being public is sort of the point of making them. What we do in public has consequences beyond ourselves, as Miss Weeks’s family is now learning.

But I think there may be something to the Weeks Rule (call it the Weeksy Standard?): The next time I make an error in a story, I’m going to send this e-mail: “With respect, Mr. Lowry, you should understand that my decision to publish that piece on NRO was a private one.” 

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