Enough ink and anything will look like red meat
Posted by aogThursday, 05 August 2004 at 12:24 TrackBack Ping URL

Even though Instapundit links to her, Dahlia Lithwick’s thoughts are still a confused mess that fail to get even the most basic facts right. She writes

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit upheld an Alabama ban on the sale of sex toys. Alabamians can still use, improvise, borrow (not recommended by Slate or its legal counsel), or import from out-of-state the latex items of their choosing. But as far as the court of appeals is concerned, the sale and advertising of “any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs” can now get you up to a year of jail time and up to $10,000 in fines. [emphasis added]

[…]

The big fight comes down, very simply, to this: Does the Constitution protect, as a “fundamental right,” private, consensual sexual activity that harms no one?

No, it doesn’t come down to that. The ban has nothing to do with private, consensual sexual activity. It’s a ban on commercial activity. It may still be stupid and unconstitutional but not on any privacy basis. As Lithwick herself notes in the preceeding paragraph, the ban is about the sale of such devices. Not the possession or use. Does she not read or understand her own writing? As far as I can tell, there’s not even a ban on the purchase of such devices, so Alabamans can still legally purchase them out of state.

I don’t know what else Lithwick has to write on the issue, as I stopped reading at the end of the quoted section. Having gone off on a hysterical tangent I didn’t see the point in wasting more time reading her tripe. But I did wonder why she would cast the issue this way - simple ignorance, stupidity or hardwired liberal bias? The latter is a distinct possibility. Since the ban is on commercial activity, it would be hard to a big name in Old Media to argue against it, in contrast to the constant calls from Old Media for ever growing regulation of commerce. It simply wouldn’t resonate with the usual crowd to describe it accurately. The red meat of a liberal opinion article is a direct threat to privacy. And so the issue is recast that way by shear force of assertion against the counter evidence in the article’s lede. Apparently Lithwick thinks her readership has very short memories.