opinion

Girls Gone Mild

Stephen Yagielowicz
By now, most of you have heard about the Girls Gone Wild plea bargain over 2257 violations which netted them a $2.1 million dollar fine. Almost immediately, I posted a comment in a board thread along the lines of “I wonder how many webmasters still won’t ‘get it’?” Again, almost immediately, came a response along the lines of “It was only because the government saw how much money they were making and wanted a cut!”

Yep, it didn’t take long at all to see that some folks still don’t get it…

An obvious target for scrutiny if ever there was one, I’m not surprised that GGW had the feds come down on them. After all, those endless TV ads showing inebriated girls who aren’t in any condition to (legally) sign legal documents, bouncing around and being naughty at all hours of the day, were bound to raise a few eyebrows.

Beyond that, it’s doubtless that a few of those girls really weren’t of age (or at least conveniently “forgot” their IDs), and/or were daughters of agents or otherwise inflamed, influential players that were aghast at how their child was spending the pile of money she “needed for books” by going to spring break instead.

From the DOJ’s viewpoint, this was a fortunate and satisfying victory with a major cash settlement that will no doubt look much better to the department’s Congressional critics than does a handful of inspections that all reportedly resulted in “passes.” From the viewpoint of the many outraged parents who are offended by these constant commercials, the victory must also be quite satisfying.

Indeed, Bill O’Reilly covered the story on his FOX News show last night, offering his own opinion and allowing two guest commentators (both women) to express their views as well. O’Reilly, ever the pragmatist, opined that he thought the department had much better things to spend their time and resources on, like chasing al-Qaeda (a view I agree with wholeheartedly). His attitude was basically “Who cares if a college girl who might be 17-and-three-quarters wants to be in these silly videos? This is all a waste of time!”

His guests had other opinions, however. The sensible one felt that since there are laws on the books, the government has a responsibility to enforce those laws, but pretty much left it at that. The token liberal, on the other hand, surprised O’Reilly, since most liberals are thought to embrace adult entertainment, but she felt that the GGW producers are “sleazy” and that the government should make it as hard as possible for anyone to do business in this “sleazy” industry. “It’s not a liberal view; it’s a feminist one” she offered.

The two morals of the story being: don’t forget your paperwork – and don’t think that liberals will give this industry a pass…

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