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Sunday, March 16, 2008
Posted 8:38 PM by

Smerconish: Legalize hookers

Michael SmerconishRight-wing Philly radio talk show host Michael Smerconish has gone off the deep end, again, saying in light of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's downfall he hopes America may soon be ready to grow up and debate decriminalizing the sex industry.

Smerconish quotes extensively from Spitzer's mentor, constitutional law professor Alan Dershowitz of all people, in his Sunday column in the Philadelphia Daily News.

"Twenty years from now, people will look back at this and say, 'What? Somebody had to resign or be indicted because he went and paid for an adult prostitute who was making $5,000 an hour?' Where's the victim here?" Dershowitz told him.

Smerconish does him one better, writing, "It's time to bring the world's oldest profession aboveboard in communities willing to allow it, clean up the trade, and clamp down on the exploitation. Let government share in the revenue, but otherwise stay out of the private affairs of consenting adults."

I'm no prude. But while that may seem very European and progressive, there's just one flaw in the logic of both men.

Britain and other European countries are, in fact, currently debating whether to start prosecuting male Johns, instead of the women they hire in an effort to curb human trafficking.

And if you don't think human trafficking occurs in the U.S., you're sadly mistaken. According to U.S. government estimates, about 800,000 to 900,000 men, women and children are trafficked each year across international borders worldwide for sex and other purposes; approximately 18,000 to 20,000 of those victims are trafficked into the United States itself.

The victim here isn't the man's career and potential public embarassment in the newspaper, but the young woman who is spreading her legs for money - no matter what price she is paid. All this would change is her pimp.

The law should regard any woman who decides to whore herself for money as a sex slave, no matter if she's doing it willingly and isn't hooked on drugs or alcohol. Money is addicting too and this is not an occupation to which young girls should aspire.

Just ask Ashley Alexandra Dupre, Spitzer's call girl, now. She is claiming through her lawyer that the New York Times' and Associated Press' use of photos from her myspace page violated her right to privacy and potential copyright laws.

Hustler Publisher Larry Flynt also told the AP Friday that he e-mailed Dupre, offering her $1 million to pose nude for his magazine, but hasn't heard back so far.

Frankly, given our state government's failure to responsibly regulate its fledgling slots parlor industry, I would never want prostitution to be legal in Slotsylvania. One vice is enough.

And to think, four years ago when the law legalizing slots gambling passed without any public debate, I joked, "All the Legislature has to do now is sell off the liquor stores so that booze flows freely, add some dice and card games, and let people wear concealed, unlicensed firearms to protect themselves from the social ills the rest will create. And then, voila, we have the Wild West all over again."

I completely forgot the horizontal refreshment. How rude of me.

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