The Right Side?

I could not help but check again to make sure I was reading the Washington City Paper and not the Washington Times (or some other right-wing rag) after finishing the cover story “Smooth Operator” (11/ 16). As a relatively new resident of our nation’s capital, I have quickly learned that the City Paper almost never misses an opportunity to miss the larger (and more compelling) issue flirted with by your cadre of neophyte reporters.

Please tell me Eli Muller and his cast of moral crusaders such as Lieutenant Blondie and David Dienstag have more compelling current issues to tackle than being deposed in the soon-to-be-filed defamation suit from Fatima Thomas. Why choose Thomas’ establishments to exploit and condemn when Washington (like Maryland, Virginia, and every other state in the union, for that matter) is littered with handjob houses? The most likely answer relates to the incompetence of the City Paper’s editorial staff and the limited mental capacity and poor research skills of the writer himself.

An alternative and much more disturbing answer is racism, pure and simple. I say this as a white male, and to me, it could not be clearer. I advise you to take a thorough look through the advertisements on any weekday in the Washington Post’s sports section. Once there, you will discover a plethora of similar establishments located in other parts of the District. Do the owners of these establishments find their private lives and homes photographed and then plastered in the City Paper? I think not.

In fact, this article drips with an irony as thick as molasses. Are the staff members of the City Paper now anointing themselves the champions of morality? If so, how is your “Adult Services” section within the classifieds any different? If Thomas is guilty of encouraging prostitution, as Muller pontificates, then so is the City Paper.

The bigger story here is that the city government and the leaders of the Metropolitan Police Department obviously do not care about these establishments. If they did, I’m confident that these establishments would not exist. It’s their inaction here that really is the big story. What makes this city more enlightened than any other on the East Coast is that the residents, local representatives, and law-enforcement officials understand each other perfectly well. A fitting parallel example is the enormous difficulty our local federal prosecutors face when attempting to obtain a jury verdict against citizens for possessing small amounts of marijuana. This parallel, here in the capital of the free world, really is the ultimate irony.

During these tumultuous times, I am confident that we as citizens have far more pressing issues to consider. Finally, I think Muller and his fellow moral crusaders should climb down from their ivory tower and spend their free time looking for new day jobs and also preparing for their depositions in Thomas’ impending suit.

Scott Circle

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