Wednesday, October 29, 2008

C-J defends Beshear's (inappropriate) "rape" reference

From the editorialists at the C-J awhile back (trying to catch up on my files), a bizarre attempt to defend the indefensible.

Over-reaction? Perhaps. Acceptable? No way.

Part of the confusion is that the C-J doesn't understand markets-- and so, easily equates rape with standard, voluntary mutually-beneficial trade.

Beshear apologized and that should be that. But if you're the C-J, you can't rise to the defense of something you would roundly condemn in your political opponents.

Call off the word police

Speaking of unbridled spirit, not to mention unchecked language, did Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear really have to issue a statement to apologize for using the word "rape" in relation to oil companies and jacked-up fuel prices in relation to Hurricane Ike?

In our book, no.

But he did. Chalk one up for the word police.

Last week, in a pique about escalating gasoline prices in Kentucky, the Governor told WHAS-TV that the high prices were similar to oil companies raping the citizens of Kentucky. Some found the analogy demeaning to survivors of rape, and so Beshear apologized.

A couple reasons why he shouldn't have, and didn't need to. Unlike some high-profile boors who've used the word "rape" in a joking sense, which did demean, the Governor was dead serious, and angry to boot, about predatory and opportunistic pricing. And, a quick look at the dictionary finds two acceptable definitions that fit what Beshear described: plunder, and flagrant violation.


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