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Is that an attorney general in your pants?

One of the things that irritates me most about life in these United States is the tendency our public officials have to respond to any negative situation by peering into your bedroom window, climbing into your pants, or otherwise attempting to restrict your behavior as a consenting adult. In the wake of some nutter wacking women in the New England area (a nutter who happened to prefer finding his victims via Craigslist) South Carolina Attorney General Henry “I’m In Your Pants” McMaster is looking for some attention.

Let’s not pretend that Mr. McMaster wants to make the world a better place. He makes his living profiting from punishing people. If he didn’t have access to what was going on in your pants it would diminish his market share on spanking naughty people.

Which brings us back to the subject of hookers, and South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster. Earlier this month McMaster, who is of course eyeing a run

for governor, threatened criminal prosecution against Craigslist management if pornography and ads for prostitution were not removed from the site. Craigslist took extraordinary measures to comply.

But quiet compliance isn’t what McMaster is looking for. He wants handcuffs and a trial, the kind of stuff that Spitzer got. He issued the following statement on Saturday “As of 5:00 p.m. this afternoon, the craigslist South Carolina site continues to display advertisements for prostitution and graphic pornographic material. This content was not removed as we requested. We have no alternative but to move forward with criminal investigation and potential prosecution.”

Frankly, I’m not interested in political “servants” who are interested in what goes on between consenting adults. Craigslist is not a criminal organization – it provides a service that connects people. What consenting adults do with their pants (or without them) is only a matter for a prosecutor to get involved in when nonconsensual activity has taken place. The response to the South Carolina AG by Craigslist is noteworthy.

South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster today announced that our recent improvements, which go far beyond measures he himself personally endorsed with his own signature six months ago, not only aren’t good enough, but actually require a criminal investigation:

“As of 5:00 p.m. this afternoon, the craigslist South Carolina site continues to display advertisements for prostitution and graphic pornographic material. This content was not removed as we requested. We have no alternative but to move forward with criminal investigation and potential prosecution.”

He evidently feels justified in singling out craigslist for investigation, and publicly condemning me personally as being worthy of criminal prosecution.

Seriously? The craigslist adult services section for Greenville, SC has a total of 1 ad for the last 3 days, featuring a photograph of a fully clothed person. The “erotic services” section for Greenville, which we recently closed, has 8 ads total which will expire in two days, and even for these ads the images and text are quite tame.

Meanwhile, the “adult entertainment” section of greenville.backpage.com (careful with link, NSFW), owned by Village Voice Media, has over 60 ads for the last 3 days, and about 250 in total. In sharp contrast with craigslist, many of these ads are quite explicit, quoting prices for specific sex acts, featuring close-ups of bare genitalia, etc.

Of course, no one in mainstream legal circles thinks either company should be subject to civil suit, let alone a criminal investigation. But if for whatever reason you were so motivated, would you target a venue with 9 PG-13 rated ads, or one with 250 XXX rated ones?

And FWIW, telephone yellow pages and other local print media have both companies beat hands down as adult service ad venues for South Carolina.

Any interest in targeting them for criminal prosecution? Didn’t think so.

Update – 1st comment on this entry lists 19 adult ads for 1 day from the Charleston Post and Courier.

Update 2 – 5 pages of escort listings on live.com (owned and operated by Microsoft), click on the “images” tab at the top of the listing page if you want to see photographs (careful NSFW), and note the sponsored “hotel” ads being sold against these listings

Update 3 – 26 escort ads for Myrtle Beach on yellowpages.com (owned and operated by AT&T). Anyone care to count the escort ads in the print yellow pages for major cities in South Carolina?

No matter which political whore is busy making hay, adults will find ways to connect, both sexually and otherwise. People will still be murdered. Your pants will still represent a place the attorney general of South Carolina thinks he belongs. Isn’t it time we told self-righteous bastards like Henry McMaster to stay out of our pants? After all, no matter how many attorney generals you have in your pants, your statistical chances of being murdered by a crazed psychopath remain about the same. What do people like Henry McMaster actually bring to the table, other than an unhealthy obsessession with running our lives?