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Columnist fired for getting laid

The PC anti-sex brigade has claimed another victim. Chicago Tribune columnist Bob Greene has been forced to resign – I would call it fired – for sleeping with an of-age teenage girl over ten years ago.

Whatever happened to sexual liberation? The Berkeley Free Sex (and Speech) Movement? Is the Anglosphere being taken over by prudes? And if so, where did they come from? They sure as hell weren’t in the left when I was, back 30 years ago when everyone was bonking away like an Austin Powers at the Plato’s Cave nightclub.

25 comments to Columnist fired for getting laid

  • Puritans, Dale. You lot had the good sense to kick them out, but now we have an entire sub-culture founded on their ridiculous ways.

    That aside, I think Greene was fired because he was a no-talent hack and his superiors have no sack.

  • Richard Cook

    The paper has every right to fire him. And they should. It kinda damages his credibility when he writes all those hack articles on child abuse then this pops up. What kind of asset is he now. You say of age (17 or 18?). Legally yeah she’s of age. Betcha the readers – who buy the paper- don’t see it like that. Oh yeah – get out a map. Berkeley is not Chicago – where Green is based.

  • No one is saying the paper did not have the ‘right’ to fire him, but that does not make it the right thing to do. If she was ‘of age’ then what the hell has that got to do with lessening of a paper’s credibility when writing about child abuse? What is the link here?

  • blabla

    Isn’t morality defined by civil society, not by the state? The paper has simply defined their own moral standards independent of what the state deems moral (age of consent).

    This isn’t a libertarian vs statist issue.

    This is a culture issue. It’s too bad that libertarians dress up as libertines and deem anyone who doesn’t agree with their notion of morality as being “puritans.”

  • I’m the one using the “Puritan” tag here, no one else…and I’m not a libertarian, I just despise bigotry in the name of religion.

  • Dale Amon

    This is indeed not a libertarian issue. It’s this libertarian writer’s issue. Yes, I’ve by now read other blog articles that popped up simultaneously and note he was not very good. However he does not seem to have been fired for being “not very good”. He was fired for something that would not even have been much noted over ten years ago. Did they have the right to do it? Certainly. Do I like the cultural message behind their actions? NO!

    Your sex life shouldn’t be a public issue, whether you are a hack journalist or a crooked President. I’m perfectly free to defend his right to consensual pleasure and to editorialize his former employers march down the FeminNazi Road. If that make me a libertine, then I’ll wear the label proudly!

  • blabla

    I have no problem with your views, since you acknowledge that this is not a libertarian issue.

  • Mike G

    I can’t say I’m really sorry about Greene, except that he got fired for something that, it seems to me, is pretty much none of his employer’s goddam business. If that doesn’t sum up a libertarian approach to business, I don’t know what does.

    Here’s the letter I sent to the Trib (might as well post it because they sure as hell won’t publish it), citing a libertarian on their payroll at the end:

    If the woman in the Bob Greene “case” was of legal age, as we find out only on the second day of this story, then exactly what business was it of the Tribune company’s that these two adults had an affair?

    Oh, she was a source. For what– the Pentagon Papers? Forgive me if I never found Greene’s writing so crucial to the health of the Republic that that worries me. I realize that this means I may not be able to trust his story of the origin of the words to “Louie Louie,” but somehow I think I’ll live with that.

    Bob Greene was an entertainer, and it’s only journalism’s puffed-up self-importance that makes anyone think that his private life was a sacred trust which the Tribune Company must guard like the chastity of a Taliban mullah’s eighteenth wife. I very much look forward to what one of America’s leading critics of zero tolerance policies has to say about all this. Steven Chapman, what’s your take?

  • miller

    C’mon. He used his column, writing about a high schooler, to wheedle his way into her pants. It’s unprofessional, and the Tribune has the right to demand professionalism by its employees. Would that more newspapers did so.

  • johnv

    to Miller:

    What makes you so sure he “wheedled” his way into her pants? Maybe it was quite the other way around.

  • What an incredible scoop by the Tribune reporters. According to ScrappleFace, this one’s got Pulitzer written all over it.

  • blabla

    I can’t say I’m really sorry about Greene, except that he got fired for something that, it seems to me, is pretty much none of his employer’s goddam business. If that doesn’t sum up a libertarian approach to business, I don’t know what does.

    Nope – a libertarian approach to business allows free association between parties. It does not equate free sexuality with morality. Either we allow civil society to create morality, or we let the state dictate morality.

    The paper broke a free association (and created a free dissociation if you will) based on its own standards of morality. Dale simply disagrees with those standards. His argument is an appeal to civil society, not to libertarianism.

    I very much look forward to what one of America’s leading critics of zero tolerance policies has to say about all this.

    This has nothing to do with zero tolerance policies. Zero tolerance policies have to do with the relationship between the state and the citizen, not between an employer and an employee. Either we allow free association between parties or we let the state dictate what standards of morality must be followed for an employer to freely dissociate from an employee.

    Again, your argument stems from a libertine worldview, not a libertarian one.

  • I’m new here, today is my first visit, so I don’t know how much I’m supposed to stay on the libertarian or anti-libertarian path. This would in fact be hard as I don’t know the established view of libertarianism at this site.

    I view this spectacle instead as a failure of journalism in that the fact that the issue of the woman’s age is buried deep in the day two story and she is called a “girl in her late teens” in the Editor’s page 1 “Letter to Readers” the day before. A girl – left uncorrected for 24 hours or more.

    Studies – paid for by media groups – show most people don’t read articles to the end. So the fact of the woman’s age is critical and should have been put further up in the story.

    After all the age of the woman is the difference between a crime and a serious lapse in judgement.

    I expand on this point on my own blog {i guess this is a plug, sorry but I’ve got to get the word out somehow right] linked to my name below.
    PS I am a journalist myself – not for a national publication.

  • Dale Amon

    Not even necessarily a lapse in judgement. One of two sisters who were friends of mine from college days told me how the two of them had a competition going when they were 15-16… Under today’s “standards” they’d have put hundreds of men behind bars.

  • Bet the PC crowd who disapprove of middle-aged men shagging teenage girls, would be defending him if it was a teenage boy.

  • Blame it on the Uptight Christians’ Brigade. The ancestors of these Bible-humping mental defectives came to the US on the Mayflower and have been ruining the fun for sensible people ever since.

    I know its not nice, but just letting ’em sail to America was a rather dumb idea.

  • Richard Cook

    If you build a good part of your career about child (and I left this word out) sexual abuse and you shag women just becoming of legal age the people that read your column are going to see this as hypocrisy. And it is hypocritical. The woman and her parents looked up to and trusted Green and he succumbs to the power of the penis? Go online to the Chicago Tribunes site and read John Kass’ column about it. He explains it better than I can. And Perry if you don’t see the link then I’ll spring for the Bloodhound for you.

  • Yes Richard, I will go out and buy nice dawg bowl and some flea spray for the bloodhound because I still do not see the link… this young woman was of bonkable age: ergo, she was not a ‘child’, she is a young woman. Having sex with her therefore cannot be ‘child sexual abuse’ and therefore is simply irrelevant regarding what he may have written on the subject. That is just a fact not an opinion. She may have been daddies girl, skipping through the meadows all sweetness and light, but she is legally entitled to have sex with grizzled squinty eyed hack journalists if she is thusly inclined. Dumb perhaps but certainly not that much abused word ‘abuse’.

  • Richard Cook

    You are looking at it from a legal standpoint. I am looking at it from a Tribune’s consumer standpoint. Of course she was legal, there is no argument about that. However, if I have been a reader of the Trib (or any paper that carries his column) and I read this then my first though is “Hey, wait a minute….” If he build a rep as a “defender of the children” then does this his rep is seriously impaired and as such the Tribune is correct to question his judgement.

  • I suppose it just boils down to the fact I do not think of anyone who is 16 or over and sound of mind, as being a child. I have seen 16 year olds fighting in wars. I once met a 17 year old war widow in Croatia. It is just odd to me that others might somehow think a person in their mid teens having consensual sex is a big deal. I don’t, and thus as a result the motivation for firing that guy also seems very odd to me. To you it seems a matter of poor judgement, to me the fact of her age is trivial. For me, questionable judgement only come in due to the fact he was cheating on his wife, not the age of who he was cheating with. Yet somehow I do not think he was fired simply for cheating on his wife. This is not so much a criticism of those scandalised by the age of the young woman, it is just an observation of a significant cultural divide at work here.

  • HatesGreene

    This loser got what he deserved! I have a feeling he will lose alot more than his job in the near future. These type of guys always get their’s in the end.

    What the heck would an 18 year old girl see in actually wanting to be with him?! They still have not developed enough mentally to be able to understand certain situations enough. They get into these things and do not fully understand what is happening before it’s too late.

    I feel sorry for those women who were taken advantage of by this sick man! He abused them in a sense and they are meant to feel that they did something to cause it. THEY DID NOT! They are the victims here.

    Greene should face the jury on this one!

  • What the heck would an 18 year old girl see in actually wanting to be with him?!

    Well obviously she did see something about the guy or she would not have slept with him… no one is suggesting he raped her so clearly she felt the urge to do what she did. Why on earth is so hard for people to just accept that she has free will? Either she is a legal adult or she isn’t: well guess what: she is.

    As for ‘Face the jury’…For screwing a woman of legal age? Yeah, right. On what charges exactly?

  • Reginleif the Valkyrie

    What Greene did was perfectly legal, if morally objectionable (in that he’s married with kids, not that the woman was so much younger than he). I think the point people are missing is that he chose to write in his column about bedding the young lady. Waxing journalistic over your amatory conquests, adulterous or otherwise, in a family newspaper is poor in both taste and judgment. I think the Trib made the correct decision but for the wrong reason.

  • Molly

    “I think the Trib made the correct decision but for the wrong reason.”

    Yeah. Probably. But whats up with you guys (and yeah, its guys)? She did not have a gun to her head so spare us the shocked outrage. Like the song says, Girls just wanna have fun.