Sunday, December 30, 2007

...In Which Ann Althouse Blames the Victim 
I'm a fan of Althouse's blog, and I'm a frequent commenter. But she's just wrong here:

Well, of course, it was bad of the little girl to lie, but little kids lie. Making a spectacle out of disgracing a 6-year-old is disgraceful. After failing to check the very checkable fact that made the company think of her essay as the best, it should have quietly resolved the matter with the girl's family — probably by sending her on the trip anyway — and given the prize — the honor of winning plus the trip — to someone else.

Rather than put the onus for lying on the girl's mother, where it belongs, Althouse goes so far as to accuse the store of negligence!

My point is that the store was negligent in failing to check (and for giving the prize for a fact about a person's life instead of for the quality of the essay). I think because they are at fault, they should not have resorted to public humiliation, which is a punishment way out of line for the little girl. Obviously, her mother is to blame, but nevertheless, the shame is being visited on the little girl, and I think this is wrong, given the fault of the store in judging the contest.

That's retarded. It's not even lawyer-logic. It's nothing logic. It's a store. Not a newspaper. They have no duty to fact-check every entry in a frigging essay contest for six-year olds. If they did, and were liable to torts every time all the losers smelled a foul in a winner, no one would ever have any essay contests ever again.

I don't think Althouse grasps the seriousness of honor thievery. This wasn't just a lie. This was a deliberate attempt to steal the honor of our fallen, and those family members who have made real sacrifices, for personal gain.

Our servicemen and women don't get rich. When they are publicly recognized as individuals by the national press, it is just as likely to be excoriated in the press as it is to be honored.

The rewards are few, the hours are long, and the dangers are many and deadly and the sacrifices of their loved ones dear, even where the service member is not injured. The one currency they are due - and due richly - is that of honor.

This woman stole their honor - all for concert tickets.

There is a reason it is illegal to buy and sell a Congressional Medal of Honor.

If this woman does not like her honor impugned publicly, then perhaps she should have considered its value before trading on the honor of others for personal gain.

Her crime was a crime of honor. The only fitting recourse is public shaming. Keeping everything on the down low would not accomplish that.

I guess honor is just not in the curriculum at law schools these days.

Splash, out


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You got it. I read this earlier today and sent it to my friends with almost the same points you made. I also usually come close to agreeing with the majority of the Althouse opinion but this is one time she got it totally wrong IMNSHO.
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