Sympathy For The Devil(s)


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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45 Responses

  1. Avatar greginak says:

    Exploitation might be an appropriate charge if the pix were to be used to influence an election which could lead to Mayfield profiting in some way. Lewd and licentious??? hmmm Pix of someone who might be partially clothed, clearly could not give consent and most importantly were meant to be used to embarrass someone else. The embarrassment coming from, i’m assuming, terrible state the victim was in. That seems like one of the L’s if not both. It is sad he killed himself, but holy moly, what a massive failure of morals and thought.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      My understanding is that she was more than partially clothed. The calculus changes if that was not the case.

      I, of course, agree that what he did was despicable.Report

      • Avatar greginak says:

        Actually i was vague about the clothing thing. Even is she was fully covered up being in a hospital under care is a very private experience. It, obviously, was a major breach of personal space. The Wife has been in the hospital a bit and her room is her intimate space. Clothed or not, the invasion of personal space was serious enough L or L could be reasonably justified.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I agree that her privacy was violated. I just don’t agree that it qualifies as L&L.Report

      • Avatar greginak says:

        So i looked up some definitions of L and L and it does seem to a stretch. However i wonder what charge would be appropriate for taking pix of an incapacitated person in a helpless and allegedly poor state with the intent of hurting someone else would be. It certainly seems like that should be worthy of something.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I suspect that the answer would have to do with privacy law and beefing that up. Mississippi’s laws with regard to privacy in the age of camera-enabled smartphones are probably in need of revising (as with most states’).Report

  2. Avatar Stillwater says:

    Some typos prevent me from clearly understanding your point here. Especially wrt the revenge porn stuff. Could you clarify?Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      I touched up the last paragraph. Does that help? Basically, if you’re in a relationship with someone it’s uncool (or worse) to forward sexual images of that person if the relationship goes sour (or if you no longer care about the relationship). That doesn’t change because it’s a guy part instead of a girl part.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I concur in part and dissent in part.

    I agree with the second part and with what Jessica Valenti said. Though sexting as always been odd to me. More on this later.

    I disagree on Mark Mayfield. Thad Cochoran’s wife is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and is in facility because she needs extensive care. For some reason the photos of the wife were meant to prove that the Senator was an adulterous man (I don’t know why or how this was supposed to work as evidence for his adultery.) It would be one thing if they stalked the Senator and did indeed see him cavorting with another woman or were able to find evidence of the Senator cavorting with other women. It is an entirely different thing and quite beyond the pale to take pictures of a person who has no idea what is going on.

    That being said I am working on a post in my head on Dov Carney and Terry Richardson. I will need to go write this now.

    The thing I don’t get about sexting is that it seems to violate all common sense barriers that I have in my head. The same goes with when women in my life tell me about guys who just flat out write on OKCupid stuff about fucking right away.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      There is nothing in your Mayfield paragraph that I disagree with. That doesn’t mean, though, that the charges sought by the government were legally justified.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        Does Mississippi have an invasion of privacy charge?

        It seems to me that this is a very odd crime and the prosecutors were going with anything that fit even remotely. Sometimes people do things that are really horrible and fall into an area that is not quite covered exactly by any law but you can make a colorable argument that is covered by another law.Report

      • Avatar Road Scholar says:

        Wouldn’t this be covered under harassment or stalking perhaps? It’s clearly impossible to anticipate in sufficient detail any and every fucked up thing someone can do to someone else so as to create a specific law covering each situation.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Seems to me this should be the province of a privacy law that needs to be passed.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:


      There was a Breitbart post alleging that Cochran was involved with his (female) chief of staff. It was pretty weak sauce, consisting of things like her travelling with him on legislative business trips. I’m guessing the video was something like pictures of the two of them smiling for the camera (they’re both pleasant-looking older people) intercut with pictures of his bed-ridden, unconscious (and thus unsuspecting) wife. Personally, I have no problem with a person whose spouse is medically incapacitated to that degree finding other companionship (if that’s indeed the case), but perhaps Mississippi Republicans see that differently.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        Got it.

        Well the Mississippi Tea Party has proven themselves to be very classy people for the last few days including their sore loser of a candidate.Report

  4. Avatar veronica dire says:

    On the dick-pics, I think there is a mile-wide difference between a man who texts such things to unwilling targets and a relationship gone south. In the first case, pass the pics on; shame the fucker loud and clear. In the second case, yuck.

    When a relationship ends, delete the photos and get on with your life.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      I think Veronica’s comment broaches (did I really use that word?) where I’m at on the topic, especially in light of the OP. The problem I had with it initially is that the idea that both men and women ought to be judged under the same “impartial” rules regarding this stuff overlooks (or negates?) the power differential between the two sexes when it comes to sexual interactions and whatnot. I’m not sure how exactly to phrase my complaint, but I’ll try: it seems to me that if we’re gonna hold men and women to the same standard wrt to porn revenge, then we had better establish that the motivations for this type of revenge are comparable. I mean, it’s pretty easy for a person to argue against generic porn revenge when the deck is stacked in their favor to such a degree that they’re merely trying to mitigate their losses.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire says:

        Well, in the case of men, revenge porn has become and industry and a lifestyle, which is no surprise, since misogyny is systemic where misandry is a small hobby for a meager few. But the behavior is wrong whoever does it.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I mostly think it is worthwhile to establish that, as Veronica said, it doesn’t suddenly become right, okay, or funny when the shoe is on the other foot. I don’t care if we go as far as to say that they are “equally bad” (in terms of consequences or frequency, they aren’t). I just know that historically I have failed to make the distinction that Veronica outlines, and unlike Valenti I have not looked at it through the prism of violated trust and revenge porn when that is actually the context that applies.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        As long as we agree that it’s wrong no matter who does it, I’m good. It’s the privilege I got a problem with.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        What percentage of men do you think send dick pics unsolicited?Report

      • Avatar veronica dire says:

        @saul-degraw — I dunno. Does it matter?

        Look, dick-picks are just a small part in a bigger picture, which includes dudes hitting on women in elevators, on subways, getting in our face, chasing us up stairways while shouting, “Yo! Wait up girl!” when we are clearly trying to get somewhere. Men can be first class creeps. And women are required to let them down nicely, to not make waves, even when they get in our face and pluck our earbuds from our ears, because god forbid we listen to music and drift off into our own space, not when a MAN needs at that moment to put his dick in us. And if we tell him how out of line he is, we are bitches and he’ll get pissed.

        So what percentage of men do this shit? I dunno. A lot. Enough that it matters.

        Changing gears, this article was written by a trans women regarding her experiences with cis people. However, the point it makes is structurally identical to what I am saying now.

        Some highlights:

        “Not ALL of them are horrible, but it doesn’t take ALL of them to be horrible for me to never know when me going outside to do shopping, get hormones, or telephone bank is going to lead to a painful, humiliating, and sometimes dangerous situation FOR ME. Because it isn’t relevant that some cis people don’t want to hurt me. It’s relevant that I HAVE BEEN HURT REGULARLY BY LOTS OF INTERACTIONS WITH CIS PEOPLE. That I don’t know when it’s going to happen next, but that if and when it does, it’s going to be another humiliating and painful experience that will be burned into my memory. The nice cis people in the world don’t fix that. Thinking nice thoughts about me doesn’t fix that I experience this. Because I still do, and I have to live with it, and it’s MY LIFE that’s being fucked up.”


        “I tried to get this point through in my post, and some responses show they still are focusing on how many cis people are hurting me, rather than how often I’m hurt.”

        Replace “cis” with “men” and this could have been written by (almost) any woman.Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW says:

      I agree with this.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      I agree with this.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      The best way to deal with un-wanted dick pix or whatever their womanly version counterpart is, is to report to the police not to attempt a shaming. There really isn’t any evidence that the shaming is going to work. If a man or woman is able to send pictures of their genitals to other people than they are probably immune to any shamming that a public posting might do. An encounter with the law might work though.Report

      • Avatar Dan Miller says:

        In the Schindler case, the pics weren’t unwanted when they were sent (AFAIK); she only decided to share them later, when the relationship went south.Report

  5. Avatar notme says:

    Meh, let the DA charge them and let the jury decide as is their job.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      That’s a bad way to look at it, for a number of reasons. The first one that stands out to me is financial: you’re probably going to have to pay a lawyer more to defend you against three charges than against one. Maybe not three times as much, but probably a good deal more due to the amount of work he/she is going to put in. Your approach means a DA can punish someone financially and/or undermine their ability to mount a defense simply by throwing as many charges at them as possible.Report

    • Avatar Murali says:

      Here’s the thing I dislike about trials by jury. A judge is knowledgeable about the facts of law while a jury generally isn’t. If we care about the rule of law*, then we should not want juries finding someone guilty of a crime he did not do just because he did something that is despicable or wrong. I worry that Juries are more likely to be swayed by the substantive morality of the particular case than the legal facts such as they are. This is ultimately bad as it can hide inherent unfairness in the law. Think about how the drug war persists because middle class people are almost never charged for drug crimes.

      *i.e. we care about ensuring laws are prospective and predictable among other things.Report

  6. Avatar RTod says:

    My understanding of this case from its early days is that Mississippi has a law that very explicitly defines the unwanted/unapproved taking of photos of the elderly and infirm for public exposure as both “exploitative” and (potentially) felony under its Vulnerable Adults Acts of 2001. If I recall correctly, if the collective dollar amount of the invasion of privacy netted benefits to those who committed the action were under $250, it is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to one year in jail — but if it is determined to be over, it is a felony.

    The VAA may or may not be justifiable, but I believe the reason this case was as big as it was is because in Mississippi this really was potentially (and, due to the salary of McDaniel if he won the election) a felony action.Report

  7. Avatar Francis says:

    DAs overcharge in order to drive plea bargains? Judges don’t use their power to dismiss overcharges?

    I’m shocked, I tell you, just shocked!

    [deep sigh]

    In the infinitesimallly unlikely chance that this case will get conservatives to care about this issue, it’s about FISHING time. But the reality is that everyone — even California liberals — don’t want to know about how criminal courts actually work. For the most part the cops actually do arrest the guilty parties (we know this because they confess and because the evidence of guilt is overwhelming) and the prosecutors accept pleas that reflect the crime actually done. But the way we get there has very little to do with TV shows or constitutional ideas. It’s mostly a dirty ugly grind of abusive power levied against minority race poor, stupid, desperate and/or mean people.Report

  8. Avatar Damon says:

    Revenge Porn: curious. May be illegal in the state, but, what if it’s posted from outside the US? Folks gotta have their revenge, and it some cases, it’s warranted.Report

  9. Avatar DRS says:

    I have never heard of this dick-pic story and so I will not address it. The linked article assumed a basic knowledge of the facts of the incident and didn’t do much to explain it.

    As for Mayfield, perhaps he was overcharged. But it’s hard to see how he didn’t expect to receive monetary gain down the road if he established himself as a no-holds-barred derring-do investigator not afraid to break the boundaries in pursuit of truth, justice blah blah blah. He could expect to get hired on future campaigns to sleuth out embarrassing facts about political opponents – although if he had stopped to rub his two single brain cells together for a minute it might have occurred to him that a photo of a woman in a nursing home didn’t prove jack about anything and probably helped Cochran at least a bit in the humanity department.

    As for the suicide, well that’s tough all around and he did leave a family, including a wife’s who’s been quoted as saying that her husband was treated like a leper by the political allies he had who he thought he was helping. I’d like to think he killed himself out of a belated sense of decency but somehow I doubt it.Report

    • Avatar Damon says:

      His mistake was thinking politicians would help him when the chips were down. They run like rats on a sinking ship. He was expendable in their mind.Report