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Yeah, that totally creepy guy who was totally cleared of all charges. Way to tar the baby, Nancy Grace.

Posted by stan | March 30, 2008 9:55 AM

I don't really expect intelligent posts on a Sunday morning, or from you on any day for that matter, but I have to agree that the Pete Townshend crack was way out of line.

Posted by Skeezix | March 30, 2008 10:36 AM

the "pathway to 'free' paedophilic imagery is--as it were--laid out like a free line of cocaine at a decadent cocktail party: only the strong willed or terminally uncurious can resist."

Totally uncreepy.

Posted by umvue | March 30, 2008 10:43 AM

Do you think it is possible that if your own porn viewing was scrutinized someone might find something creepy about it?

Is it creepy for old men to like young women, even young adults dressed as schoolgirls? Is it a crime? Could it lead to an investigation for which you may be cleared but your reputation left tarnished?

So let's all take a critical look at Paul Constants internet history, shall we?

Posted by Rain Monkey | March 30, 2008 11:02 AM

Better yet, Rain Monkey, we should have a look at his browser cache. Because, well, everyone knows that he must have hntended for all that junk to be on his machine.

Posted by Skeezix | March 30, 2008 11:24 AM

First they pass laws to protect us from terrorists, then they use the anti-terrorism surveillance to catch pedophiles, once that is established as a precedent then all communication and records are subject to surveillance fishing for any crime.

The whole process will be in place when a major political figure is brought down after "suspicious transactions" among his own bank accounts triggers and investigation under Title III of the USA PATIOT Act leading to charges relating to prostitution.

Posted by Rain Monkey | March 30, 2008 12:15 PM

"...then all communication and records are subject to surveillance fishing for any crime."

They don't have to snoop around in my browser cache for my porno preferences...I happily give I suspect many of the Slog's commenters would.

Posted by yucca flower | March 30, 2008 12:30 PM

Rain Monkey @ 4, it is not crime for old men to like young women. However, it IS a crime to pay for pictures of two-year-olds being sexually abused. From the article:

"At the time of his arrest, Townshend admitted using his credit card to visit a web site offering child porn, but told cops he was just conducting research.

Townshend, 57, wrote that he accidentally discovered a photo of a two-year-old boy being raped when he typed the words "Russia," "orphanages," and "boys" into a search engine."

Okay, fine, he was cleared. But even if we accept the verdict (and I suspect he had a very good lawyer), anyone willing to give money to a website supplying child porn (thereby increasing demand), and then use the defense that he was just being a good citizen by playing crime investigator (?), bloody well deserves a tarnished reputation. As well as an "idiot" stamp on his forehead.

Posted by Irena | March 30, 2008 12:33 PM
Posted by CP | March 30, 2008 1:50 PM

From the BBC news report.

Townshend's statement: "I accept that I was wrong to access this site, and that by doing so, I broke the law... As I made clear at the outset, I accessed the site because of my concerns at the shocking material readily available on the internet to children as well as adults."

John Carr, internet safety adviser of the NCH children's charity, said they were not satisfied with Mr Townshend's defence: "We hope that anybody else out there who might be looking at using the internet to get child pornography for the purposes of research is now properly warned.

"It is not an acceptable defence and it only helps keep the child porn industry going."

Posted by Irena | March 30, 2008 2:41 PM

I'm with @1

And irena, I don't think the "Smoking Gun's" heavily edited version cuts it. I think the wikipedia link provided more closely comports with my recollection of the incident. And based on my reading of Townsend's fiction, and the fact that he was abused as a child, I think you are overstating it.

Finally, Mr Constant, dragging out a 6 year old item like this is bullshit.

Posted by rtm | March 30, 2008 8:23 PM

I agree with the others. Not too cool to be dragging out a crime one was acquitted of. Besides, I am pretty sure that Townshend's tastes run to teenage boys. At least that is what I have always figured after hearing his song "Rough Boys", and seeing the video for it. Now I'm thinking that I should go listen to the song again, only this time with 2 year olds in mind. Sheeesh. But I'll probably do it.

Posted by Paul In SF | March 31, 2008 12:34 AM

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