Ph.D. Octopus

Politics, media, music, capitalism, scholarship, and ephemera since 2010

The New York Post’s Complete 100% Consistency on Sex Work

with 3 comments

By Wiz

I probably shouldn’t be taking the bait about stuff like this, but every morning on my way to the subway I peruse the daily tabloids. The last two days, the New York Post– everyone’s favorite populist tabloid run by a multi-billionaire—has been obsessing over the case of a public school teacher who is a feminist and was once a sex worker before she became a teacher. Now they’re on a campaign to fire her, enlisting the help of billionaire Mike Bloomberg, and writing outraged editorials explaining that “Teacher Tenure is Not for Hookers.” The New York Post is shocked! Shocked! that someone would dare try to use sex to make money. Its something they would never think about.

Now, lets swivel to the opinion page of the New York Post where …we see the smiling face of Dick Morris repeating today’s Fox News talking point. Dick Morris? The Dick Morris who is famous for having lost his job in the Clinton White House after it was revealed that he regularly hired prostitutes to suck his toes? Why yes. That Dick Morris.

You see this random 30 year-old deserves to be paraded in front of the entire city, publicly shamed, and fired for failing to realize that– having accepted an incredibly low-level public job– her sexuality (including her past sexuality) now officially belongs to the billionaires who run our newspapers and own our mayor’s office. How dumb of her. Dick Morris on the other hand, deserves to have money funneled at him in exchange for producing tired hackery that would embarrass a freshman college Republican writing on a deadline. His sex life is clearly a thing of the past. He’s moved on. All is forgiven.

There is a good reason though. You see, he’s a powerful wealthy man. Melissa Petro really should have thought about being born that way before she engaged in sex work.

Also, note the symmetry between the misogynism of the attacks on the Petro, the teacher, and the anti-union crusade that Bloomberg and the New York Post has been on. Today’s outrage is that Petro has tenure, protected, of course, by the Worst Monsters in Human History: The New York City Teachers Union. The Post has been falling over itself attacking teachers over the last month, giddy at the prospect of deprofessionalizing and underpaying one of the few types of employment which still pays a decent middle class wage. Here is one more story in their arsenal.

Anyways… as in most matters, we must turn to Public Enemy for the last word:

Here’s a letter to the New York Post
Ain’t worth the paper it’s printed on
Founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton
That is 190 years continuous of fucked up news


Written by Peter Wirzbicki

September 29, 2010 at 22:54

3 Responses

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  1. In case it wasn’t clear… I would never equate the ethics of Melissa Petro and Dick Morris. One is an obscene decadent shell of a human being, the other seems like a nice art teacher. My personal take on sex work is that it is no less ethical than most jobs out there, and a hell of lot more moral than being, say, an investment banker.


    September 29, 2010 at 23:22

  2. This is really a great post. I think bipartisanship is way over-fetishized and over-idealized, but if ever it could be useful it would be for the left and the secular libertarian right to get together to legalize drugs, sex work, gambling, any other “vices” I’m forgetting that should be legal (and taxable). To say nothing of ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, legalizing gay marriage, and ensuring safe, inexpensive and easy access to abortions. Unfortunately, I think this alliance exists more among intellectuals and the pundit class than it does among elected officials.


    September 30, 2010 at 08:29

  3. Man, et tu Bloomberg? This seems like it would be the kind of thing he would be on the right side of. Maybe I’m being too optimistic.

    And I’m not sure that the secular libertarian right really has that many voters/elected officials. Both Pauls are pro-life, and anti-gay. There are plenty more bloggers/intellectuals in that camp, who are against banning marijuana and against Medicare, but I don’t know if anyone’s ever been elected on that platform.


    September 30, 2010 at 09:43

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