Genarlow Wilson was a High School athlete of some reknown, when he and a couple of buddies got a few High School girls drunk and then filmed them providing oral sex. There was no question that the girls were under age 16, and that Genarlow was over 16. There is also no question that the girls consented to the act although it was probably easier to overcome their sense of propriety thanks to the alcohol provided by the boys (though accepted and consumed by the girls.) For these "crimes" Georgia has sentenced Genarlow to TEN YEARS IN PRISON. Had they had sexual intercourse he would have faced but one year in jail. Go figure.
I have blogged about the case before here. A ton of the Blogosphere has blogged the case too not the least of whom are Professor Volokh and our friend Professor Berman.
Berman asks an important question. Where are the stars who usually rally around these cases? Prof. Berman recieved two interesting responses to his suggestion that the stars come out for Genarlow. One suggested that because he acted like a cad, most of Hollywood is afraid to come to his aid. Unfortuately Hollywood has created the beast. Genarlow is simply acting like the idiots he sees on MTV, E! and even on the big three.
I have been interviewed on the subject in Newsday recently and on CNN but I truly believe that the culture of reality TV and the easy access to fame(YouTube, MySpace) make it "acceptable" in the teenage mind to be part of a life that makes most adults shutter.
While it is just like teens to push the envelope, the push has become stronger now that the Internet and TV is there to tell each of them where the line in the sand is drawn. (How's that for metaphor mixing?)
Anyway, the need for parents to increase their vigilance is even higher now. We have gone beyond the need to snoop into one's diary. We need access to web addresses and to passwords.
As for the original part of the post, maybe the guy who owns "BangBus" or "Girls Gone Wild" should be kicking in to the defense fund here. After all, was what these kids did, any different from what those two companies extol??