On the “Morning Show with Mike and Juliet” this morning, there was a panel of female sportscasters (relatively speaking, they were basically all the token weather girls on football shows plus one chick from Broadway for some reason) discussing the Phelps incident and Super Bowl commercials.
The discussion veered towards the status of his endorsement deals – would he be dropped as a spokesperson, and how much would this cost him? Aside from the token stupid comments (“Maybe he’ll lose the Wheaties box but get the cover of High Times,” and “The guy ate 20 pancakes a day and you didn’t think he was high?” were particularly poignant), apparently none of the companies has spoken out yet.
Two valid points came out of this vapid conversation, however:
1. The guy smoked pot – a performance reducing drug, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime – and still blew world records.
2. When asked, did the panel care, or feel it was a particularly vile crime? No.
But sure, let’s continue persecuting people like Phelps for making a personal decision. Let’s use limited criminal justice resources – now even more limited given the states’ fiscal meltdowns – to identify and lock up non-violent offenders, even though that money might be more efficiently spent elsewhere. Let’s emulate the prohibition-era strategy that proved so effective in the 1920s.
After all, that approach seems to be paying big dividends in Mexico.
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