Tuesday, May 20, 2014
I honestly do not know how Jeff Simon manages to be so consistently tone deaf. It is a kind of a gift, I suppose. What is truly disturbing about this particular column is that he seems to be saying that he knew all along that the Brose prosecution was fishy. I only wish I had the same oblivious lack of self-awareness.
I've been reading Jeff Simon for years, and I've never been able to put my finger on what bugs me about him. He's a strange one. I do recall his odd habit of being unable to mention Roger Ebert without also mentioning how much he hated Ebert's teevee shows with Gene Siskel; he even led off his obituary for Ebert with another reminder that he hated the whole "Thumbs up or down" bit. I think he's deeply self-impressed with his own knowledge, and also hurt on some level that he's never really gone farther than being the lead critic for a small city's daily paper.
I've been feuding with him since I got to town a quarter century ago, but I've never met him. I have never gone wrong following his recommendations on music, but he had a grudge against WBFO that nobody there could figure out, and his treatment of Lawrence Brose has been disgraceful. What is particularly notable about the linked to column is that in his left-handed way he seems to be saying that he was in Brose's corner all along, and hurray for the First Amendment! Unfortunately, to compare the Brose prosecution to an unusually lurid episode of a teevee show about child murder gets everything about the Brose case completely wrong. Unless one has followed the coverage of the Brose case very closely (as I have) that is an important point that would sail completely by. I'll say it here, even though the Comments section of Outside Counsel is like whispering that King Midas has donkey's ears into a hole in the ground: Nobody connected with the Brose defense ever said that Brose might have had images that could be child pornography on his hard drive "for research purposes". Brose never said it, his lawyers never said it. When the story first broke the late Jim Miles, who was then the president of the CEPA board carelessly and baselessly speculated that maybe Brose was researching child pornography for artistic purposes, and that irresponsible conjecture has been repeated until it is the only thing that people think they "know" about the case. It was never true, and Brose's work has never involved child pornography.