Larry Nassar Follow-Up
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Well-nigh unanimous agreement from listeners/readers of my segment about sports doctor Larry Nassar in last weekend's Radio Derb.


Mr. Derbyshire:

I didn't pay attention to this case until the judge's sentencing rant was on TV. It was strange. She did a lot of talking about her own life story.

A few months ago another topic in the news had me looking up the sentencing for forcible rape in my state. I would bet money they all get bargained down to something with a sentence of 5 years or less.

A few other things jump out at me: Exactly what did Larry Nassar do to 150 girls that was ignored by everyone? Some of the claims are that a parent was in the examining room when it happened but Nassar obstructed the parent's view and the parent was reading a magazine or on her phone reading emails. That is strange. If your child is involved in very intense physical activity and has to see a doctor, or a child is ill and sees the doctor, a normal parent would be very alert.

The sheer number — 150 — brings to mind the preschool cases of thirty years ago where the most extreme and even ludicrous charges were given credence by the Big Media, prosecutors, judges and juries. Margaret Kelly Michaels in New Jersey served 5 years for stories that were all bogus. Big Media portrayed her as a monster during her trial and sentencing.

I don't know what the truth is about Larry Nassar but that number - 150 - and the oddness of such very oblivious parents makes me wonder about possibilities. Margaret Kelly Michaels would still be in prison if it wasn't for Dorothy Rabinowitz at the Wall Street Journal.

Olympic women gymnasts wear competition uniforms that are practically thongs. Same for some swimming competitors like the womens' water polo team. For decades I've been wondering why that didn't bother anyone. What parent would allow a daughter to appear in public like that, a young teenage daughter?

These programs are sexualizing those young girls. That is the only reason for those uniforms. There must be a lot of touching of those girls in private places because of those uniforms and being groomed to wear them. Male gymnasts are decently covered and they do harder stuff.

So, we have these girls who are being sexualized and starved to stay tiny and their parents are not normal protective parents — good witnesses? Coaches are hard on them, too, and they are very aware of the financial angles. A lot of expectations placed on young girls. The whole atmosphere must be a pretty unhealthy stew. Now they can sue the whole state of Michigan, I guess.

When I listened to the judge's rant, I wondered if some civil liberties lawyers were listening and bothered by it.

Indeed. And on the trial lawyers angle, I note from Sunday's New York Post: "The university [=MSU, the one with a three billion dollar endowment] is facing lawsuits from more than 130 victims." Uh-huh.

On the general ambience of Olympic gymnastics: I recall thinking at the time of the 1976 Olympics, when the media were swooning over gymnast Nadia Comăneci (then 14 yrs old), that there was something unhealthily erotic about the event. Perverts must l-o-v-e it. Even guys of boringly normal sexuality (e.g. me) were being stirred to a level of psychic (though not, at any rate in my case, physical) discomfort.

There should be a lower limit on the age of female participants — my vote would be for 36 yrs old.

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