The week’s news is often not exactly news. Much of it is another regurgitation of things we’ve already heard too much about or a tip of the hat to advertisers who want to push their products. Often, it’s hard to sort out what’s news and what’s just the reshuffling of press releases from well-connected flacks. The news could helpfully be more informa
tive if some of the vested interests were removed, but that won’t happen. So, it’s left up to us to pick out the wheat from the chaff.
Incredible over-the-top attention has seen swirling around the new “female Viagra” medication but whether that is warranted or not seems easy to decide; it’s not. The research doesn’t fit the hype but the investment the company made in their PR campaign managed to turn the heads of FDA panel members who had twice before denied it approval. The original reason it wasn’t approved? Lack of efficacy and, probably, side effects. One side effect of concern is that drinking any alcohol can result in unconsciousness.
But the PR company framed the medication in terms of a woman’s right to her sexuality and help in retrieving or enhancing her libido. It was Viagra vs medication for women and how the pharmaceutical firms had failed to provide assistance to women in this regard. Now it is approved and physicians will begin to prescribe it with little proof that it is even marginally effective, according to my read of the clinical trials.
The media has been absolutely giddy over this latest medication and has totally forgotten to look at both the side effects and the efficacy. Even one TV M.D. didn’t
mention it in his short report. Are we that sophomoric that we get all tingly at the thought of libido and women’s ability to desire sex? Seems so.
A European orientation toward sex would be healthier, but we’re still a young country and getting younger every day. Imagine what will happen when a woman takes the med and nothing happens. What will she be? Probably she’ll be accused of having serious psychological problems and frigid. Female sexual response and libido is much more complex and giving it short shrift with such a simplistic explanation is tantamount to juvenile thinking. It’s not simple and anyone worth their salt will tell you that.
Looking at two other separate stories which both received a great deal of interest, we find something that can cause us concern and then another story which reinvigorate our faith in goodness. Of course, I’m referring to the stories of the former-Subway spokesperson, Jared Fogle, who is an admitted child sex offender and
possessor of child pornography, and the admirable Lenny B. Robinson, who suited up as Batman to visit sick children in hospitals.
Robinson, who closed his business when he realized that he wanted to make a difference with his life, is someone who keeps hope alive. Not only did he visit sick children in hospitals, but he did so at his own expense. No one sponsored him and, from all accounts, his visits were highlights of children’s lives — many of them with terminal illnesses. There was no evil intent here.
While Robinson devoted the life he had to helping children, Fogle trolled and sought out underage girls for sex and is quoted as saying, “the younger, the better.”
Stories indicate that he even offered a “finder’s fee” to secure even younger kids for his deviant interest. Traveling across state lines proved no obstacle for Fogle, a married father with two children. The investigation, according to sources, took five years to develop. Portions of the large cache of pornography on Fogle’s computer included the sexual abuse of children as young as six. His current second wife has filed for immediate divorce.
The guilty plea Fogle entered relates to 14 victims who were identified as having had sex with him at various locations. He faces 5–12 years in jail and must pay a total of $1.5M to his identified child victims.
The question which must remain in everyone’s mind is whether there were more victims who didn’t come forth. Lack of their coming forth is understandable since some parents of victims may not know of his offense with their child or do not wish to expose their child to unwanted media attention and emotional distress.
We must also consider how all these kids will be affected in their lives and what steps need to be taken to help them through this horrendous ordeal. Also, what about the kids who were in the pornographic materials he possessed and which may have been made on his behalf?
The case is a study in how a person who appears to be a well-adjusted, family-
oriented person and above reproach, is the perfect example of who may be a pedophile.
Pedophile do not have any hint of egregious intent or actions. Regrettably, this will make some people begin to look askance at anyone working with children and caution needs to be exercised. We need to believe that not everyone in this position of trust is guilty of anything similar to Jared’s actions. But it also reinforces our need for vigilance and to question anything that doesn’t “feel” right to us or our children.
Jared, in his efforts to promote his personal agenda undoubtedly, formed The Jared Foundation. It’s mission was to educate children about healthy eating, diet and obesity. Anyone who knows how pedophiles attempt to interact with their victims will quickly see that this provided extraordinary access for him and his partner, Russell Taylor. Taylor was the director of the foundation and was also active in filming children.
Enter our Batman hero. Working with children, especially kids with serious illnesses and who are hospitalized, is a work of kindness and charity. Kudos go out to all who engage in this type of charitable work. The heart-wrenching death of Lenny Robinson does not diminish his legacy. If there is one lesson to be learned here it’s that highways can be very dangerous places, especially when your car breaks down.
All of us have lost a hero with the death of Robinson, but not the benefit he provided to those children with his visits. The effects of these visits will live on in their memory and our admiration for his work. Good guys are out there.
The credo that has always guided me is, good from bad, and I just await seeing how each of these will turn out to have some good result. Look for it and concentrate on that soon-to-be-revealed good. It will be there.