Commentary: A Cavalcade of WTF Moments

CHATSWORTH, Calif.—On May 12, Countdown with Keith Olbermann inaugurated a new segment called the “WTF!?! Moment,” which sadly lasted only a couple of weeks—until, we’re guessing, someone told the higher-ups at MSNBC what “WTF” stands for, and it was decided that Olbermann couldn’t say “fuck” on the air even if he was only saying the first letter of it.

But “What the fuck!?!” is not only a good exclamation but also a useful concept, and when you’re a journalist in the adult entertainment biz, there are days when those moments come fastly, er, quickly and furiously.

For instance, I was just reading a column by Al Mohler Jr., one of the major apologists for the excesses of Southern Baptist fundamentalism, titled “The Case for (Early) Marriage,” which essentially argues that the way to deal with horny youngsters is to convince them they have to get married before they have sex with each other. But then I came upon this statement: “Our bodies are not evolutionary accidents, and God reveals his intention for humanity through the gifts of sexual maturation, fertility, and sexual desire. As men and women, we are made for marriage. As Christians, those not called to celibacy are called to demonstrate our discipleship through honoring the Creator’s intention by directing sexual desire and reproductive capacity into a commitment to marriage.”

What the fuck!?! Considering that children are reaching puberty (“sexual maturity”) at younger and younger ages, is Mohler seriously suggesting that kids get married at age 12 or 13? And if not, why would God’s “intention for humanity ... of sexual maturation, fertility, and sexual desire” need to remain unfulfilled beyond puberty just because some preacher says the kids can’t experiment with sex without marriage? After all, it’s God's intention!

Truth is, I get most of my best material from the religious e-screeds and blogs I read on a daily basis. I wasn't surprised, for instance, to find the American Family Association bashing the American Psychological Association’s recommendation that its member therapists no longer suggest to their gay patients that therapy can turn them straight. I wasn't even too surprised to find that the people the AFA found to critique the APA study were a lawyer—Mat Staver of the far-right-wing Liberty Counsel—and a so-called “reparative therapist” who complained that everyone on the APA study committee was “very openly gay and gay activists.”

No, the best health-related "What the fuck!?!" moment came from Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel’s “Director of Cultural Affairs” and a longtime anti-gay activist, who took Sen. Barbara Mikulski's “admission” that Obama’s healthcare plan would pay for “any service deemed medically necessary or medically appropriate” to mean that good Christians like himself would find their taxes paying for—wait for it—"the elective practice of genital 'sex-change' mutilation"! Yep, in the new socialist world, there'll be a car in every garage and a tranny in every pot!

But not all the good stuff comes from the religiously obsessed. For instance, the Associated Press reports that when police busted Keith Griffin of Jensen Beach, Fla., after finding more than 1,000 kid porn images on his computer, he told them that several times when he left the room while downloading music, his cat jumped on his computer keyboard, and he would find “strange things” on the screen when he returned. Ri-i-i-i-ght!

However, the "What the fuck!?!" moment that's weighing most heavily on my mind involves the recent reindictment in New Jersey of BDSM movie producer Barry Goldman, who's charged with mailing three movies to Montana, Virginia and elsewhere ... and the feds are also seeking to forfeit from him two websites that he doesn’t even own (but may be the webmaster of), and

And so I started to think: Here’s a guy who’s making movies with consenting adults that involve simulated torture, and so the feds bust him and close down “his” website,, which likewise features consenting adults engaged in BDSM play. And if everything goes wrong, Goldman could conceivably spend 40 years in prison and have to pay $2 million in fines.

On the other hand, we have the former vice president of the United States admitting that he ordered CIA agents to torture for real prisoners at Guantanamo Bay; a former secretary of defense who supported that policy; two former administration lawyers (one now a federal judge) who wrote legal memos justifying why this literal torture wasn’t a violation of the Geneva Conventions; and various CIA and military officers who carried out the torture—yet not one of them has yet been indicted for the crime of actually torturing people.