Talk and news shows are following the obvious trail left by Eliot Spitzer and bringing escorts, madams and pimps on their shows to teach us all we don’t need to know about their criminal activities. You don’t need to search it out; these appearances are turning up everywhere.
What I find disconcerting is the rock star status audiences seem to be give these common criminals. Charging more for an illegal service doesn’t make it any less illegal. Audiences applaud and cheer while escorts–a decidedly more pleasant term than whores–and their handlers share their behind the scenes look at one of the world’s oldest professions.
Not that long ago audiences might have tolerated these “guests” with minimal applause; today we cheer and embrace their bad behavior.
Jason Itzler has been called the “King of Pimps” for his activities. He, like most professional criminals, looks much like any other person of his age. Of course he’s done a couple years at Riker’s Island prison.
When asked by an interviewer if he had any regrets, he hesitated and admitted he did. Was this going to be a moment of semi-redemption? Would he be sorry for facilitating the moral demise of both employees and customers? Would he regret marriages torn apart with his help?
Nope. He regretted his loss of freedoms while doing time at Rikers.
Of the three “hosts” of the show I watched where Mr. Itzler appeared, one seemed noticeably bothered by his guest’s past. The other two? You couldn’t really tell. They might have been interviewing a politician or civil rights leader.
But the audiences? They seem to enjoy the titillation and cheer the tawdry.