Fuck You, John Grisham: Child Porn Sex Offenders Are Not Victims

On October 14th,  while doing an interview with The Telegraph to promote his new book (which will not be named here), for some reason novelist John Grisham decided that this would be a good time to talk about how he thinks a lot of people who view child porn don’t mean to do it and the legal system should go easy on them.

It appeared Mr. Grisham was trying to get us all on his side when stating that judges have “gone crazy” in the last 30 years, imprisoning an excessive amount of harmless people, such as black teenagers on minor drug charges and white collar criminals.

He killed that persuasive argument by stating:  “We have prisons now filled with guys my age. Sixty-year-old white men in prison who’ve never harmed anybody, would never touch a child. But they got online one night and started surfing around, probably had too much to drink or whatever, and pushed the wrong buttons, went too far and got into child porn.”

The prisons are “filled” with sixty-year-old white men, you guys! BURSTING! And all they did was drink a little too much and go “too far” and just watched a little child porn!

It appears Grisham is really upset about excessive sentencing for child porn offenders because his “good buddy from law school” was caught up in a Canadian child porn sting operation a decade ago.

[Emphasis mine]:

“His drinking was out of control, and he went to a website. It was labelled ‘sixteen year old wannabee hookers’ or something like that.  And it said 16 year old girls. So he went there. He shouldn’t have done it. It was stupid, but it wasn’t 10-year-old boys. He didn’t touch anything. And God, a week later there was a knock on the door: ‘FBI!’ and it was a sting set up by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to catch people — sex offenders — and he went to prison for three years … There’s so many of them now. There’s so many ‘sex offenders’ — that’s what they’re called — that they put them in the same prison. Like they’re a bunch of perverts, or something; thousands of ’em. We’ve gone nuts with this incarceration.”

First, let’s get into the obvious: this “I clicked the wrong buttons and got tricked into watching child porn” defense is bullshit. Child pornography sites are hidden in the dark recesses of the Internet and they’re definitely not linked to on legitimate porn websites featuring adult performers. You need to seek out and know where to find child pornography, you don’t just stumble upon it. So, if you go online and you’re on a quest to find child porn either because it turns you on —that would make that person a “real pedophile” Mr Grisham!— or out of curiosity (and really, if that’s what you’re curious about, you may be a budding pedophile)— then you’re contributing to the child pornography industry by visiting those sites and you’re knowingly breaking the law. You’re not a fucking victim.

Now, let’s tackle the other implications in Mr. Grisham’s statement. His “buddy” only sought out 16-year-old girls and “not 10 year old boys.” So, is he saying that because these were underage girls in the child porn his buddy was downloading, that somehow makes it better? Downloading child porn starring underage boys is where Grisham draws the line?

I have so many questions.

Is it because his buddy is looking at the “right” gender and not the “wrong” one? Because he’s not gay and that makes him less of a pedophile? Or is it because the 16-year-olds are girls and as we know all women — and sadly this, too, must include girls — are only here on earth for men to look at, use and enjoy?

So, since his good buddy was only using his right as a man to look at these young girls whose sexual agency had been taken from them (but really, what sexual agency could they have when their role is simply to exist to arouse men like Grisham’s buddy?) should he be punished at all?

 “I have no sympathy for real pedophiles,” said John Grisham, “God, please lock those people up. But so many of these guys do not deserve harsh prison sentences, and that’s what they’re getting.”

Yes, so it must be my latter point. John Grisham thinks it’s okay that his “buddy” went online and sought out child porn starring 16-year-old girls because, after all, it’s his right as a man to look at those girls. In Grisham’s mind, his buddy isn’t even a pervert. We should only be focused on punishing those “real pedophiles” who are looking at underage boys. Fuck you, John Grisham.

 There was a huge backlash after the excerpt on The Telegraph went online and of course, by Thursday that same week (Oct 16th), John Grisham released an “apology.”

“Anyone who harms a child for profit or pleasure, or who in any way participates in child pornography—online or otherwise—should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

My comments made two days ago during an interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph were in no way intended to show sympathy for those convicted of sex crimes, especially the sexual molestation of children. I can think of nothing more despicable.

I regret having made these comments, and apologize to all.”

No. Still Fuck you, John Grisham. This is another “I’m sorry I got caught” apology. Your views haven’t changed. You still probably think your poor old “buddy” didn’t do anything wrong and isn’t even a pervert.

You know how I know that? Because Salon did a little digging into who your “buddy” was and although we don’t know for sure it was Michael B. Holleman, we know that in 2002 you offered to write a letter of recommendation supporting his reinstatement to the bar after Holleman was convicted of viewing child pornography; and Holleman’s explanation of what happened sounds eerily familiar to Grisham’s old buddy from law school.

From Findlaw: “In late 1996 or early 1997, Holleman, while drinking heavily at his office, accessed some publicly available computer images of child pornography on the Internet. Holleman did not print any of the computer images, and after briefly viewing some of these images, he believed that he had deleted them from his computer. Following a seizure of Holleman’s computer in February 1997, federal agents recovered these images from his computer hard-drive.”

“On November 24, 1997, Holleman pled guilty to one count of violating 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B), possession of child pornography, based on the computer images recovered from his hard drive.  The court held a sentencing hearing on March 18, 1998.  The court sentenced Holleman to eighteen months and made an alternative finding in support of the sentence that Holleman established grounds for an early release based on his extraordinary rehabilitative efforts.”

Well, at least he didn’t print the images, you guys.

Holleman got out in 15 and a half months, was reinstated to the bar and is now practicing law in the state of Mississippi.

Please, Mr. Grisham, do tell us again how the jails are “filled” with sixty-year-old white rich men because they just clicked the wrong buttons (“or whatever”) and stumbled upon some child porn while they were drinking, and how they’ve got the harshest of unjust sentences.

richwhitemenknowjohngrisham

Kat Pao
Kat Pao lives in South Florida with her Curmudgeon Love, Mark, their punk rock toddler, Francesca, their saintly dog, Bruce Campbell and their fatass dick of a cat, Bela Lugosi. She loves being a Pop Culture/TV Analyst and loves that writing about TV gives her yet another excuse to watch more of it. Did she mention she loves TV?
http://katcanblog.wordpress.com/
  • http://www.theflounce.com AlexisO

    Great article! Perhaps he should go visit these so-called Sixty Year Old Men Jails and report back.

  • mjmoon

    Great article, one of the best I’ve read on this site.. There’s no excuse for this behavior, sad how people choose denial or they try to brush it off when it comes to their friend or family member being exposed as a predator… Unless you have been sexually abused yourself you simply cannot comprehend the damage it does to your mind, body and heart.