Made with sleaze-shop labor

There are times -- rare as they may be -- when even a devoted progressive like me begins to wonder if those Republicans have a point. I'm so glad we're sex-positive and all, but can we please draw a line when it comes to self-pleasuring, sexist yahoos like American Apparel's Dov Charney?

Amanda Marcotte over at Pandagon is rightly pissed at's Mark Morford for the worst kind of appeasement in the name of lefty cool. In his online column, he writes:

And Dov, well, he happily indulges in consensual sexual relationships with members of his staff, and he uses tons of raunchy language in the workplace and posts old shots from Penthouse magazine up in his stores to complement the racy retro hipster club-kid design aesthetic, all despite a slew of sexual-harassment lawsuits now winging his way, fast. Charney takes many of the company's beautifully racy ad photos himself. He encourages a sexually open workplace atmosphere.
Too bad he has to deal with those pesky air-borne lawsuits, which are sure to leave Charney less time to for those happily consensual relationships. Then there's "the article in the adorably snarky Jane magazine a while back, wherein Charney performed oral sex with a female employee and masturbated in front of the interviewer multiple times, with full awareness and consent all around."

Not that Morford is alone in this fetishization of the concept of "consent" -- which is surely more difficult to ascertain when the person in question is your boss. Last year, Jewlicious offered an extended, self-flagellating apology for ever doubting Charney's credentials as a "shit disturber extraordinaire" -- a change of heart apparently brought on by reading about those nasty puritanical Republicans in Details magazine. Morford is equally quick to note what a hero Charney is in "this corrupt, greedy, outsourced, BushCo-ravaged age."

There's nothing more depressing than good politics employed in the service of ugly behavior. Point gun at own head. Pull trigger.

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