Barber wrote:I disagree. I don't accept the arguments put forward, nor do I agree that because it happened in a public forum that this is the only reason he got caught.
Willis would have taken offense in any setting, and it would still be solely between the two of them.
You're saying because it happened to occur in a public setting, it's our right to horn in. And it isn't. It doesn't mean that people won't get involved, it means I don't agree it's their right to.
Sorry, I'm still not buying it. Harlan not only groped Willis in a public setting, he, in all likelihood, did it because of the audience's presence. He felt he had to give the crowd what it expected, so he went into Crazy Harlan mode and foolishly went way over the line. Therefore, since it was done for the public's benefit, said public has every right to respond however it likes to Harlan's provocation, even if that involves censure. The audience paid their money to witness an awards ceremony, after all, and a tit-grabbing of a respected author is not, as far as I know, standard procedure in such affairs.
And yes, whatever Harlan and Willis say to each other is entirely their business--but what happened on stage is ours. If you're going to use the criteria of only commenting on topics that you're personally involved in, then you may as well forget debating international affairs (there goes Lebanon! goodbye, Cuba! fare thee well, Iraq!), or a million other things. Frankly, Steve, you're coming off a little paternalistic, like it's acceptable to post a brief "Harlan was wrong," but not to go into any detail about why. Yes, there's a danger of overkill or of folks using this as a way to bash Harlan, but that shouldn't preclude an honest discussion of what happened. (For my part, I'm not going to post anything more on the Pavilion about this, unless Harlan specifically responds to me.)