I'm really disgusted by the Washington Post's treatment of U.N. weapons inspector Harvey John "Jack" McGeorge. Jack McGeorge is a former Marine and Secret Service specialist who runs his own company offering bioterrorism research and training. The United Nations and the State Department think he's well qualified to be on the weapons inspection mission in Iraq.

The Post, however, sees it differently. You see, Jack is a very out and active member of the BDSM community. He's held office in BDSM organizations, and I've been to a number of workshops that he has taught.

The Post's James Grimaldi has had a field day with Jack. He did a shameless sensationalism-posing-as-news story "exposing" Jack's kinky sex life, complete with lots of juicy details. Mr. Grimaldi's leering fascination with Jack's BDSM activities would be amusing if he weren't claiming that Jack should be fired from his job because he's kinky. Even the Post's own ombudsman called the story "thin" and said, "I did not find this [article] up to the usual standard."

Also high on my "Bad Jack Journalism" list was a piece on the Slate website by Timothy Noah. The "Chatterbox" columnist comes across as one of those angst-ridden faux-liberal types who really does support other people's sexual freedom--as long as it's not anything weird and icky like SM. Mr. Noah uses the story about Jack as an excuse to free-associate about what he thinks are similarities between consensual SM activities and the very nonconsensual tortures inflicted by Saddam Hussein's government. Oblivious to how deeply insulting he is being to Hussein's victims, he titillates himself wondering which of Hussein's methods of torture might appeal to kinksters. A reminder that much of SM is fantasy role-play does not reassure him because "playacting is in Saddam's bag of torture tricks, too!" [italics Mr. Noah's]. Since he dismisses consent as a mere "notion" that "fuzzes up," I can only assume that Mr. Noah is, himself, either a virgin or a sex offender, because consent is all that differentiates lovemaking from rape.

After the Post story broke, Jack offered to resign, but chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix refused his resignation, saying Jack's private life had no bearing on his job. How nice to see evidence of some clear-headed rationalism. Too bad it's from a Swedish weapons inspector instead of our land-of-the-free journalists.