The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Palin-Hating Columbia Professor, Huffington Post Blogger, Busted for Incest

Posted on | December 10, 2010 | 115 Comments

Let’s begin with a flashback, shall we? In July 2009, when Sarah Palin resigned as governor of Alaska, Columbia University professor David Epstein wrote at his Huffington Post blog:

Palin has done what weak, self-centered people do when the going gets tough — they quit and blame someone else.

Got that? Sarah Palin is “weak” and “self-centered.” And, Epstein added, “voters can rest a bit easier with . . . the knowledge that they chose wisely” in voting for Obama-Biden, not McCain-Palin.

Now, let’s flash forward to yesterday’s New York Daily News:

A popular Columbia professor was charged Thursday with incest – accused of a sick sex relationship with a female relative, prosecutors said.
Political science Prof. David Epstein, 46, bedded the young woman over a three-year period ending last year, according to court papers.
He was arraigned before a Manhattan judge on a single felony incest count.
Sources said the victim was over 18 when the relationship began in 2006 and that the two often exchanged twisted text messages.
Epstein faces up to four years behind bars if convicted.

This is the guy who called Sarah Palin “weak” and “self-centered.”

Project much, professor?

UPDATE: Oooh, details emerge of Professor Pervo’s (alleged) crime:

He had relations with his daughter, now 24, from 2006 through 2009, the complaint said.

So, according to his own daughter, Professor Pervo was engaged in this twisted behavior the whole time he was blogging at HuffPo.

UPDATE II: “Police say the relationship between Epstein and his daughter was consensual.”

All together now: Eeeeewww! Yuck!

Based on an article in the Columbia Spectator, it would appear that Epstein and his wife, Sharyn O’Halloran (chairwoman of the executive committee of the Columbia University Senate and a tenured professor) have split up. And I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that Professor O’Halloran was the one who reported this “consensual” relationship — Eeeeeww! Yuck! — to the police.

UPDATE III: A writer at Salon examines the legal aspects:

It has all the sordid ingredients to supply tabloid headlines for days, but far more interesting — at least in my nerdy universe — are the laws behind this case and others like it. After all, the relationship in this case allegedly began after Epstein’s daughter reached the age of consent. It isn’t a clear-cut case of child abuse, and there are no allegations that the three-year-long relationship carried on without the daughter’s consent. . . .
Most courts are concerned about parents preying on their children, [University of Akron law professor J. Dean Carro] said. “Regardless of the age of the child, there’s still a theory that a parent is always a parent, a child is always a child and, as a result, there truly can’t be a consensual sexual act.”

To repeat: Eeeeeww! Yuck!

UPDATE IV: Jammie Wearing Fool: “To no surprise he’s an Obama donor.” And here’s the video debate with Peter Schiff from last November, in which Epstein gave a presentation entitled: “How Obama’s Policies Are Saving the Economy.” (Not to be confused with “How Obama’s Supporters Are Having Sex With Their Daughters.”)

UPDATE V: This is what I get for not checking around the Internet before blogging like I’m the first right-winger to discover a story: Ace of Spades posted on this story two hours before I did — and already has more than 300 comments.

UPDATE VI: Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters was all over this story today, highlighting Epstein’s cluelessness and, among other things, how Epstein accused Republicans of “taking hypocrisy in their personal lives to new levels of self-indulgent weirdness.”

Obviously, Epstein’s an expert on “self-indulgent weirdness.”

UPDATE VI: Donald Douglas has an excellent aggregation including Kathy Shaidle’s headline:

Liberals: your moral and intellectual superiors!

Elie Mystal at Above the Law: “Columbia Poly Sci Professor Accused of Diddling His Daughter.”

Epstein’s lawyer wants you to know that his client “is a respected member of the Columbia University and national academic communities.”

Yeah. That’s kind of the point here: Even a “respected” Ivy League professor can still be a total creepazoid.

UPDATE VII: Welcome, Instapundit readers!

UPDATE VIII: West Virginian Don Surber is probably wondering when the intellectual elite will apologize for all those hillbilly incest jokes.

UPDATE IX: Over at The American Spectator:

[W]hile incest remains illegal in New York State, some commenters at the Columbia University student newspaper Web site are mystified as to why it’s illegal: “Wait, why is consensual incest a crime? It might not be appealing to everyone, but if they’re adults and they consent, who cares what they do?”
Readers might suppose that arguments involving phrases like “thou shalt not” and words like “abomination” are sternly frowned on at Columbia University, so that the faculty would have a hard time answering such a question from their students.

And there’s now a Memeorandum thread.

UPDATE X: Curt at Flopping Aces points out that commenters at HuffPo also have a hard time dealing with this “thou shalt not” problem:

It is kinda sick, but I think a four year prison sentence is extreme – considerin­g they are both consenting adults. . . .
If he is being prosecuted then so should she and anyone who doesn’t agree clearly is not in favor of equal rights for women. . . .
They are two consenting adults. Am I missing something here? . . .
I don’t understand how it is a crime.

Perhaps they should get Judge Roy Moore to give a lecture at Columbia University? I mean, after all, they’ve already had Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lecture at Columbia.

UPDATE XI: From the “Eeeeeww! Yuck!” files at Slate:

Earlier this year, a 48-year-old man from Palm Coast, Fla., named Alton Everett Smith pleaded guilty to incest after impregnating his 27-year-old daughter. She, too, was charged with incest (after giving birth to her own grandson) and is now serving five years of probation. . . . He was pimping her out for sex on Craigslist. According to court records, the daughter has a tattoo reading “Daddy’s Girl” on her behind.

Tommorow’s forecast: Widely scattered fire with a 60% chance of afternoon and evening brimstone.

UPDATE XII: Linked by the Lonely ConservativeThe RhetoricanWeasel Zippers and Dan Riehl at Big Journalism.


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