Brief recap: Progress Party MP Bård Hoksrud was in Riga recently and made the mistake of visiting a brothel, where he paid an employee for sex. I call it a mistake because he is married, and had not agreed on this visit with his wife beforehand. The visit to the brothel, not to Riga. ;-) I feel really bad for his wife, this must be so upsetting for her.
But for the media, it's a goldmine. Because, get this, here in Norway it's illegal to pay for sex. It's legal to sell it, just not to buy it. Screwy, I know. But it's even crazier than it sounds - it's even illegal for Norwegian citizens to pay for sex in countries where it's legal to pay for sex. You know, like in Latvia, say. So now that Hoksrud has been busted for this, he has committed a crime ... it will go on his criminal record and he has to pay a fine of 25,000 crowns. And he will go down in history as the first Norwegian ever to be sentenced for this crime. Poor guy.
How did he get busted, you ask? Well, he went on this trip not as an MP or as a party representative, but as a private citizen. Yet he traveled with two, or was it three, members of the party's youth organization. Not sure what's up with that, but he's relatively young, 38, so I guess they're his friends. Ahead of the trip, someone tipped off our biggest commercial TV channel, TV2, that Hoksrud was going to be using prostitutes while in Riga, so these damn hyenas sent over a camera crew that filmed the man with a concealed camera. They interviewed the prostitute and I don't know what all. Now they pretend to be proud of themselves. Scum.
So, talk about questionable tactics ... and for something so irrelevant to the general public. Not that I had a lot of respect for TV2, or the media in general, before this, but now it's definitely dropped several notches. If only they would be honest and admit that they do it for the ratings ... but no, it's for the public good. Gag me with a spoon.
One of the most annoying things about this is that pretty much every reporter you can find says that it's total BS what the Progress Party is saying that the media is out to get them and is giving them a much harder time than everyone else. Of course not, it's because they really are worse people than others, so they bring it on themselves. And then on the Daily Review tonight - this Hoksrud thing was the lead story - there's another piece of news about a mayor somewhere in ... Oppland county, I think? ... who's being charged with the sexual abuse of a minor. Supposedly he's been having sex with a girl who was only 13 when it started. Bad and wrong, totally. But was he named? No. Was the town named? No. Was his party affiliation given? No. Remind me again, how many hours did it take before Trond Birkedal's name was splashed all over the front pages ... ?
Anyway. This post is basically to say that I think TV2's methods are completely beyond the pale and that I think it's horrible how Hoksrud has been put in the metaphorical stocks after this happened. The law against buying sex is ridiculous, and it's absolutely idiotic that it supposedly applies in other countries too. Yes, I do get the argument that those who make the law should also follow the law. But some laws are just wrong. I wish I could say that I think that as a principle, I think the law should be obeyed, regardless of what it is ... that this is essential to the functioning of a civilized society ... but I don't really have any principles, and I break another law every day with a clear conscience and never a second thought. It's a bad law, it should be broken. And I can certainly not accept that Norwegian law should trump the laws of other sovereign states in the territories of those states.
Hoksrud was against the law from the start, is still against it and voted against it when it was passed in Parliament. As, IMO, every sensible MP ought to have done. (And maybe did ... >:-) I am absolutely not a Progress Party fan, but I am totally with them on this one. Would our politicians really accept this in reverse? In Spain, for instance, the age of consent is 13. Here in Norway, it's 16. Is it OK for a Spanish citizen to come to Norway and have sex with 14-year-olds? If not, why? That's the law in his country, after all. But no, it wouldn't be OK, because Norwegian law applies in Norway ... just like Latvian law applies in Latvia, and under Latvian law it's perfectly legal to pay for sex. So that this is even an issue is ridiculous.
What should be the case under discussion here, and what TV2 should be looking into, is who tipped them off and why. Does someone want to get Hoksrud out of politics, and if so, why? Someone clearly has a grudge against the guy ... and it's someone pretty close to him too, obviously. Now that's something I find interesting. But obviously that doesn't sell as well as a sex scandal. >:-(
A pundit was on the Daily Review tonight too, discussing the whole thing with some talking head from TV2 ... he said that the problem here is the techniques the reporters used, and that even though 'no one condones what Hoksrud has done' they totally crossed the line by following him like they did. Which, yes, was a gross invasion of his privacy and they should be prosecuted for it. But I want to say that I for one do condone what Hoksrud did. I have no problem with it. It should be legal. Yes, it was wrong of him to hurt his wife's feelings as he has no doubt done ... but that is the only thing he has done that any of us can condemn him for. But just paying for sex? I personally would never be a prostitute and my instinct is that it must be a pretty shitty job (but I know I'm wrong in some cases), but if one party is willing to pay and the other party is willing to sell, then I really don't see the problem.
Hoksrud was on the news too, and he was interviewed by some NRK reporter who stuck a microphone in his face while he said all the usual things about how he was so sorry and it was a crazy mistake and he's never done such a thing before. The reporter actually had the gall to ask, 'Can you say with your hand on your heart that you have never paid for sex before?'
Hoksrud was all contrite and said he totally accepted culpability, etc. But what he should have said was, IMO:
That's none of your fucking business, bitch!!
It's none of any of our business. This is between Hoksrud and his wife. I don't know what political life in this country is coming to if this is seriously as big a deal as all that. The guy is human, OMG, stop the press! >:-( Aside from the fact that I would never vote for his party, if I was in his constituency, I would seriously consider voting for him now.