HR Strange But True!
May 03, 2002

San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Logan Jenkins sets the scene this way: "Last week, out of the blue (as in blue movie), a photograph of two topless girls lying in bed was projected onto a large overhead screen during an otherwise humdrum sexual-harassment seminar."

And this wasn't just any sexual harassment seminar. It was being held in the city council chambers of the southern California community of Oceanside for about 50 city employees, including a handful of police officers.

The image appeared only briefly - so briefly, in fact, that part of the ensuing dispute centered on what exactly had been shown. Some eyewitnesses thought they saw child pornography.

"In the days that followed," Jenkins writes, "speculation ran wild about who slipped in the offensive picture ­ and why." Some City Hall insiders suspected the Oceanside Police Officers Association of planting the photo to get back at Mayor Terry Johnson, who has described the association as an incubator for costly racial-bias and sexual-harassment lawsuits.

"What could be richer for the POA than revealing the city's sex-harassment experts as unwitting purveyors of kiddie porn?" Jenkins asks. Adding to the tension, several cops complained of being blocked from investigating the matter as a possible crime.

But Jenkins reports that it appears the person responsible for the incident had been alone watching a DVD version of "Girls Gone Wild," the heavily advertised video "of bacchanalian party scenes that feature college women, usually in a state of glassy-eyed intoxication, pulling up their tops to please a leering camera." A technical hiccup, according to this version of events, caused a video image on one computer to migrate to the workshop computer that was at that moment switching to a PowerPoint presentation.

"If the picture did come from the mainstream 'Girls Gone Wild,' the question of criminality appears answered in the negative," Jenkins writes. "As the city is winding up its internal probe, the police are conducting their own criminal investigation.

"Who knows? At this precise moment, officers may be screening 'Girls Gone Wild' ­ or searching in the bowels of a city computer's software ­ to find the picture that launched the riot.

"A dirty job, but somebody has to do it."

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
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