Gee...where are those child-pornography charges that all the "experts" thought were imminent for Perez Hilton? Oh, wait, that's right—there was never a chance.
People (of all sources) is now casually reporting that Howard Price, a Beverly Hills criminal defense attorney, says:
"It seems unlikely Perez would be prosecuted for any criminal act in this case. For this to constitute as child pornography it has to be a photo of actual sexual conduct or a more blatant exhibition of one's private parts for the purpose of sexually stimulating the viewer. Plus, prosecutors aren't going to waste their time trying to go after an isolated event like this. They are more concerned about more serious and widespread cases. If Perez doctored the photograph however, that could be grounds for a civil defamation suit."
He's 100% correct but ha, a civil defamation suit for doctoring a celebrity's photo...that's about as likely as cleaning up that oil spill. Can you really picture Miley Cyrus filing suit over that? No. Already, her response has been to brand it "negativity" and go about her business.
And speaking of "negativity" and "business," perhaps those who hate Perez for being so relentlessly negative—and who don't rationalize that D-Listed (he skewers stars for sport, albeit trés wittily, I like him) or What Would Tyler Durden Do? (a hilarious but taboo-flouting hetero blogger who posted pictures of underage Demi Lovato's underage ass) or the print tabloids are somehow any better—or who at least find it wrong when he's relentlessly negative toward kids, can move on and focus on that aspect.
Because the conversation should not be about child pornography, it should be about the limits of what is acceptable in reporting and criticizing—and not legally acceptable, but socially acceptable.
My own position is that negativity is always going to be there—I engage in it at times, but I could never be Perez...I'd feel too guilty. Yet I support his site's right to exist. In many ways, relentlessly negative (even humorously so) outlets are a given when we're faced with relentlessly positive (and phony) publicity that is churned out on the behalf of the stars.
As for social acceptability, Perez may or may not be pushing that limit—he has lost an ABC ad. As that Salon link points out, though, it's pretty funny that so many massive companies have spent money on Perez up till now, implying that the entertainment industry doesn't care that he makes fun of their human product, draws semen stains on them and worse, as long as the public patronizes him.
Ages ago, I wrote that Perez Hilton could soon be about to die—not Mario, but his character, because he had overstayed his welcome with those Dustin Lance Black and Black Eyed Peas scenarios. It was my thought that he might become less negative to extend his career. He hasn't softened up much and hasn't gone anywhere, so either I was wrong or I was premature.
Perez will be on Joy Behar's show tonight; should be a good show in that she isn't usually out to kill him but will probably grill him on the aspect of Miley being too young to take so much public trashing for being a slut. He better be careful and not say anything that will get him further into worse trouble, like referring to us as the "small people."