I would like to nominate Eric Stagno as journalist of the year. Because a journalist follows the truth wherever it leads, and Stagno dialed that calling all the way up to 11 and then some last weekend in New Hampshire, when he was arrested at a Planet Fitness for exercising in the nude.
Charges of indecent exposure, lewdness, and disorderly conduct followed, which led to Stagno to make one of the great observations in all of journalism history: “I thought this was a judgment-free zone,” he said.
And all the angels blew their trumpets! Utterly brilliant analysis from Stagno, who, unlike Katy Tur, wasn’t caught questioning the validity of the Constitution earlier this month before this week deciding that you aren’t a real journalist if you work at Fox News or the Daily Caller. So if you are keeping score at home: A real journalist thinks the Constitution blows.
But Stagno doesn’t have time for all that woke. He’s got hypocrisy to unveil, and unveil it he did when, according to sources, he “walked in, stripped down right there in front, left the clothes and belongings at the front desk, walked back and forth across the gym a couple of times and then settled in over at the yoga mats.”
Others at the gym reported feeling “sick,” “unsafe” and “disgusted.” What a bunch of bigots. Don’t they remember Yvette Cormier, whom I wrote about for USA Today and Townhall back in 2015? She tried to make sure that only women were in the women’s locker room at her local Planet Fitness because the disrobing by a transgender man made her feel unsafe – so they canceled her membership. Because of their “no judgment policy.” Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think? Like rain on your wedding day, or a free ride when you’ve already paid.
Where exactly are the true boundaries of that policy, asked Stagno? Do you owe Yvette Cormier an apology? Is your catchy slogan just a façade for getting to unfairly discriminate against cis men?
Nah, Stagno didn’t really ask those questions, because as you may have guessed by now, he isn’t really a journalist. And you know who else really isn’t a journalist? The countless partisan hacks like Tur who light gender differences and the First Amendment on fire daily but won’t be bothered to entertain how Stagno – who may very well be insane – nonetheless just unraveled their entire stupid worldview with one downward dog pose in the nude.
On the one hand, disgusted women who feel unsafe will be protected from the pervs in their midst. On the other hand, disgusted women who feel unsafe will be forced to celebrate the pervs in their midst or else.
There’s only one way such an outcome is possible: The tribalism of those making up rules like “no judgment” is untethered from reason and dangerously out of control. Or as I wrote more than three years ago concerning Yvette Cormier:
The “right side of history” evolves fast. Today’s lunacy is tomorrow’s new normal. That’s because the debate over homosexuality and sexual morality has never really been about “tolerance.” This is really about using whatever means necessary to compel people to believe and practice what you believe. In giving Cormier the boot, Planet Fitness is celebrated for the very acts for which Christians are attacked. That’s why there’s no intellectually honest answer to the question how come Planet Fitness can decide whom it wants to do business with on moral grounds, but a Christian baker or florist cannot.
I’m really sick of being right about stuff like that.
Planet Fitness was full of hypocrites then. It is full of hypocrites now. Because the double-minded man is unstable in all of his ways. If this were not so, that business would have been shut down a long time ago because no one would be caught dead supporting such a silly place.
But we love our hypocrisies. We count on them. We nurture them. And then we wield them as weapons. Even to promote moral madness.
Which brings us back to Stagno, who looks like a 21st-century Rasputin. So perhaps it’s only fitting that the spitting image of the mad monk himself used his psychosis to convict us of our own.