This week we saw the full power of gossip and an unchecked, non-journalistic media. Garbage-spewing tabloid site TMZ published allegations that Kevin Clash, Muppeteer behind Elmo, had sexual relations with a 16 year old. The media picked it up and ran with it, not bothering to do any investigating. Twitter and Facebook filled up with stupid, repetitive and unimaginative jokes. Then, 24 hours later, the accuser took the charges back. In the span of a day, though, he had not only tarnished Clash's image, he had added another arrow to the quiver of 'blame the victims/don't believe rape victims' assholes.
I'm not a huge Muppets fan, but I thought Being Elmo, the doc about Clash's life and career as a Muppeteer, was incredible. Now that his name has been cleared we should all honor the artist and his struggle, acknowledge his humanity and move on from this ugly episode.