Friday, December 17, 2004

Crushing of dissent

Yesterday the Nashville police arrested Nels Noseworthy, mild-mannered ad salesman for the Nashville Scene, for allegedly selling ads promoting prostitution. But the timing of the arrest casts doubt on the motives of the police.

Noseworthy's arrest Thursday came one day after the current issue of the Scene hit the streets. And that issue contains a cartoon mocking the Nashville chief of police's son. The cartoon shows a man carelessly drinking and driving while under pursuit by several police cars:

As the accompanying text indicates, Dustin Serpas, son of Nashville police chief Ronal Serpas, has been arrested twice this year for drinking and driving and has surrendered his license.

And so a day after the Scene publishes a cartoon mocking the chief of police's son, the police arrest a Scene employee.

Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds called the arrest a crushing of dissent, apparently tongue in cheek. But his characterization may have been more accurate than he realized.

Note: The Scene acknowledges that the police have been engaged in an ongoing crackdown on prostitution in Nashville, but the timing of this arrest still stinks.