"On sait les conditions dans lesquelles c'est arrivé, et de la même manière qu'il y a une Amérique généreuse que nous aimons, il y aussi une certaine Amérique qui fait peur, et c'est cette Amérique là qui vient de nous présenter son visage", [a dit le ministre de la culture et de la communication].Nevertheless, a surprising number of Le Monde readers are countering the élites and defending American officials (maybe more because George W. Bush has been replaced by Barack Obama than for any other reason? That would be ignoring that Tinseltown, and California, are more associated with the progressive Democrats that "we love")… (The words are all the more ironic coming from Frédéric Mitterrand, who wrote an autobiographical "novel" — is that supposed to be a phallic symbol on the cover, or what? — about going on trips to Asia for sex with young boys…)
Truth is, you cannot think of the whole affair without taking into account the sexualization of society — due to (the intense efforts of) the left — which leads to an acceptance ("tolerance", again) of young teens (even pre-teens) dressing and acting provocatively and thinking sex is cool and making themselves available; along with the left's equally-strong desire to a series of criminalize every part of society — creating laws and regulations for one and for all, along with activist judges, out-of-control courts and the ingérence of the state into every sphere of private life. (I notably remember a series of John Stossel stories about a man registered as a sex offender because he had sex with his grilfriend when he was 19 and she, 17; she was not some unknown "chick" but they were sweethearts and married, and today they have three children, three kids — his own! — whom he whom he cannot see alone!) This all serves to lead, among other things, to an abandonment of family values, to a feminization of men, and (therefore) to a father's relinquishment of his responsibilities (including protecting their teenage daughters)…
NB: While the much-ballyhooed religious right may be most vocal in favor of family traditions and in opposition to premarital sex (and to schools curricula that condone same, overtly or otherwise), I think that, as good conservatives, they have les to do with all the sorts of legalization we have witnessed in the past years than the left. I therefore consider the criminalization of the past few years to be a product of the left. In fact, I consider it an example of the state creating a problem and then intervening to correct said problem: first, they (and their artist abettors) make the sexualization of society something that is normal and, in fact, desired (so to speak), and then, when people (adults or otherwise) act out — leading to a sense of scandal, and not only from people on the right — leftists scream about, say, society's dark underground closet of pedophilia and jump in to assert more government control, punishing those who grew up in the society that they helped to create in the first place, thinking that desire and lust was normal and to be acted upon.
You get the 1960s and its "liberalization" of sexuality; then (by the greatest of coincidences) you get an onslaught of teens engaging in sex and things such as (in no particular order) adultery, divorce, and pedophilia; then you get such things (from the state) as an invasion of divorce courts and of rules against underage sex. But maybe the best thing would have… not to go so far in "liberalizing" sexual mores in the first place?