TV2 News is reporting that the Dalai Lama kissed a young boy and then stuck his tongue out and asked the boy to suck it.
TV2 News seems to be buying the Dalai Lama’s spin that, although he regrets having offended the boy and his family and anyone else that might think it unseemly for an 87 year old man to kiss little boys and let them suck his tongue, it was all just part of his playful and innocent nature.
They frame the story as gingerly as possible:
The headline says “Dalai Lama apologizes for video in which he kisses a boy and asks him to suck on his (the Dalai Lama’s) tongue.”
The photo shows a very reverent looking Dalai Lama.
The caption says “The Dalai Lama is being criticized for his behavior with a little boy in a video that went viral on social media.”
The article isn’t so delicate that it doesn’t embed the tweet in question:
It also includes the Dalai Lama’s apologetic tweet:
That’s about all the article has to say about the episode.
It doesn’t even bother pointing out that it wasn’t the Dalai Lama’s words that were likely to have caused any “hurt.”
All that follows is just a couple of paragraphs describing other occassions when the Dalai Lama made “headlines about something other than Buddhism and world peace.”
Apparently he once said European immigrants should go back to their homes and leave Europe to Europeans, and another time he said that if the next Dalai Lama were a woman then it would be important she be attractive.
Then the article just wraps things up and ends like this:
The Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and is considered the face of the independence movement for the region of Tibet, which was an independent region until 1950 before it was annexed by China.
The Dalai Lama lives today in India, from where he continues to advocate for the rights of the Tibetan people and the right of playful old men to have their tongues sucked by little boys.
I might have added a little to that last sentence.
Now, I’m neither 87 years old nor a spiritual leader of any kind, but I submit that if a little boy asked me for a hug and I ended up not just hugging him but kissing him on the lips and asking him to suck on my tongue, and then let him suck my tongue, I suspect the “just being playful” defense wouldn’t fly.
Who the hell thinks having little kids suck on their tongue is just a big goof? In what context would that genuinely be an innocent bit of teasing?
What would even inspire an old man to suggest such a thing?
Is the suggestion that he even behaves like this “in public and before cameras” supposed to be reassuring?
“Don’t let’s make a big deal out of this, people! The guy was in public and knew there were cameras around, so his intentions obviously weren’t wicked! What kind of idiot dabbles in pedophilia when he knows the whole world is watching?”
A really sick idiot, that’s what kind.
Thanks to this stupid and bizarre formulation, we all have to ask ourselves what the Dalai Lama might ask little boys to suck when there’s no one else around.
And I think we all have to wonder why TV2 News chose to cover this story so gently. If all the details were exactly the same but it had been Donald Trump instead of the Dalai Lama, is it not reasonable to suppose the coverage would be a little more… aggressive?