May 1, 2013

“For several years… during which innocent people, many of whom were themselves the parents of young children, were sent to prison, the press by and large went along. ‘The horrors may only have started with sodomy, rape, oral copulation, and fondling,’ Newsweek confidently reported of the McMartin allegations in April 1984….

“Time’s account noted that a horse was slaughtered in front of the toddlers to intimidate them into silence, but the magazine neglected to ask how this messy procedure was accomplished without detection in a busy preschool in the middle of town, where parents and teachers came and went throughout the day. ‘Parents,’ Time chided, ‘were too trusting, assuming that separation anxiety was the reason their children cried when dropped off at school.”

“By the late ’80s, then, the notion that many, many day care workers went into the field only to sate their Sadean lusts for small children, and that schools were places fraught with sexual ‘stranger danger,’ and that childish innocence was under unprecedented assault from the forces of evil, had sufficient credibility to darken the nightmares of mothers and fathers across the country.”

– From “Against Innocence: The truth about child abuse and the truth about children” by Margaret Talbot in The New Republic (March 15, 1999)

“By the late ’80s…” indeed – exactly when the initial allegations were made in the Little Rascals case.