Is any public figure, major or minor, entitled to a shred of privacy in our nutty modern age? The New York Sun’s Tim Marchman correctly pointed out the scrutiny recently foisted upon Alex Rodriguez is no different to degree of stalkerazzi pressure regularly faced by entertainers and politicians. But what might be reasonable treatment for a $252 million professional athlete is slightly different from how a thinking person might tackle the case of a high school track and field starlet.

That is, unless the thinker in question is With Leather’s Matt Ufford, who earlier this week received national coverage when his dubious decision to get all publicly drooly over pole vaulter Allison Stokke resulted in a largish piece in the Washington Post.

The reliably despicable Will Leitch, naturally, sided with Ufford, bemoaning his colleague’s status as “the blogger whack-a-mole.”

“Without question, though, giving an huge interview to The Washington Post about how you can’t stand everyone talking about your daughter — and including two more attractive pictures — is really the perfect way to get everyone to stop talking about your daughter,” giggled Leitch, though anyone who actually read the piece could tell you the pair of quotes attributed to Ms. Stokke’s dad hardly constitute a “huge interview”, nor is there any evidence on hand the aggrieved father solicited the press coverage.

(You’d think — by the way — Will would have a tad more sympathy for someone upset at the public being encouraged to objectify a loved one. I mean, some deranged individual subjected a person close to Leitch to equally creepy abuse, albeit not so widely read.)

If Leitch’s reaction was somewhat unsophisticated, Ufford’s take is nothing short of retarded. And apologies in advance if you or someone you know is retarded.

Lacking even the stones to admit his interests begin and end with generating traffic in the most craven fashion (“I wish Miss Stokke the best in her sporting endeavours. I would love to care about pole vaulting.”), Ufford ended his Wednesday post on the controversy by linking to a pair of stories about Stokke’s defense attorney dad ; the first in which Al Stokke represented a female school teacher accused of sexually assaulting an 11 year old boy, the second concerning Stokke’s defense of a police officer charged with ejaculating on an exotic dancer. OK — at a traffic stop.

“To the Stokkes: if you’d like this post removed, please just contact me,” sneered Ufford. “You don’t have to be mean or anything. We all have jobs that can get ugly, but that doesn’t make us bad people.”

Hoo ha. Here’s a mindblowing concept for Matt and his knuckle-dragging apologists to suck on for a minute or two : even persons who are guilty of the most heinous crimes are entitled to the most competent defense available. And if Al Stokke wasn’t using every legal tactic at his disposal, he’d be doing his clients an unconscionable disservice. Who knows? Perhaps in a few years time, the political/social climate takes a turn for the twisted and the editor of an alleged comedy/sports blog is brought up on charges that circulating titillating photographs of high school girls violates the law? That would certainly be a ridiculous scenario, but not the most farfetched. And if such a day arrives, I’m hopeful Matt Ufford will be able to secure the services of a defender just as determined as Al Stokke.

Likewise, it’s totally pathetic to infer, however slightly, that Stokke should be precluded from protesting on Allison’s behalf merely because he’s…hold on…a lawyer. But again, the Post story wasn’t really about the dad. Ufford says of the Stokke family, “their PR tactics seem counterintuitive,” but I beg to differ. The one quote from Salow’s piece that should’ve resonated with anyone with half a conscience was Allison insisting œI worked so hard for pole vaulting and all this other stuff, and it™s almost like that doesn™t matter. Nobody sees that. Nobody really sees me.

Try laughing that one away, assholes. I’m sure the traffic was through the roof this week and that’s all that really matters.