Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

We Blush to Say It, but We Have to Side with the Strip Clubs

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

We Blush to Say It, but We Have to Side with the Strip Clubs

Article excerpt

Some people read the newspaper for information about the city and world around them.

Some read it in order to know about what every sports team is doing (but please, no more impressive trades, Penguins -- I can't take any more) in order to sound like the most knowledgeable guy in their bar.

Some read it hoping they will stumble upon an obituary of someone they dislike.

The Morning File likes reading the newspaper, however, simply to be amused. It's not easy for us to find anything else to smile about first thing in the morning -- we look bad, we smell bad, the dog needs a walk in the cold, we have to get ready for work, we awake in a cold sweat night after night from the same nightmare in which we're watching the Pitt Panthers in the NCAA basketball tourney.

But the start of the day looks so much brighter when we stumble upon a headline like this one from Friday: "Strip club sues city over denied security." In this case, however, we were only amused until we read the details of this naked misjustice.

It seems the Blush club on Ninth Street, Downtown -- where immodest women disrobe in a convenient location for convention- goers, business executives and everyone associated with the grades 6- 12 creative arts school -- is in the middle of a constitutional rights fight so monumental it makes all this Supreme Court discussion of gay marriage seem like a parking ticket dispute.

The owners of Blush believe they're getting the bum's rush from the city's police bureau, which has stopped permitting its officers to moonlight as security guards there. The longtime establishment has become collateral damage from the recent fuss over misuse of funds the city receives from the police bureau's secondary employment practices.

No one cared for years if officers made extra bucks helping prevent customers from getting out of line at what some call "gentlemen's clubs," but acting police Chief Regina McDonald apparently isn't buying that euphemism. Officers can still work off- duty for all kinds of other establishments where the people inside are known to keep their clothes on, no matter what else may take place, but not in places like Blush or Cheerleaders in the Strip District. …

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