Not that the Newswire is a forum for the global-warming debate, but it appears the debate has provoked what's sure to be remembered as one of popular fiction's funniest and weirdest swipes of late. Michael Crichton's latest novel, Next, includes a character named Mick Crowley, who happens to be a child rapist. Michael Crowley, a journalist for The New Republic who once criticized Crichton's views on global warming, says the character is a "voodoo doll" for him. An excerpt, via TPM Muckraker:

Alex Burnet was in the middle of the most difficult trial of her career, a rape case involving the sexual assault of a two-year-old boy in Malibu. The defendant, thirty-year-old Mick Crowley, was a Washington-based political columnist who was visiting his sister-in-law when he experienced an overwhelming urge to have anal sex with her young son, still in diapers. Crowley was a wealthy, spoiled Yale graduate and heir to a pharmaceutical fortune.

In a later passage, Crichton points out that the character's penis is small (why not, once you've gone to these lengths?).

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