Miss manner wouldn't touch this one with a fork, we suspect -- but how should a woman behave with a man she once swore raped her, now that he has been freed after she says the rape never occurred? The answer seems to be: shamelessly. At least that's how it looks if you have been watching the latest All-Channels TV and Borscht Circuit Tour of Cathleen Webb and Gary Dotson. What happened to the dignity, sobriety and seriousness with which people were asked to address the wrenching issues raised by that episode? Suddenly, what had been thought to be a violent crime takes a bizarre twist, and the two principals become a hot show-biz item. We have yet to see a Dotson & Webb T-shirt, but it can't be long before the marquees of moviedom scream out:
"TOGETHER AGAIN! Reunited in Glorious TackeeVision and Dolby Souund! Continuous Showings!"
Ah, but it isn't simply the smell of greasepaint and the roar of the crowd that has lured this duo to the klieg lights of the entertainment world. You're talking news: it was on "The CBS Morning News," after all, that co-anchor Phyllis George asked the two to hug each other. At least something somewhere told them not to, and they declined.
Maybe they're simply saving some material for the book promotion tour, which surely will begin just as soon as the publishers figure out whether it's fiction or nonfiction -- and who will get the musical-video rights.
Bring back G. Gordon Liddy and Timothy Leary.