Friday, April 10, 2009

Intimidation, Prudishness, Or Hypocrisy?

This e-mail arrived in one of my inboxes today from

The Washington Post currently accepts advertisements for massage parlors, which the Post's own reporters have shown are often thinly disguised brothels with women trafficked into the country and forced into prostitution. Because of this frequent connection to human trafficking, The New York Times, Boston Globe, and Los Angeles Times refuse advertisements for massage parlors. But The Washington Post continues to profit from these ads, making the paper complicit in the sexual violence of women across our nation's capital.

Is The Washington Post Profiting from Brothels?

Sure enough, this came from I just checked their blog site and that's the second paragraph.

In addition to being poorly written ("sexual violence of women" - does that mean that women in massage parlors are committing sexual violence?), and a great example of guilt by association, this strikes me as the sort of thing politicians do when they want to deflect valid criticism from themeselves.

So here's what I have to say to

When your guy starts demanding that his government obey the law, starts releasing Department of Justice memos advocating torture and illegal wiretapping that were written during the last Administration, and starts investigations into criminal behavior of that Administration's principal offenders, then I'll start taking you seriously when you lecture the press about its respect for the law.

It's always easier to do something when someone else has to make the sacrifices. When you're the one who might have to give up something, suddenly there are all sorts of reasons to not do it. I suggest that if the Obama Administration, or its proxies, wants to lecture the rest of us about respect for the law, it should first start leading by example. Give up the powers you're not supposed to have, and risk making enemies by investigating the wrongdoing that has gone before.

What it has done instead, it would appear, is to denigrate a group that doesn't have a powerful lobby, associate that group with a newspaper that it no doubt wants to get favorable coverage from, and appealed to the prudishness that sometimes passes for concern for women (or maybe men).

UPDATE: Taylor Marsh has a good rundown of what's going on with the Obama Administration regarding their acceptance of the Bush Administration's power grabs.


Dana Hunter said...

This is one where they're really falling on their faces. Still, I can't get myself worked up over asking us to go on a crusade against massage parlors. All I can do is snigger. And recall the time my company turned down an order for gift certificates from the Moonlight Bunny Ranch. Until it's proved that the massage parlors are engaged in sexual abuse and human trafficking, I'm not going to bend myself out of shape over it.

Besides, the Post seems to be aiming itself more and more at Cons. Let's make it easier for them to find the next place to get involved in a sex scandal. We wouldn't want to deprive them of their opportunities to prove themselves hypocrites, now, would we?

Cujo359 said...

If it weren't a website that was at least nominally connected with the President, I suppose I wouldn't be upset. As it is, the combination of hypocrisy and irony is a too much to put up with silently.

Speaking of irony, I've spent quite a bit of time beating up the WaPo over their incompetence and shilling for those in power. That's one of the reasons I don't like to see something that could be taken as a proxy of the Administration taking a newspaper to task for something like this. As long as it isn't actually accepting advertisements for establishments that are known to be illegal, they have no business commenting on things like this.