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Prostitution

Prostitution does not only have sexual connotations.  It is,

  1. The act or practice of engaging in sex acts for hire.
  2. The act or an instance of offering or devoting one's talent to an unworthy use or cause.

The second definition of prostitution applies when the media set out to distort the truth to make money by telling lies to boost circulation or to promote an ideology.


Index

Hilary Clinton announces campaign against prostitution

Erin Pizzey's comment

Exposed: the myth of the World Cup ‘sex slaves’

Spiked, Feb. 14, 2007
Bruno Waterfield

It was widely claimed that 40,000 women would be trafficked into Germany as prostitutes during the 2006 World Cup. New EU reports seen by spiked suggest that nothing of the sort happened. (Full Story)


The following article had been posted on the gen-m discussion list:

1997 The Associated Press

Hillary Clinton announces campaign against prostitution

LVIV, Ukraine (November 18, 1997 08:06 a.m. EST-Hillary Rodham Clinton wrapped up an eight-day visit to former Soviet republics Tuesday by announcing a new White House-United Nations campaign against female prostitution.

"It is a violation of human rights when women are trafficked, bought and sold as prostitutes," she told about 1,000 people at the Lviv Opera House.  "We want to reach women who may be in danger."

It was her first direct, public reference to a human rights issue on a five-nation tour that took her to Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Russia before winding up in Ukraine.

In her final speech before embarking on a 10-hour return flight to Washington, Clinton praised Ukraine for holding free elections and making a peaceful transition to democracy.

"If we do not have true democracy in my country or in yours we cannot and should not rest," she said.

She gave few details of the anti-prostitution campaign.

Clinton received the most lively greeting of her tour in Lviv.

"Long live!" and "Welcome," more than 1,000 Ukrainians sang Monday from under babushkas and umbrellas at a square where a new memorial to victims of communist rule stands.

On earlier stops the crowds who lined the streets to watch her motorcade neither waved nor smiled and audiences generally gave her polite applause.

But along Lviv's cobblestone streets, people leaned out to wave from black iron balconies and lined up along the winding driveway of a nearby church and crammed into the main square for her speech.

Ukrainians are well-off in comparison with many people in the other four republics, and Lviv was by far the most elegant city Clinton visited. But the republic is still struggling with free speech rights, poverty and the effort to shift to a market economy.

Bill Fetzner wrote:

I'm trying to imagine what human right is at stake in prostitution.  If a woman sells her body, of what right has she been denied? The right to be prevented from doing so? If that's the case, then we should look upon the proliferation of laws that ostensibly protect us as a multiplication of our human rights, i.e. the more government restrains us, the more rights we have.  It's for logic such as this that we have feminism (and bigger government).

- bill

At 07:00 AM 11/19/97 +1000, Lindsay Jackel wrote:

fwd fyi - complete with Russell's comments.

Personally, I'm opposed to prostitution also, because it exploits both women and men.  It would have to be just about the only business transaction I know of where the buyer is viewed as the exploiter - rather than the seller.  As much as it exploits women, it exploits men who desire sex - as well as putting an unnecessary temptation in the path of those already married, but unable (or unwilling) to control their own behaviour.

Lindsay

________________________
She can't even say just "prostitution", it has to be "female prostitution".  Got to fire the ladies up to get out and vote, and can't let anyone think she might accidentally be helping men.

Russell

Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 14:07:52 -0800
From: erin pizzey <[not shown]>
To: gen-m@interchg.ubc.ca
Subject: Re: [GEN-M] Clinton against FEMALE prostitution
Sender: owner-gen-m@interchg.ubc.ca

[In response to Bill Fetzner's comments:]

I agree.  At any one time a third of the women in my refuges in England and in America were prostitutes.  Most of the time they were taking refuge from their pimps or some other trouble - the police for instance.  I honestly can't say that they needed any more protection than any of the other women who came in.  They were, on the whole, very able, very tough women.  Certainly most of them had come from sexually abused background but they were well aware of their choice to sell their bodies.  In fact, in the ensuing discussions amongst all of the women in the refuges, I noticed how often it was the 'prostitutes' who had sorted out their lives emotionally in a way so many of the other women had not.  I suspect people who wish to 'rescue' prostitutes usually have very little knowledge of their lifestyles.  The thing that struck me most as I struggled to understand very complicated relationships was how honest the women were who sold their sexual favours.

erin pizzey

(About Erin Pizzey)


There are other forms of prostitution that affect a far larger number of people to an enormous extent.

Prostitution in the Media

Quotes cited in Who controls C-Span:

We don't print the truth.  We don't pretend to print the truth.  We print what people tell us. It's up to the public to decide what's the truth.

— Ben Bradley, while Executive Editor of the Washington Post.

Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have.

— Richard Salant, former president of CBS News.

The 'balanced' report, in some cases, may no longer be the most effective.  Can we afford to wait for our audience to come to its own conclusions?  I think not.

— Tena Ryan, senior producer at the Turner Broadcasting System.

See also The protocols of the BBC


Manufacturing Concern

By J.W. Boyce

Canadian Press recently reported on a study finding that more women are being charged with husband abuse.

Should this surprise us? Yes.

    But not because men's victimization in the home, or in general, is a recent phenomenon.  It isn't. It's surprising because the news media covered an issue it has traditionally ignored.
    In their widely-cited book "Manufacfacturing Consent", Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman argue that the U.S. news media are biased.  On one hand, they report on "worthy" victims -- those who have suffered violence in nations on hostile terms with the United States.  They are "featured prominently and dramatically" with the detail and context needed to "generate reader interest and sympathetic emotion." In contrast, the "unworthy" victims of violence, in nations on friendly terms with the United States, "merit only slight detail, minimal humanization, and little context that will enrage or excite."
    My study of Canadian newspapers found a similar phenomenon.  But in this case, the worthy victims were women and the unworthy victims were men.
    I examined coverage of gender and violence in 1242 headlines published in seven major Canadian dailies from 1989 to 1992. (I chose headlines since they summarize news articles and are the most read and remembered part of a newspaper.)  Considering that statistics on violence typically show that men are at least as victimized as women, the contrast in the amount of coverage given to each was striking:

    Of the 540 headlines which directly referred to the gender of victims, 525 (97.2%) focused on women and 15 (2.8%) focused on men, a ratio of 35 to 1.

    A random sampling of the articles accompanying the rest of the headlines suggested the gap was even greater.  I estimated that a total of 991 headlines focused on the gender of victims.  Of these, 972 (98.1%) emphasized women and 19 ( 1.9%) emphasized men, a ratio of 51 to 1.

Our hypothesis is that worthy victims will be featured prominently and dramatically, that they will be humanized, and that their victimization will receive the detail and context in story construction that will generate reader interest and sympathetic emotion. In contrast, unworthy victims will merit only slight detail, minimal humanization, and little context that will excite and enrage.

—Herman and Chomsky,
Manufacturing Consent (1988, p.35)

    The contrast in the content of head-lines was as dramatic.  The few headlines on male victims tended to give only raw data on the amount of violence they suffered.  This suffering was not personalized or explained.
    Headlines on women focused on the quality, rather than the quantity, of violence they experienced (the exceptions tended to use words like "epidemic" or "rampant").  They covered a wide range of subjects from individual cases of victimization to violence as a societal problem, the term "violence against women" expanding past sexual and domestic crime to encompass all violent acts.
    Women's suffering was increasingly seen less in specific terms, such as by husbands against wives, and more in general terms, such as by men against women.  These generalizations were especially evident in coverage of the Montreal Massacre.  The actions of Marc Lepine [his real and legal name was Gamil Gharbi --WHS] were associated with all violence by men against women and his victims were associated with all women.
    Why was violence against women an issue that launched a thousand headlines?  And why was violence against men unable to set even a lifeboat of concern adrift?  One evident reason is that men, being constantly portrayed as the perpetrators of violence, were easily ignored as victims in a simple dichotomy of good and evil.
    The type of sources used by and available to the media were also a crucial factor.  They were lobby groups, government departments, individuals, studies or programs overwhelmingly focused on women's issues.  While they provided the media with a steady flow of information on women's suffering, there were no parallel sources to present such information on men.
    Digging deeper, this coverage reflects some fundamental ways we think of women and men in our society.  The absence of coverage of male victims is not surprising in a society that teaches males to be tough, hide their pain and "take it like a man."  If "big boys don't cry" in the play-ground we can hardly expect men's victimization to be easily expressed in the media.
    Many studies have found the media to have a significant impact on public policy and public perceptions.  The portrayal of women's victimization in newspapers can reasonably be linked to actions like shelter funding and the creation of the National Panel on Violence Against Women.
    Coverage of male victims, or rather the lack of it, can likewise be linked to inaction.  Male victims need not apply.


This article summarizes the master's thesis Jim Boyce recently completed at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. Copies of the research are available from the autbor.
                                                                                  NP*

[Note: I tried to find and contact Jim Boyce, but to no avail.  In spite of considerable effort, I've not been able to track him down. —WHS]

*The characters NP in the article indicate: "....permission is already given for it to be reproduced elsewhere for non-profit purposes, provided that Balance and the author are duly credited and that no material changes are made in its contents." (inside of cover page of Balance)

The preceding article by Jim Boyce was published in Balance (Spring 1995). Balance was published quarterly by the Movement for the Establishment of Real Gender Equality (MERGE).  It is no longer in print. Balance is now available at: <http://www.agt.net/public/dolphin/>.

More information about Manufacturing concern is available as per the following:

Manufacturing Concern — A message from Jim Boyce of Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, — announcing his MA thesis addressing media bias, based on a content analysis of headlines in Canadian Daily newspapers.

Manufacturing Concern — Worthy and Unworthy Victims
Headline Coverage of Male and Female Victims of Violence in Canadian Daily Newspapers, 1989 to 1992

Key Finding: Statistics show that men and women suffer roughly equal rates of violence. Media coverage of male victimization, however, is virtually non-existent in contrast to that of female victimization, which not only receives a large amount of coverage, but is personalized and placed in a societal context for the reader.

See also:

Excerpts from 'Manufacturing Concern,'

The full thesis.


Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 11:07:30 -0800 (PST)
From: fathers <fathers9@idt.liberty.com>
To: fathers@soho.ios.com
Subject: media

Maybe this explains some of the dad-bashing?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 13:55:31 -0500
From: alsil <alsil@phantom.com>

John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff of the New York Times, called by his peers, "The Dean of his profession," was asked in 1953 to give a toast before the NY Press Club:

There is no such thing at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press.  You know it and I know it.  There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print.  I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with.  Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job.  If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.  The business of a journalist is to destroy truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread.  You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press?  We are the tools and vassals for rich men behind the scenes.  We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance.  Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men.

We are intellectual prostitutes.

Free Speech Newspaper
Ron@FreeSpeechNews.com
http://www.FreeSpeechNews.com/callme


Does anyone think that John Swinton would substantially change the content of his speech if he were to give it today?

Conrad Black expressed different (or not so different) views.  In "The Establishment Man" (Peter C. Newman, 1982, MacLelland & Stewart Limited, ISBN 0-7710-6785-2) his views are described as follows:  

    While Black does admire a few individual journalists, he despises their profession.  "My experience of the working press," he says, "is that they are a very degenerate group.  There is a terrible incidence of alcoholism and drug abuse.  The mental stability of large elements of the press is more open to question than that of many other comparable groups in society.  A number of them are ignorant, lazy, opiniated, intellectually dishonest, and inadequately supervised."

    "The individual journalist, if he has any panache or talent, becomes something of a celebrity.  Much of his social life is built up on the press-circuit: bars, hangers-on, media groupies, the stifling and depraved gossip of the degenerate little media community, and the fawning of unfulfilled women, boys, and hucksters.... Journalism tends to attract the sort of person who settles whimsically on it as a calling or comes to it after disappointments elsewhere, because of the relative ease of entry into the field.  These people, discouraged and purposeless are easily influenced by their angrier colleagues.  It is by inadvertence, inexperience, the investigative nature of the press, the antithetical role of the employee, and the negligence of the employer, and not by any organized subversion, that the press veered away from being a mirror to society, and became a perverse sort of irregular and often disloyal opposition."

     Black blames this sad state of the journalist's craft on the decline of resident media proprietors, who might have been excentric and curmudgeonly in character but at least ran their own shops.  "With the rise of the chains," he says, "the publisher has become a local coordinator and functionary, answerable to his absentee employer on economic matters, with a mandate to ensure that the content is sufficiently anodyne to avoid disputes with advertisers, sufficiently formless to avoid strikes in the newsrooms.  The proprietors take relatively little interest in the journalistic aspects of the business. ........."[page 196]

Conrad Black is a Canadian entrepreneur who managed to acquire a controlling interest in the Southam newspaper chain. His intention was to establish a conservative Canadian national daily paper.  [He did, the National Post, which he subsequently sold to the far-left-of-centre Asper family.] At the present there is none, other than perhaps the Sun newspaper chain, covering just some of the major cities. 

Whichever way we may feel about the media and its agents, they directly control and influence our lives.  Unless we get the media on our side, or until we see them reporting at least equitably on gender issues, we will be virtually powerless to get things changed.


The situation described so long ago by John Swinton, and a few years ago by Conrad Black, has not become any better, if anything, it is now far worse.  The following article is an assessment by Ted Byfield.

Thanks "Nicholas J. Kovats" <cn650@freenet.toronto.on.ca>

THE FINANCIAL POST
Saturday, July 25, 1998

Views from the West

Exploring the world of 'faction'

Journalists only fake what they really believe in

By TED BYFIELD
The Financial Post

    The discovery that several superstars of U.S. newspapers and television have been manufacturing events and quotations  presenting, that is, fiction as fact  has produced the customary analysis, explanations and soul-searching among media managers and commentators.  What's especially noteworthy is not just the fact the superstars did this, but the absence of any genuine penitence. They plainly consider themselves justified, as the possessors of The Truth.  If they had to invent a few facts to better portray The Truth, then so be it.  If this becomes habitual, some asked, how can either newspapers or television newscasts sustain credibility?
    Three instances have attracted attention:

  • Stephen Glass, boy wonder of the New Republic, was revealed to have introduced fiction into 27 of 41 articles he wrote for that publication, much cherished by the U.S. intelligentsia.  Implication: If their readers are so smart, how come they didn't notice this sooner?

  • Patricia Smith, celebrated columnist for the Boston Globe and a Pulitzer Prize nominee, was caught injecting into her column quotes for people to have said.  Which they didn't.  She was fired, but that didn't end the problem.  It turns out Smith had co-written the script for a highly publicized PBS television series, Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery, slated to begin airing Oct. 19.

    How credible can it be, if the co-writer was given to presenting fiction as fact? The network hastened to make explanations.  The script was heavily "scrutinized."  Everything had been checked by a team of historians.  Short of cancelling the whole series, what else could they do?

  • Peter Arnett, star reporter of CNN television, who got the big scoop the U.S. military killed 100 Vietnamese villagers with nerve gas and secretly butchered army defectors in 1970, was let off with a reprimand.  The story turned out to be false, and blanket denials of it had been ignored in CNN's coverage.

    But with this came another embarrassment.  Arnett wasn't fired because the story had actually been reported by two producers, both of whom were ousted.  He had merely read it on the air. Implication: How many others of television's on-the-spot reporters aren't anywhere near the spot, but merely read what somebody else has covered?

    R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., writing in the American Spectator, notes the absence of any real contrition in the miscreants.  "Most of these journalistic forgers actually believe they are morally unassailable," he writes.  The New Republic, for instance, published a letter in which Glass is portrayed as a modern-day Jonathan Swift.  Smith sees herself as guilty of mere "indiscretions."  The fired CNN producers remain defiant, apparently believing they are victims of management reprisal.
    Floyd Abrams, a lawyer who specializes in press freedom, deems the CNN story "not fair" because it minimized or ignored the denials.  He attributed the fake to the "deeply held beliefs" of the producers.
    Now that, I would say, explains this phenomenon of fact-faking.  Journalists, including Canadian ones, bring to the job a set of "deeply held beliefs" founded in an unconscious ideology.  You could almost catalogue them: military men lie, peace crusaders tell the truth.  Victims can be trusted; cops can't.  Minorities are invariably innocent, majorities invariably guilty.  Women are dependably sensitive and caring, men callous and aggressive. The bureaucrat acts benevolently, the executive opportunistically.

    But would Canadian journalists and television producers actually tell lies?  Not that we've so far proved.  But what about this:

    The report by Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Horace Krever into the tainted blood scandal spent two chapters deploring the Red Cross's failure to prohibit gays from giving blood because it feared being labelled homophobic.  This resulted in thousands of infections and many deaths, all avoidable.  Scarcely a word of this appeared in media coverage of the report. Why?  Because, I suspect, of our journalists' "deeply held belief" one doesn't cast minorities in an unfavorable light.
    As for television, we have the peculiarly Canadian device known as the "docudrama"  part documentary, part fiction, with no effort to distinguish which is which superbly exemplified by the CBC-National Film Board's The Valour and the Horror series.  This way all sorts of quotes can be invented and implicitly presented as fact.
    Nobody gets fired.  Everybody gets prizes.  And above all, it enables the telling of The Truth.

    Ted Byfield is the founder of Western Report, Alberta Report and B.C. Report newsmagazines [now published also in Ontario and known under the name The REPORT].
________________________________________________
    Copyright © 1998, Canoe Limited Partnership.
    All rights reserved.

________________________________________________
P.S.: In the U.S.A. it became officially known in the beginning of March 1983 that blood-clotting factors distributed to hemophiliacs were tainted with HIV and hepatitis B and C, yet, it took quite a while before the blood products were cleaned up and and hemophiliacs could be sure that being treated with blood-clotting factors would not infect them with hepatitis and HIV. More than 20,000 hemophiliacs became infected and more than 7,500 died as a result of the infections given to them by medical services. (More at http://badblooddocumentary.com/ ; at http://www.taintedblood.info/index.php , and at http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/krever-inquiry)


Sources queried, newsman is fired

NEW YORK (AP) — The world's largest news agency has admitted that one of its reporters cited experts, institutions and advocacy groups whose existence cannot be verified.

Christopher Newton was fired by Associated Press on Sept. 16 after the agency received inquiries about a Sept. 8 story about U.S. crime statistics. AP corrected that story.

Full Story

Wendy McElroy discusses:

Feminist Urban Legends

The FOXNews URL is
<http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,69982,00.html>

The ifeminists.com URL is
<http://www.ifeminists.com/introduction/editorials/2002/1112.html>

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

By Wendy McElroy

Advocacy research refers to studies and reports produced by people with a vested interest in reaching a foregone conclusion. Politically correct feminism is notorious for its advocacy research and for the shoddy methodology that often accompanies political bias. (Full Story)

Fox News chose to omit the modifier "feminist" in their title for the article, however, it is a must for anyone to read the article, regardless of what title is chosen for it. The article lists excellent standards that should be applied by the media in choosing articles for publishing, so as to put an end to the promotion of advocacy research, slander and ad-hominem attacks by opponents of the truth.

See also:

Table of Contents for Feminism and Related Issues

____________
Updates:
2001 02 09 (format changes)
2002 05 18 (corrected link to Jim Boyce's Manufacturing Concern)
2002 06 03 (added link to full thesis by Jim Boyce: Manufacturing Concern)
2002 11 13 (inserted Wendy McElroy's article "Feminist Urban Legends".  It deals with the need to put an end to the media's popularizing of gender-biased advocacy research.)
2002 12 22 (format changes)
2003 12 11 (added Michele Landsberg as an agent caught in the act of prostituting the media)
2005 01 30 (added link to Chastity and common sense are now criminal)
2007 12 24 (added link to stories about Rachel Marsden)
2013 02 01 (added link to The Fall of Journalism)