The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Monday, February 09, 2004
The sex slaves saga given boost by - little brother Globe
Whilst Jack Shafer keeps his counsel on the subject, the issue of Peter Landesman's sex slave article (last mentioned here on Feburary 7) has been given the kiss of life in the columns of none other than relatively recent New York Times Company acquisition, the Boston Globe (February 9).
Cathy Young of Reason does not, I think, add anything particularly new to the debate - it seems to be more or less a What he said to Shafer's stuff. The sex slave piece seems, more or less, to be a hook on which to hang a moral:
There is no doubt that Landesman's article was a well-intentioned effort. But its unravelling illustrates some common pitfalls of which all journalists should beware. One is the temptation to sensationalize the plight of sympathetic victims. Another is checking skepticism at the front door when confronted with the claims of activists for noble causes, be it homelessness, domestic violence, or sexual slavery.
More or less the journalistic equivalent of Mom and apple pie.
But the fact that the Times should be criticised not by some upstart from the online media world (mere bloggers may, naturally, be easily swatted away), but in a stalwart of American journalism - as well as a wholly owned subsidiary of the NYTC  - must be particularly galling to Gerry Marzorati and his bosses, given the evident lack of interest elsewhere in the Big Media.
That doesn't mean the story won't die soon without a fresh piece of juicy evidence: but its demise has been delayed a day or two.
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