But it is really only now, after all these years – at a time when sex service advertising is as ubiquitous and available online as oxygen – that main street censure has really scored a direct hit. This opprobrium has involved a sustained campaign by media, politicians, and amorphous citizen groups directed against the company's management, investors, and advertisers. So why now? And about what exactly?It seems ‘The Village Voice’ – once the darling of the counterculture - has fallen foul of today’s modern progressives. Not for them the freedom of the permissive society, not any more.
Now, morality is the new black!
The ostensible charge is sexual perniciousness: the Voice and its advertising, say critics, aids sex trafficking. The evidence here is awfully slim, but sex-trafficking is one of those phrases, like weapons of mass destruction, that requires little factual support.Gosh, you don't say? You mean it now comes down to who can shout (and emote) the loudest? Do tell...
The Voice's foremost antagonist is Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times op-ed columnist, which has rather set the weight of the liberal establishment against the company and its ads.Yes, it's even more upsetting when it's one of your own, eh?
Kristof is an unfortunate enemy. Alone on the op-ed page in his lack of style, specialty, or point of view, he has compensated by adopting a mission with the greatest zeal: he's a one-man NGO for girls forced into prostitution in Africa. Trying to push his campaign into America (encouraged, no doubt, by his editors to ground his story a little closer to home), he's focused on the Voice. His are highly personalized columns in which Kristof introduces us to a particular victim – someone he has gotten to know and who he's taken a personal interest in helping to save – who then stands as a personification of countless more like her. Almost all his columns on the subject are written like this. And his personalization is always much stronger than his case.Oh, dear. You mean he's used the time-worn, hackneyed old trick of 'Never mind the facts feel the emotion!', eh? Tsk tsk...
While, for nearly two generations, it has been hard to make much of a case against pervasive sexuality, the argument suddenly has new legs. It's not about promiscuity, which makes you sound square; it's not about prostitution, which makes you sound dirty; it's about sex-trafficking, which makes you sound like you're on the side of the angels, know-nothing though they might be.Heh! Yes, it's awful when you are suddenly hoist on your own petard.
Awful, but damnably amusing!