Jim Larkin and Mike Lacey, proprietors of the besieged Village Voice, have weathered storms before, and most likely are reassuring themselves that this one will fade away like all the others. With their cash cow pub Backpage.com under increasing fire for its dominant role in the online child prostitution racket, however, they might be underestimating the stamina of their opposition. As Bill Quick notes at the Daily Pundit, a growing number of mainstream media and bloggers are focusing their attention on these weasels, including CNN, the New York Times, Instapundit and the AtlanticWire, and many, many others.
So far, the Voice’s response has been to trivialize the topic, most egregiously with editor Tony Ortega’s dimwitted attempt at dismissal: basically, he says that it’s really not happening at all, or, if it is, it’s just not such a big deal. This was followed by his assertion that Backpage is really a good thing, because it brings the business into the open, where offenders can be caught — so Backpage is really just a giant honey trap for the unwary. Well, at annual revenues estimated at between $25 and $30 million, there must be an astonishing number of arrests in the making. The Voice’s lawyer talks of how thoroughly VV Media “polices” the site, yet their in-house cops seemed to be unable to identify the ad pimping a 15 year old Long Island girl with nude photos as a potential offender.
It’s still early days in this groundswell, and perhaps Larkin and Lacey are right — the public will grow bored and move on, and they will be able to continue pimping little girls with relative impunity. But the Voice has other interesting dirty laundry. We will will talking about that shortly on these pages. Stay tuned.