Village Voice Hides Embarrassing Facts Behind Transparent Smoke-Screen

Asian Gals MASSAGE
(Psst: I have no specific knowledge that this massage parlor has trafficking.)

A friend and my favorite source of erudite-and-time-wasting article both independently directed me to the Village Voice’s dramatically titled “Women’s Funding Network Sex Trafficking Study Is Junk Science.”

When I first saw “Village Voice” and “Sex Trafficking” my thoughts flew to the Village Voice’s terrible record on preventing modern-day slavery on the craigslist-clone they own, Backpage. This was not the article’s topic; but we’ll return to that in a moment.

First, I should say: the Women’s Funding Network’s stats are much goofier than most I’ve seen in the anti-human trafficking movement. It is desperately difficult to accurately count the number of men, women, and children trafficked for sex and labor because pimps don’t file income-tax returns.

Some organizations in the anti-trafficking movement have great numbers. For example, I heard Mr Earnie Allen, President of the estimable National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, testify before Congress on the 100,000 to 300,000 children who are sex trafficked every year. He was upfront about the methodologies used to create those number, both in his testimony and on CMEC’s website. From the work of Dr Kevin Bales, Free the Slaves estimates that 27 million people are trafficked around the world.

The numbers from the Women’s Funding Network have neither the pedigree nor the strength of the numbers above. But they are also trying to solve a much more specific question: today, how many minors are being sold for sex on websites like Backpage.

Why focus on minors, other than our moral outrage? Because, according to the federal definition of human trafficking in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, any minor involved in commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking.

Now you see the problem. The Village Voice devoted 3331 words to ripping apart an organization critical of one of their profit pots. Even slimier, they have devoted an entire series to what they call “The Truth Behind Sex Trafficking,” which they appear to think is that it doesn’t ever really happen. Yeah. Tell that to the hundreds of women whose stories are told here.

They do mention this rather glaring conflict of interest. On page 3. Of a 4 page article. In doing so, they use the most defensive and unprofessional tone I’ve ever seen in a conflict of interest statement:

EDITOR’S NOTE: Village Voice Media, which owns this newspaper, owns the classified site In addition to used cars, jobs, and couches, readers can also find adult ads on Backpage; for this reason, Women’s Funding Network and their allies have often called attention to the site, sometimes going so far as to call for its closure.

Certainly we have a stake in this discussion. And we do not object to those who suggest an apparent conflict of interest. We sat quietly and did not respond as the WFN held symposiums across America—from Seattle to Miami—denouncing Backpage. Indeed, we were never asked for response.

But then we looked at the “science” and the media’s willingness to regurgitate, without question, these incredible statistics. In the interest of a more informed discussion, we decided to write.

What is most troubling for me about this article is not their conflict of interest, or even their use of the “100,000 children” statistic. (The only source they cite for that, thoroughly vetted and widely accepted, number’s accuracy is “Hollywood actress Mira Sorvino“‘s testimony before the Senate. #JournalismFail).

What bothers me most is that the Village Voice could do much better at counting the number of minors sold for sex on their website than the Women’s Funding Network because they have access to ad posters and their credit card data.

In the next post are two methods the Village Voice could use to make a much stronger guess at the number of children trafficked for sex on, or the number of trafficked people on Backpage total. It will be wonkish and geeky, so if you like that kind of thing, here it is.

No matter the method, they can still be a error. Such is the burden of an organization which rips on other people’s numbers as not good enough while blithely profiting from human misery.

UPDATE: If you look in the comments, and scroll past the crazy, you will see that a Christine Pullman has decided to vent her internal demons onto the intertubes. As should be clear from my comments policy, as long as commenters stick to lies, bad research, misinformation and refrain from threats of physical violence or ad hominem attacks, I let them be. Remember people:

Dont feed the troll

Inspirational Quote:

“Never act until you have clearly answered the question: ‘What happens if I do nothing?'”–Robert Brault


  1. According to the media hype There was supposed to be hundreds of thousands of under age child sex slaves kidnapped and forced to have sex with super bowl fans. At the Dallas Super Bowl 2011.



    Politicians, women’s groups, police and child advocates were predicting that up to 100,000 hookers would be shipped into Dallas for the Super Bowl.

    It was all a big lie told by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, and various anti-prostitution groups: Traffick911, Not for Sale,, Polaris Project, and the Dallas Women’s Foundation, which are anti-prostitution groups that tell lies in order to get grant money from the government and charities to pay their high salaries, and get huge amounts of money into their organizations. As proved in the links below:

    Top FBI agent in Dallas (Robert Casey Jr.) sees no evidence of expected spike in child sex trafficking:

    “Among those preparations was an initiative to prevent an expected rise in sex trafficking and child prostitution surrounding the Super Bowl. But Robert Casey Jr., special agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas office, said he saw no evidence that the increase would happen, nor that it did.
    “In my opinion, the Super Bowl does not create a spike in those crimes,” he said. “The discussion gets very vague and general. People mixed up child prostitution with the term human trafficking, which are different things, and then there is just plain old prostitution.”

    This myth of thousands or millions of underage sex slaves tries to make every sports fan a sex criminal. No matter what the sport is, or in what country it is in.

    Brian McCarthy isn’t happy. He’s a spokesman for the NFL. Every year he’s forced to hear why his customers are adulterers and child molesters. Brian McCarthy says the sport/super bowl sex slave story is a urban legend, with no truth at all.

    These anti-prostitution groups lobby the government in a big way, getting Politicians to truly believe their lies.

    == World Cup 2006 ==
    Politicians, religious and aid groups, still repeat the media story that 40,000 prostitutes were trafficked into Germany for the 2006 world cup – long after leaked police documents revealed there was no truth at all in the tale. A baseless claim of 25,000 trafficking victims is still being quoted, recently, for example, by the Salvation Army in written evidence to the home affairs select committee, in which they added: “Other studies done by media have suggested much higher numbers.” Which has been proven by the German police to be completely false. Yet people still talk about these false numbers as if it were fact.

    ==World Cup 2010 ==
    Again using the made up number of 40,000 prostitutes trafficked:
    The behavior of fans in South Africa has run contrary to what was predicted prior to the start of the tournament after David Bayever told World Cup organizers in March it was feared that up to 40,000 extra prostitutes could converge in the host nation to meet the expected demand. Bayever, deputy chairperson of South Africa’s Central Drug Authority (CDA) that advises on drug abuse but also works with prostitutes, warned: “Forty-thousand new prostitutes. As if we do not have enough people of our own, we have to import them to ensure our visitors are entertained.”

    But the tournament in 2010, if anything, has seen the modern-day soccer fan attracted to art galleries and museums over brothels. A trend that has seen a drop in revenue across the board for the prostitution industry, which is illegal in South Africa. “Zobwa,” the chairperson of Sisonke — an action group representing around 70 street prostitutes in Johannesburg — said business had been down over the last month. “The World Cup has been devastating. We thought it was going to be a cash cow but it’s chased a lot of the business away. It’s been the worst month in my company’s history,” the owner and founder of one of Johannesburg’s most exclusive escort companies told CNN.

    ===The Vancouver Olympics 2010=======
    Again anti-prostitution groups lied and used the same figure of 40,000 or more sex slaves for the Vancouver Olympics. Again they were proved wrong. There were no sex slaves at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

    In recent years, every time there has been a major international sporting event, a group of government officials, campaigning feminists, pliant journalists and NGOs have claimed that the movement of thousands of men to strange foreign countries where there will be lots of alcohol and horniness will result in the enslavement of women for the purposes of sexual pleasure. Obviously. And every time they have simply doubled the made-up scare figures from the last international sporting event, to make it look like this problem of sport/sex/slavery gets worse year on year. Yet each year it is proved false.

    This myth tries to make every sports fan a sex criminal. No matter what the sport is, or in what country it is in. These anti-prostitution groups need to in invent a victim that does not exist in order to get press attention.

    I do not like the idea of people getting the wrong information and believing lies, no matter what the topic is. The Sex trafficking, slavery issue is one of the biggest lies being told today. It is amazing to me how people will believe such lies so easily. The media is to blame for this. I wonder why they feel such a need to report wrong stats, numbers and information about this topic without doing proper research.

    While this may happen in very rare limited situations, the media will say that millions of people are sex slaves without doing any real research on the topic. Only taking the word of special interest anti-prostitution groups which need to generate money in the form of huge government grants from taxpayers, and charities. These “non profit” group’s employees make huge salaries, therefore they need to lobby the government, and inflate and invent victims in order to get more money into their organizations. If you look into how many real kidnapped forced against their will sex slaves there are, and not just take the anti-prostitution groups word for it. You will be very surprised.

    Where are all the forced sex slaves? I would like to meet the millions of sex slaves and see for myself if they were in fact kidnapped, and forced against their will.

    These anti-prostitution groups lobby the government in a big way, getting Politicians to truly believe their lies.

    This is an attempt to over inflate an issue in order to get more government money to these organizations. As a tax payer, voter, and resident I don’t want the government to mislead me.

    I would like to see a news organization do a full report on the lies, myths and exaggerated numbers being told about sex trafficking slaves. But they won’t do it because they are all sacred of the anti-prostitution groups, so the media continues to tell lies and only report what the anti-prostitution groups and politicians tell them to. The articles about the super bowl and sport sex slaves, has been proved wrong many times, but news organizations still report about it, as if it were fact.

    Below are the few brave souls that told the truth in the media:
    Sex Trafficking in Sports Events links:

    Dallas TV News show about super bowl sex slave myth:–114983179.html

    Dallas Newspaper article:

    Media research article:

    The Sex Trafficking/Slavery idea is used to outlaw all adult consensual prostitution, and label all men as sex offenders and wipe out all consensual prostitution.

    This hurts any real victims because it labels all sex workers as victims. Everything I heard about this problem was Americans complaining about it, but I never heard from the so-called victims themselves complaining about it. Why is that? Many of the self appointed experts complaining about this have never even met or seen a real forced against their will victim.

  2. Thank you for scrolling past the crazy. It seems a Christine Pullman has decided to vent her internal demons onto the intertubes. As should be clear from my comments policy, as long as commenters stick to lies, junk research, misinformation and refrain from threats of physical violence or ad hominem attacks, I let them be.

    Remember people: don’t feed the trolls.

    Ok, I can’t resist a little feeding. Tucked in among Christine Pullman’s poorly constructed arguments and unpleasant blindspots was an attack on Polaris, the organization at which I was a fellow last summer. I absolutely do not speak for them, but if you are interested in their budget and the salaries, you can find it all right here.

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