I previously posted about Kat Stoeffel’s article in the New York Observer here. In it, Ms. Stoeffel questioned the journalistic integrity and objectivity of Village Voice Media-owned papers when dealing with stories about craigslist. If you don’t know why that is it’s because Village Voice Media owns the craigslist competitor backpage.com which still has an adult services section where many women and children are trafficked.
It seems that Ms. Stoeffel got under the skin of Village Voice Media executive editor Michael Lacey. He referred to Ms. Stoeffel as “someone’s senile, toothless auntie” and had the following to say about her…
“Her dubious and fusty perspective ignores the fact that countless adult ads populate the web. In fact, thousands of adult ads merely changed categories within Craigslist itself.”
Mr. Lacey is citing the Backpage credo of “since everyone else is doing it we can do it too.”
However, Mr. Lacey doesn’t stop with Ms. Stoeffel. He also invokes the name of your favorite crime blogger who was interviewed for the article…
“Moms Stoeffel then summons a twit-wit, Trench Reynolds, an authority of such gravitas that he is an anonymous blogger. He alleges that in the wide open, Wild West world of the Internet, he is of the firm opinion that Backpage.com’s adult classifieds are not monitored. In fact, in just the past few months Backpage.com has spent millions of dollars policing content to attempt, for example, to keep underage kids out of adult listings.
Despite Trench’s professed lack of knowledge, which we do not doubt for a second, anyone looking at Backpage will notice the absence of nudity-merely one of thousands of changes over the past year.”
Twit-wit huh? This coming from the so-called bastion of journalism and first amendment rights that is Village Voice Media? How droll.
First off anonymous blogger is a misnomer. While I do use a pseudonym I am hardly anonymous. I’ve been interviewed and have appeared on some of the best news shows in the country. I don’t like to brag but these are facts.
Secondly, if Backpage has made any changes to the adult section they’ve been negligible at best and invisible at worst. I may not be a journalist in the classic sense of the word but I’ve been following craigslist and Backpage crimes to know when I’m being bullshitted to by some douche in a suit. Scratch that. He probably doesn’t wear a suit but one of those popped-collar shirts with gold chains. If not he sounds like he does.
Ms. Stoeffel also brings up a good point that I had completely forgotten about…
It bears mentioning that both the AIM Group and Mr. Reynolds were sources for a 2009 Village Voice story about Craigslist.
That’s absolutely right. I was interviewed by City Pages before I realized that they were a Village Voice Media-owned outlet. I guess I do have some gravitas after all.
And lastly, I will say this about Ms. Stoeffel. I have had the honor and privilege of talking to several journalists over the years. Ms. Stoeffel is one of a handful who seemed to be actually passionate about the story she was writing and not just because it was the latest hot story to write about. She obviously cares more about the women and children being trafficked on Backpage than the sleaze at Village Voice Media do.