The Village Voice attacks CNN's Amber Lyon

Amber Lyon

Amber Lyon

CNN’s Amber Lyon Ambushed Craigslist — But She Won’t Talk to The Village Voice:

Not satisfied with going after Ashton Kutcher and his crusade against human trafficking The Village Voice has taken to going after CNN reporter Amber Lyon.

For those of you who may not know Amber Lyon has been instrumental in reporting on human trafficking in the United States. She is probably most famous for her ‘ambush’ interview of Craig Newmark, the Craig in craigslist. In the interview she asked Mr. Newmark about the obvious prostitution ads on craigslist to which Mr. Newmark had no answer. A lot of activists say that this was crucial into getting craigslist to shut down their adult/erotic services sections worldwide.

Now in the ultimate case of the pot calling the kettle black The Village Voice has accused Ms. Lyon of bad journalism. That’s funny coming from The Village Voice since their parent company, Village Voice Media, owns The craigslist clone that still has a plethora of ads where children and women are bought and sold into sexual slavery.

Once again The Village Voice claims that this is a First amendment issue which couldn’t be further from the truth. This has always been a money issue as in Village Voice Media is making money hand over fist through the prostitution ads on backpage.

The fact that The Village Voice is supporting backpage’s trafficking ads shows not only that they have zero objectivity but zero credibility as well.

Backpage responds to CNN


Online sex ads complicate crackdowns on teen trafficking:

This is an article from CNN’s Amber Lyon, she of the Craig Newmark ‘ambush’ interview. It’s a follow-up to craigslist shutting down its adult services section. In it she talks about how the human trafficking ads have migrated to the Village Voice Meida owned backpage.

A representative from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says that only a small fraction of the human trafficking and prostitution ads get referred to them.

When asked for comment backpage had this to say… told CNN that it promptly responds to law enforcement inquiries, and says the site includes links to help users notify the NCMEC if they identify potential abuses.

Now where have I heard that response before? Oh that’s right, that used to be the same response craigslist gave when asked the same question. How does that saying go? Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

I’ll give Ms. Lyon plenty of credit. She didn’t hesitate to follow the traffic to backpage. I can only hope that she soon calls Village Voice Media out on the carpet as I have been doing before craigslist shut down adult services.

Craig Newmark says he was ambushed by CNN


Reporter’s Sex-Trafficking Questions Silences Craigslist Founder:

I’ve posted before about how craigslist founder Craig Newmark was stunned into silence by CNN reporter Amber Lyon when she approached him with sex ads from craigslist. In case you missed it you can see the video here.

In this article from CBS News this is what a craigslist ‘spokeswoman’, probably Susan MacTavish, said in e-mail to CBS…

In an e-mailed statement to, a spokeswoman wrote that the reporter “approached Craig under false pretenses for this “ambush” interview. It was a direct violation of the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics which states that a journalist should “Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public.”

Considering how much both Buckmaster and Newmark hem and haw when it comes to the issues of prostitution and human trafficking I would most definitely say that traditional open methods have not yielded information.

Again I have to point out the irony since Mr. Newmark is so interested in transparency in politics yet no transparency for the website he created.

Buckmaster says craigslist is vigilant. I say he’s lying


Craigslist vigilant in barring child sex ads:

I like this new picture of Jimmy B. Makes him look even more evil. I’ll be alternating between this one and the classic one. And by vigilant he must mean oblivious but I digress.

Anyway craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster decided to come down from his ivory tower long enough to respond to the expose about craigslist prostitution and human trafficking that CNN had. Let’s discuss some quotes from Mr. Buckmaster.

As all people of conscience will agree, human trafficking and child exploitation are utterly despicable and horrendous crimes.

Except if he was a man of conscience he would shut down the adult services section. Man of cash is more like it. Can’t give up that $30 Million in sex ad money.

In contrast with the epidemic numbers often cited for the nation as a whole, the incidence of such crimes is low and getting lower on Craigslist because of the comprehensive preventive measures we have taken. Some experts now liken the relative rarity on Craigslist to “looking for a needle in a haystack.”

It’s a little bigger than the ‘needle in the haystack’. The true needle in the haystack is the amount of cases of trafficking and child prostitution that are actually caught and prosecuted. The ones that happen on craigslist that aren’t caught are probably at least ten times more than the ones that are caught. That’s more like a jackhammer in a haystack.

Nevertheless, any misuse of our site whatsoever in facilitating such unspeakable crimes is unacceptable, and we will continue to work tirelessly, in tandem with law enforcement and key nonprofits, to ensure that any victims receive the assistance they desperately need and deserve, and that those responsible are imprisoned.

And by work tirelessly they mean do very little as they have been. Law enforcement says they get very little assistance from craigslist. Nonprofits have been returning monies. If you cared about the victims you would close adult services down.

We believe Craigslist is one of the few bright spots and success stories in the fight against these terrible scourges.

Success? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

We’ve been told as much by experts on the front lines of this fight, many of whom we have met with, and many of whom have shared helpful suggestions that we have incorporated in our approach.

That’s funny. The people who I’ve spoken with that were actual victims of trafficking say that craigslist is helping the scourge.

Craigslist is virtually alone among advertising venues in vigorously combating these problems.

Ah, the craigslist conundrum has reared its head again. How can you combat a problem that you are causing?

Indeed, to our knowledge, only Craigslist, out of countless venues, takes any of the following measures, let alone all of them:

• Educating and encouraging users to report trafficking and exploitation

• Prominently featuring anti-trafficking and exploitation resources

• Creating specialized search interfaces for law enforcement

• Providing support for law enforcement anti-crime sweeps and stings

• Actively participating in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s cyber-tipline program

• Leading all awareness efforts for the National Trafficking Hotline

• Meeting regularly with experts at nonprofits and in law enforcement

• Manually reviewing every adult service ad before posting

• Requiring phone verification for every adult service ad

• Implementing the PICS content labeling system.

Other sites go as far as to not let these ads on their site. I know that would mean you wouldn’t get $30 Million next year but I think people are more important. That’s just me.

Last year, we began manual screening of each adult services ad before its posting, and those unwilling to conform to Craigslist’s standards left in droves for the many venues that do not screen ads. This migration is a matter of public record.

When approached with one of your ‘manually screened’ adult services ads Craig Newmark had no explanation as to why it was approved. I seriously doubt that the ads are being manually screened with just your 24 employees. I wonder if those 24 employees are just lawyers. Or maybe that’s the amount of people who carry Jim Buckmaster on his Pharaoh-like carriage.

We are aware that some have called for “shutting down” the adult services section of Craigslist. Fortunately, most concerned parties seem to realize that declassifying adult services ads back into Craigslist personals, services, and other categories, and offsite to venues that have no interest in combating trafficking and exploitation or in assisting law enforcement, would simply undo all the progress we have made,

Again this is the conundrum. How can you combat a problem that you create? If you shut down adult services and casual encounters and the ads leak into other sections of the site wouldn’t that be where the community policing that you tout so loudly come into play. Besides, shutting down adult services and getting prostitution and trafficking off your site would cause a huge decline in prostitution and trafficking. Since craigslist is seen as a ‘mainstream’ site people think that somehow that the sex ads on your site are more ‘legitimate’ than these other much smaller sites that the traffic may go to. And again your assistance to law enforcement is reactive and not proactive.

Jim Buckmaster, I call you a liar sir. I think that you personally do not care one iota about the plight of victims of prostitution and human trafficking. If you did you would actually spend money to do something about and shut down adult services not just in the US but the erotic services section worldwide.

And since you also make money from the promotion of prostitution I feel that unequivocally you are in fact the country’s if not the world’s largest pimp.

Craigslist: The WalMart of human trafficking

Sold on Craigslist: Critics say sex ad crackdown inadequate:

I implore you to please watch the entire video from CNN. Not only will you see that the victims of human trafficking on craigslist are real but it will also show you the boldface lies that craigslist puts out.

I used to cut Craig Newmark some slack since craigslist really isn’t his company anymore but after seeing how weaselly he was acting about the sex ads he gets no more slack from me. The fact that craigslist says that they monitor every ad for prostitution and then Newmark asks Amber Lyon if the ad had been reported just makes me sick. The hypocrisy could not be any more blatant. Not to mention that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have only received 100 calls from craigslist about child prostitution when the amount of children that are trafficked on craigslist are many times more than that.

The other blatant lie that Newmark puts forth is that craigslist does more to curb human trafficking than any other site. That is the biggest load of crap ever. As I’ve mentioned before my friend Greg Collier runs and not once has an ad for human trafficking or child prostitution ever been posted on the site. As Greg likes to say it is possible to run a classifieds site without these ads and still remain profitable. I hate to keep hitting you over the head with the Geebo sledgehammer but as far as I am concerned Geebo really is the shining example of the free classifieds industry.

Please read the text of the article too to see exactly what kind of human trafficking and child prostitution are happening on craigslist.

But I want to talk about what craigslist’s mouthpiece, Susan MacTavish, had to say…

Craigslist spokeswoman Susan MacTavish told CNN in an e-mail that of all the websites that offer adult services ads, Craigslist is the leader in pushing users to report any suspected violation. She said the site cooperates fully with law enforcement, and that fewer than one ad in 10,000 meets the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s guidelines for anti-trafficking action.

MacTavish also noted that Craigslist requires anyone posting an ad to give the website a phone number, which is verified as being real. She said that because Craigslist follows the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s guidelines, the percentage of ads in its adult services section that are in fact children is “effectively zero.”

If by “effectively zero” she means a cubic ass-ton then she would be correct. Watching the craigslist higher-ups in action is really like watching the propaganda arm of a failing dictatorship.

Look, if you use craigslist for whatever reason, I don’t care if it’s buying a couch or trying to find kittens a home, you are supporting human trafficking and child prostitution. The only way craigslist is going to change anything is if they are hurt in their pocketbooks, which I would guess Craig Newmark actually carries after watching him in action.

Again I urge you to please show your friends this site. Post it on Facebook or Twitter or whatever social networking site you may use. People need to know that human trafficking is going on in our very own country and is being facilitated by one of the most popular sites in the world.

CNN on craigslist child prostitution

Child prostitutes sell themselves on Craigslist:

This is the best article yet that I’ve read on the problem of child prostitution on craigslist. I’m not going to quote the meat of the article because this is one of those articles that needs to be read in its entirety.

However I will quote a part where craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster thinks he’s part of the solution instead of part of the problem…

Craigslist executives said they abhor the fact that their site is being used for child prostitution but believe that the problem could be harder to track if they removed the category.

“It would be a bigger problem if we removed that category and had those ads spread throughout the site,” said Jim Buckmaster, chief executive officer of Craigslist.

Really Jim? If you shut down the erotic services section of craigslist where would these ads go? Used cars? Furniture? Pets? Real Estate? You mean the places where people who don’t use hookers would actually see the ads and actually flag them? Horrors, we can’t have that now can we Jim?

Prostitution and child prostitution is on the rise because of craigslist. Yes there are other sites out there that cater to this kind of depravity but in my opinion craigslist is the #1 offender. What’s it going to take Jim before you eliminate the erotic services section? I mean there have already been rapes, robberies, and shootings.

For a website that flaunts how socially responsible it is it doesn’t seem to be putting its words into action.

CNN: Cadaver News Network

CNN sues over FEMA dead body request:

In response to FEMA’s request for news outlets to not photograph the dead bodies left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina by filing a lawsuit. Because of that, a federal judge has issued a restraining order against the ban. I guess we can expect to see the pictures of someone’s family member found dead in their house after they’ve been left there for weeks all in the name of the “free flow of information”. Check out the arrogance of CNN’s Anderson Cooper…

“The government cannot be allowed to hinder the free flow of information,” said CNN journalist Anderson Cooper. “That’s what we say in the lawsuit.”

I guess the media cannot be allowed to have a sense of decency and decorum either. No wonder CNN’s ratings have been on the slide for years.

UPDATE: The federal government has dropped the ban in response to the lawsuit. I guess we can look forward to Anderson Cooper’s Cadaver Variety Hour now. Believe it or not, there are some things the media doesn’t need to know.