The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Letting hookers off the hook

News media has placed a halo where it should not be placed

The only profession in the state of New York getting more media coverage than Ben Bernanke’s right now is prostitution. Can you really call is a profession? Maybe not, but let’s just go with it for the purposes of discussion.

Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York, resigned last week from his post after it came out through a federal wiretapping sting that he had solicited the services of a prostitute. The wiretap revealed one particular incident that took place in mid-February (on Feb. 13, actually. Happy Valentine’s Day, Mrs. Spitzer) in Washington D.C., where Spitzer patronized the sexual services of “Kristen,” real name Ashley Alexandra Dupré. According to news reports and her MySpace page, Dupré is an aspiring singer from a broken home and a troubled past. As of late Monday afternoon, Dupré’s MySpace page had 9,211,724 views. We’re not really sure how many visitors Ashley had a week ago, but we’ll venture to guess that it was far less than 9,211,723.

We have to give credit to one of our favorite talk show hosts Joel McHale of “The Soup” for this next point. Why did so many news stations interview prostitutes? These interviews basically gave reporters the chance to ask the inappropriate questions that you know they have been dying to ask for years. The interviewees were also given the opportunity in the interviews to defend their professions and the lives they lead. For instance, in an interview with the “Today Show,” former call girl Natalie McLennan was asked how realistic the movie “Pretty Woman” was. McLennan said that the movie was like a “Cinderella story.” This Friday, ABC’s program “20/20” will feature interviews of prostitutes at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch by Diane Sawyer. According to the TV Newser blog, Ranch owner Dennis Hof said that Sawyer “really hit it off” with the ladies.

Reports have said that with prostitution scandals similar to the Spitzer case, it is the hooker, not the male solicitor, who is usually at fault and punished. Well, thank you, media, you certainly are turning this negative trend around. The “johns,” or the men using prostitution services, should not be let off the hook (no pun intended), but the women should not be put on a pedestal either. Prostitution is an illegal profession that victimizes and exploits women and men alike – it should not be praised or redeemed through sensational TV interviews that are done purely to gain viewers. What is the real news value here?

It is the media that has brought Dupré and her sad story into the spotlight. We’ll put money on the fact that her music career will be more successful than the average aspiring MySpace songstress. We won’t put $80,000 on it, but we’ll put money on it.

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