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March 10, 2020

CNS News: You’ve Heard of Harvey Weinstein. But How About the ‘Dirty Dozen’?

Originally Published at CNS News

By Jeffrey M. McCall

Two recent news happenings are indicative of the media’s selective interest in dealing with the cultural problems associated with sexual corruption and misbehavior.

The trial and conviction of Hollywood bigshot Harvey Weinstein generated saturation coverage from all major news outlets. The Weinstein story, which broke over two years ago, helped bring attention to the “Me Too” movement. This sort of news coverage of a serious societal problem was long overdue.  Reporting of sexual assault and other predatory behaviors need focused media attention if the nation is ever to confront and effectively deal with this ill. The Weinstein case helped get this topic onto the nation’s news agenda.

Last month, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation released its “Dirty Dozen List,” featuring twelve entities determined by the NCOSE to be “major contributor[s] to sexual exploitation.” The list includes media outlets such as Netflix, Amazon and Sports Illustrated for producing what the NCOSE views as sexually graphic and exploitive content.  Internet/social media sites such as Google, Twitter and TikTok are on the list because the NCOSE says they facilitate distribution of coarse content, often with insufficient efforts to protect youth from porn or “grooming” efforts of online predators.

Also included is the Visa credit card company, which allows processing of payments to pornography companies peddling themes of sexual violence, incest and other destructive content.

The state of Nevada also earned its place in the dirty dozen. Legalized prostitution in that state plays a dangerous role in sex trafficking.

In contrast to the journalism industry’s keen focus on Weinstein, news coverage of the “Dirty Dozen List” was practically zilch. The news industry collectively yawned to the broad evidence provided by the NCOSE that corporate and institutional forces are combining to degrade the culture. This broad-based corporate negligence plays a key role in normalizing a culture of sexual exploitation, giving permission to and creating countless Weinsteins across the nation.

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