Friday, March 6, 2009

Yes, it's ALL Craigslists fault....What's next, suing street corners?

Yes, it's ALL Craigslists fault....What's next, suing street corners?

From CNN -
Lawsuit accuses craigslist of promoting prostitution

(CNN) -- "An Illinois sheriff filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the owners of craigslist, accusing the popular national classified-ad Web site of knowingly promoting prostitution.
"Craigslist is the single largest source of prostitution in the nation," says Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart."

Ah, another great publicity stunt from Sheriff Tom Dart. You may have recalled his earlier foray on the national stage when he singlehandedly imposed a moratorium on foreclosure evictions in his county. While some hailed Dart as a hero in the foreclosure wars, others called for the sheriff to be held in contempt of court for not performing his sworn duty. Yeah, that guy.

Well his latest battle seems to be with craigslist.

(CNN) - "Dart said. "Missing children, runaways, abused women and women trafficked in from foreign countries are routinely forced to have sex with strangers because they're being pimped on craigslist."

The FBI found more than 2,800 child prostitution ads posted on craigslist, with Chicago, Illinois, in the top 10 cities for juvenile prostitution, Dart said.

The sheriff also noted instances of what he said was child neglect while parents were engaged in activity solicited on the Web site."


Now folks, let's be realistic for a minute, if we could. Prostitution, including child prostitution, has been going on long before craigslist. It will continue long after craigslist. When the next thing better than craigslist shows up, people will use it to sell sex.

Take newspaper ads. I personally cut my comedy teeth with a bit where I read the funniest ads out of our local newspapers "adult services" section. Those shits were hilarious! "Hott ass on a platter" "Ride my Love Rocket" Comedy gold! But it never occurred to anyone to sue the paper for printing the ads, or to blame newspapers for being the "largest source of call girl prostitution". No one sued the yellow pages for the "escorts" section. (Take a look at your yellow pages in the escorts and see for yourself what they are selling). Because we all knew that the ADVERTISING MEDIUM (ie, newspaper, phone book, what have you) was not liable for the use or non use of any of it's advertisers. Because the phone book company had too much to do to ensure everyone is obeying the law that uses their service. You don't sue the yellow pages for listing a bad auto mechanic. You sue the mechanic.

But Sheriff Dart wants to sue the messenger. Maybe because he can't or won't stop the human trafficking and child prostitution in his district, and he thinks it'll look better on the re-election campaign to find someone to blame. Fighting child prostitution really brings in the votes, and it is much easier to spend time in court with a lawsuit to craigslist, than to actually spend time on the streets shutting the actual criminal down. It doesn't matter that suing craigslist will not stop prostitution any more than suing Ziploc baggies will stop people from selling weed. It doesn't matter that craigslist may actually be a helpful partner in shutting down illegal activity, as mentioned by executives at craigslist:

(from CNN)- "In an e-mailed statement, craigslist told CNN it had not seen Dart's complaint but that "craigslist is an extremely unwise choice for those intent on committing crimes, since criminals inevitably leave an electronic trail to themselves that law enforcement officers will follow."

So Dart once again sounds like he is helping the citizens of IL, but instead is really just refusing to do his job, and is enjoying the glow of the media spotlight. But this IL citizen, for one, thinks that it is time that Dart focused his efforts on stopping the actual criminals instead of scapegoating his own ineptitude onto advertisers like craigslist.

I hear his next lawsuit is going to be suing the corner of Grand and Ashland for promoting crack dealing.

God Bless Illinois, we're gonna need it.


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