Missing the Story

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Missing the Story

There's burying the lede, and then there's missing it completely. I'm sure other news sources won't make the same mistake the AP did in its story on the former Boy Scout national program director who pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.

Here's what the AP said:
Douglas Sovereign Smith Jr., 61, was accused of receiving images over the Internet of children engaging in sex acts.
Here's what the stipulated facts admitted by Smith and signed by Smith and his lawyer said:
A forensic analysis was performed on the defendant's computers and computer discs, revealing a total of 520 images of child pornography, including video clips. The child pornography depicted males under the age of 18 engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Among these pornographic images were sexually explicit depictions of actual and known prepubescent males under the age of 12 years.
So how did "males under the age of 12"--what we might colloquially call "boys"--become "children?"

Meanwhile, thanks to the General, we can compare the statement of facts Smith signed this week with another statement of his from a few years back--a letter to the editor regarding the Boy Scouts' vigorous defense of their right to discriminate against gay boys and men.

Some intolerant elements in our society want to force scouting to abandon its values and to become fundamentally different. They want scouting to forego its constitutional rights, affirmed in 2000 by the Supreme Court in BSA v. Dale, and adopt fundamentally different values from the ones that helped shape the character of Mr. Collins and 106 million other young men over the past 94 years.

(Mr. Collins was (is?) general counsel of C-SPAN and an Eagle Scout, and he had written an article despairing over the Boy Scouts' being dragged into, or choosing to drag itself into, the "culture wars" by virtue of the BSA's taking a hard line in both offensive and defensive litigation over its exclusion of gays.)

0 comments in Missing the Story

Post a Comment

Missing the Story | Demagogue Copyright © 2010