Sunday, May 22, 2005

Sex trafficking in Dubai - hetq
Investigative Journalists of Armenia

A series of 12 reports posted over the last three months on prostitution in Dubai.

Thanks to Secret Dubai for the link. Read her posting as well.

Read the hetq series and decide for yourself how much of it is true. The writers don't have the credibility of a prominent news organization like Newsweek; their reports are based on considerable investigation and interviewing, and they have reported the results.

hetq concludes that the sex trade in Dubai is tolerated by officials and some of those officials profit from it.

You might conclude the same thing from investigative reporting of the sex trade in London or Las Vegas or, even, family-oriented Orlando. Others might say, based on the same reporting, that if your city is an economy based on the free flow of people (e.g., tourism), then prostitution is an irradicable part of that package. Corruption of officials, then, is a byproduct of trying to control it.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

John:

Despite your Fox News-like bleatings, the Newsweek story is true. Newsweek passed the story by multiple Pentagon sources before publishing, none of whom denied it. Even Rice has refused to come out and say, in plain English, that it is false. There are far too many independent stories of this happening for it to be a fabrication.

Dubai may seem like a liberal, cosmopolitan place, but making light of the desecration of Holy Quran is still considered out of bounds. You really should be a bit more careful.

11:36 AM  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Anonymous says the Newsweek story is true. Newsweek retracted its story several days ago. It said it based the story on a single source that had proven reliable in the past. And that reliable source now was not certain of what he had read. So, for now, we live with the ambiguity.

I generally find Newsweek to be accurate, but not infallible. Newsweek and other major news organizations with a wide readership have earned that readership by their independence and their proven reliability. Fox News is not in Newsweeks' league.

The past week has given anyone interested plenty of articles explaining how these news organizations develop news that governments would rather not reveal, and why the public is right to trust these sources more than others. In short, when they print something, they are more than reasonably sure of the accuracy.

At present, Time and Newsweek have stories out about Newsweeks' coverage and where it departed from its usual editorial practice.

o TIME.com: When a Story Goes Terribly Wrong -- May. 30, 2005

o The Qur'an Question - Newsweek World News - MSNBC.com

Like me, anonymous and my readers have to read, interpret, and judge for themselves the articles that news organization develop.

I'm sure that Rice - and the Pentagon - would like to be able to deny the allegation. But she has ample evidence that individuals acting on behalf of the U.S. government are not infallible. Time will tell if Newsweek had the story right. What does appear right is it went with the story before it was certain.

A footnote: No source of news is unbiased. No source of interpretation is either (that would be, e.g., this blog). For evidence that Newsweek biases what it prints to fit the biases of its readers see Riding Sun: Newsweek: America is dead

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