MSNBC's Politically-Correct Kabuki Dance on Exploited Boy

You know the old challenge: try to describe a spiral staircase without using your hands.

This evening's Abrams Report on MSNBC managed to pull off an equally impressive feat: describing a gay porn and sexual exploitation ring without mentioning that it was just that, or indeed even that males were involved.

It goes without saying that there are all sorts of predators on the internet, including many adult heterosexual men seeking to exploit underage girls. The purpose of this report is not to single out gays, but to draw attention to the PC-manner in which MSNBC approached an issue.

Abrams Report guest host Lisa Daniels had as her guest NY Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald. In this Times article, Eichenwald had broken the story of Justin, a young teenager who had hooked up a web cam, and in looking for friends on the internet, was gradually lured into becoming an internet porn star. In the segment, and in seeing him elsewhere on air, Eichenwald comes across as a good guy and a solid professional. Particularly in light of his employment at the NY Times, he deserves credit for taking up the story in the first place.

In discussing the perpetrators, Daniels and Eichenwald referred to them variously as "they" and "the predators," with Eichenwald going so far as to call them "evil." But neither ever managed to mention that the consumers of the porn were men. For all we knew, these were Desperate Housewives on line. But in fact, as Eichenwald did reveal in his Times article, this was a gay porn ring, and indeed the abuse went beyond the internet - Justin ultimately was physically molested by a number of men.

If the tables were turned and a young girl had been similarly exploited, would MSNBC have avoided mentioning that the perpetrators were males? It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the Daniels/Eichwenwald Kabuki dance reflected a conscious effort to avoid invoking the homosexual angle in the story.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.