June 9, 2005

What sort of journalist is Peter Landesman?

That's the first sentence of Jack Shafer's response to Landy's most recent outburst. The last sentence is, "For shame, Peter Landesman, for shame." Far as I'm concerned, the 879 words in between are just gravy.

[More about Landesman]

Posted by Daniel Radosh


I can't get over the fact that Landesman used the word "methinks". I just can't.

Mr. Shafer makes himself naked in his latest column (June 10, 'Landesman vs. Shafer'). All the truths -- personal and professional -- appear to me self-evident, and require no response or further comment.

Seriously, when has Peter ever been able to resist "further comment"?

Ripoff! That's the same "letter" Landesman sent to Romenesko and doubtless other outlets. Where's the juicy stuff about Daniel's immature fixation on journalistic standards, the grudging permission for him to continue stating his opinions on his own blog? I feel cheated.

It would be an eye opener for those who doubt the actual sex slavery numbers to go to the countries these minors and women are trafficked from - and dumped back in after they are riddled with AIDS and syphillis and no one wants them any more - and talk to them.

I do, every year, and every year the stories are worse and they say their friends or sisters went into the trade to replace them. There are no jobs for women and girls in developing countries - no nice Starbucks to park their cute butts, nothing legitimate to work at, and their families cannot feed them.

Then the traffickers come along in their slick cars, slick gold rings and slick cologne and ........

The real stories are WAY, WAY WORSE than Landesman's "Sex Slaves On Main STreet," because trafficked people do not talk easily to journalists (they lose an ear or a toe if they do, which makes them less desireable to clients) Promise. I grew up in the developing world; it is such a wonder to live in the US.

Armchair critics need to take a take a trip to Ukraine, Bangladesh, Bombay or Shanghai. It is the only way to really know or prove anything to do with this trade.

Shafer and I have both said repeatedly that we know that sex trafficking is a real and terrible phenomenon. There's a certain irony in being called an armchair critic by someone who apparently hasn't taken the time to learn what my criticisms are. Which doesn't even require foreign travel.

Foreign travel improves everything, especially criticism. That is why so many people do it. I am extremely flattered to find myself in such elevated company. (I don't deserve it; me, with Radosh and Shafer?) Yes, it is true, I did not have time to learn what your criticisms are. Sincere apologies. But that is only because I am always travelling.

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