Wall of Shame

CNN, USA Today, and other media organizations got fooled.

There's an old saying in journalism: If your mother says she loves you, check it out.

It's a facetious way of saying: Trust no one, verify everything.

Yet some of the biggest, most respected media outlets in the country failed to perform their due diligence when it came to the Schapiro study's ridiculous claims about a nationwide child trafficking epidemic.

In an era defined by fast-paced blogging and doing more with less, reporters have precious little time to document the information they're regurgitating. This leaves readers vulnerable to pseudoscience and quackery.

The following is an alphabetical list of news organizations that repeated the Schapiro study's erroneous claims:

CNN, Online sex ads complicate crackdowns on teen trafficking, September 14, 2010

Dallas Morning News, Sex trafficking of young girls could soar, January 20, 2011

Detroit Free Press, Sex sites on the web exploit nearly 160 Michigan girls monthly, experts say, January 26, 2011

Detroit Free Press, Advocates work for tougher laws, November 7, 2010

Fort Worth Examiner, Sex trafficking, Texas children bought and sold online, January 25, 2011

Grand Rapids Press, Human trafficking, exploitation on the rise in Michigan, September 6, 2010

Houston Chronicle, Faith groups tackle sex trade surrounding super bowl, February 2, 2011

Miami Herald, Girls trapped in modern-day slave trade, January 30, 2011; A walk on the seamy side, to help exploited girls, March 19, 2011

Minneapolis Star Tribune, Teen prostitutes get new status, February 26, 2011; Sexually exploited kids are victims, March 6, 2011

Minnesota Public Radio, Sex trafficking on the rise in Minnesota, March 8, 2011

MsMagazine.com, Jailing girls for men's crimes, December 8, 2010

Pegasus News, Dallas is hotspot for exploitation of adolescent girls, January 28, 2011

St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minnesota's child sex profile rising, September 8, 2010

USA Today, New efforts target child sex trafficking; more groups and activists band together, September 30, 2010

WFAA, Study counts sexually exploited girls in Texas, January 19, 2011

 
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24 comments
Erinnooi
Erinnooi

How about we all so down a little and do a better job at everything. This irresponsibility is only desguised in this instance as bad reporting, but action is powerful and we need to be more concious of what our actions are because everyone who makes a ripple in life, affects others with their actions. Peace.

Mary Silveria Howard
Mary Silveria Howard

Eskimo: "If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?" Priest: "No, not if you did not know." Eskimo: "Then why did you tell me?"

bub k
bub k

Thomas Jefferson[1743-1826] 3rd American president, author, scientist, architect, educator, and diplomat. Deist, avid separationist. "Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear." 1787 letter to his nephew

"I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature." Unknown

"Religions are all alike - founded upon fables and mythologies John Adans John Adams[1735-1826] 2d President of the United States "The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity." "The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." Treaty of Tripoly, article 11

"Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it." "But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed." Clearly the person who accepts the Church as an infallible guide will believe whatever the Church teaches." -- Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Roman Catholic philosopher

Eskimo: "If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?" Priest: "No, not if you did not know." Eskimo: "Then why did you tell me?" -- Annie Dillard, 'Pilgrim at Tinker Creek'

"I give money for church organs in the hope the organ music will distract the congregation's attention from the rest of the service." -- Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919)

"Gods always behave like the people who created them" -- Zora Neale Hurston

"Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense." -- Chapman Cohen

The world holds two classes of men - intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence." -- Abu Ala Al-Ma'arri (???? - 1059)

"No philosophy, no religion, has ever brought so glad a message to the world as this good news of Atheism." --Annie Wood Besant (1847-1933)

You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?" -- Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith

bub k
bub k

The disease concept was a panacea for many failing medical institutions adding billions of dollars to the industry and leading to a prompt evolution of pop-psychology. Research has shown that alcoholism is a choice, not a disease, and stripping alcohol abusers of their choice, by applying the disease concept, is a threat to the health of the individual. ,

bub k
bub k

The disease concept was a panacea for many failing medical institutions adding billions of dollars to the industry and leading to a prompt evolution of pop-psychology. Research has shown that alcoholism is a choice, not a disease, and stripping alcohol abusers of their choice, by applying the disease concept, is a threat to the health of the individual. ,,The Twelve Biggest Secrets of Alcoholics Anonymous Or, What They Don't Want You to Know. http://www.orange-papers.org/o...

bub k
bub k

Ask yourself this simple question: Why, when you read the Bible, are you not left in awe? Why doesn't a book written by an omniscient being leave you with a sense of wonder and amazement? If you are reading a book written by the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving creator of the universe, wouldn't you expect to be stunned by the brilliance, the clarity and the wisdom of the author? Would you not expect each new page to intoxicate you with its incredible prose and its spectacular insight? Wouldn't you expect the author to tell us things that scientists have not been able to discover yet?

Yet, when we open the Bible and actually read it, we find it is nothing like that at all. Instead of leaving us in awe, it leaves us dumbfounded by all of the nonsense and backwardness that it contains. If you read what the Bible actually says, you find that the Bible is ridiculous. The examples shown above barely scratch the surface of the Bible's numerous problems. If we are honest with ourselves, it is obvious that an "all-knowing" God had absolutely nothing to do with this book.

The reason why the Bible contains so much nonsense is because God is imaginary. The Bible is a book written thousands of years ago by primitive men. A book that advocates senseless murder, slavery and the oppression of women has no place in our society today.

Ccnevada
Ccnevada

Expand Ask why religion causes so many problems

If God were to exist, wouldn't you expect there to be a huge benefit to those who follow and obey him? Why, instead, do we see the opposite?

For example, there is growing evidence that the delusion of religion causes significant social dysfunction. Statistical research is revealing the problems that go with religion. For example, a recent article in the Journal of Religion and Society points out that religion is correlated to the significant social difficulties that we can see in America:

In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies The most theistic prosperous democracy, the U.S., is exceptional, but not in the manner Franklin predicted. The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developed democracies, sometimes spectacularly so, and almost always scores poorly. The view of the U.S. as a “shining city on the hill” to the rest of the world is falsified when it comes to basic measures of societal health. [ref] The prevailing view is that religion is harmless even if it is delusional. That turns out not to be the case. America is the most religious country of those studied in the developed world. America also has the biggest problems in terms of things like homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion.

bub k
bub k

Expand Ask why religion causes so many problems

If God were to exist, wouldn't you expect there to be a huge benefit to those who follow and obey him? Why, instead, do we see the opposite?

For example, there is growing evidence that the delusion of religion causes significant social dysfunction. Statistical research is revealing the problems that go with religion. For example, a recent article in the Journal of Religion and Society points out that religion is correlated to the significant social difficulties that we can see in America:

In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies The most theistic prosperous democracy, the U.S., is exceptional, but not in the manner Franklin predicted. The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developed democracies, sometimes spectacularly so, and almost always scores poorly. The view of the U.S. as a “shining city on the hill” to the rest of the world is falsified when it comes to basic measures of societal health. [ref] The prevailing view is that religion is harmless even if it is delusional. That turns out not to be the case. America is the most religious country of those studied in the developed world. America also has the biggest problems in terms of things like homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion.

Steve
Steve

Is this some kind of joke? Where's the rest of the article, Mr. Pinto?

Though I do agree with the premise. Any story involving any threat to children, no matter how miniscule the threat, the media goes into a frenzy.

Then our government instinctively passes broad, over-reaching laws in the name of protecting children with broad bipartisan support, of course.

PatrickO
PatrickO

Ok but how about some actual information on why the claims are ridiculous. You fault these other organizations for not doing any reporting and then you do none yourself? Like the New Times, pretending to be some hardcore underground hard news reporting entity when, in fact, you are just another big corporation tossing out content. The word "sex" gets lots of hits I suppose

Theskipps
Theskipps

I don't care if all the figures are correct, saving one girl is enough and let's face it, at least attention has been brought to this topic. The US Congress should also enact the Violence against Women Act. The lives of women and girls is at stake.

Guest
Guest

The report was focused on sex-trafficking through classified/personal ads. The problem was, the data weren't really gathered rigorously, the people who ran the study can't seem to recall some of the details of what they did, and some of the statistical procedures they used were other wrong or interpreted incorrectly.

Here's a link to a full story about the problems:

http://www.riverfronttimes.com...

DJ
DJ

I don't get it. What was the Schapiro's study claims and what is the truth? Why should I trust Nick Pinto's claims if he's not explaining himself?

2 sides to the story
2 sides to the story

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. – Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence

Hey Bub

So which holds more weight the Declaration of Independence or a letter to a nephew? Clearly his reference to Creator acknowledges his belief in God. He and all the other Founding Fathers signed off on it as well so they are on board as well. You can believe what you chose to believe but the evidence is all over our founding documents that the belief in God played a role in the formation of this nation.

MacCane
MacCane

You can choose to believe in what these men have written as it may very well suit your world experience and view. It is in fact your faith, your belief system, your religion as much as the man's who believes in an inteliigent Creator. Many see in the order of the micro and macro universes more than what any dying human can contrive or conjure. Really, then, whether one sites 50 quotes from men who doubt a Creator or another quotes 50 scriptures from the Bible, it all comes down to personal decision. Clearly, plenty of so-called atheists have killed millions of people in China, Russia, Cambodia, etc., same as so-called believers have killed millions in the name of their God. I find it satisfying to see that what the Bible teaches, if really practiced, makes for much good now and a hopeful future beyond 7-8 decades of life in troubles, if that. Believe what you want.

lmrg78
lmrg78

may God have mercy on you...

fools
fools

you must be a drunk.

Retainme
Retainme

You appear to be a somewhat of an educated person, right up until you state that God is imaginary. First, if He would be imaginary, you sure do spend an awfully long time researching Him, and put a substantial amount of time in composing your absolutely flawed and asinine arguments. You do not even begin to comprehend what faith is or what the Bible says. If you believe that you understand and have "figured out" what the Bible asserts, you are not only extremely confused, but also comical. The reason you do not understand the Bible is because the Author is the only One who can completely explain it to you. Dependence on Him for "everything" is what Christianity entails. If you completely understood the Bible and what it stands for, then you would no longer need Him and it would defeat the entire purpose. A man that takes an infant and murders it is evil, therefore there must be good if there is evil. Good comes from a morality, a morality that was created by the Creator. Once you realize how much you do not know, you will be humbled, and eager to find out how much more you don't know. May God bless you with the wisdom you so desperately need.

Suzisjule
Suzisjule

I agree, what the hell is he talking about? Makes no sense! Proving What?

Erinnooi
Erinnooi

Yes, but they didn't say what God, or how they preceive God. Not everyone is Christian!!!

Erinnooi
Erinnooi

..Thou shalt not kill....does not have "except in the case of... or in case..." after it. That is a Christian commandment from God, yet there are a lot of Christians picking up guns to fight in wars. I don't ever recall hearing of Jesus killing anyone, not even to save his own life. So if you take up that religion, do you only practice what you want to when you want to?

Dbart91
Dbart91

You know what's also really weird about this article? It's dated Thursday, March 24th---and today is Tuesday, March 22nd! Who the hell released this early, incomplete piece? There's an old saying in journalism...""Make sure you go through the proofreading and editing process!"

2 sides to the story
2 sides to the story

You are correct. I was merely responding to Bub's ascertion that Thomas Jefferson does not believe in God and it appears in his own written words in the Declaration of Independance that he does believe in a Creator/God of some sort.

 
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