In Cincinnati it's a fray between the Citizens for Community Values and CityBeat, a newspaper that is distributed for free to anyone curious about the liberal slant in the city.
First here is a little history. The Citizens for Community Values is an organization started and run by a fellow named Phil Burress.
He is a former union negotiator for trucking companies and is now working full time in his crusade to save Cincinnati from porno, pandering and strip clubs. He has been quite successful in his venture. He has also developed a reputation as a bully by doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Phil acknowledges that he was a former porn addict and by turning away from that lifestyle he saved his life.
CityBeat can be found in dispensers around the city for free. It is published on a weekly basis and it a nice source of what is going on around the greater Cincinnati area. The news and editorial content of the paper are extreme left wing and in my opinion sometimes border on being ridiculous. But then there are some columns that are very enjoyable to read. By the fact that I am aware of the papers content demonstrates that I look at it on a regular basis.
So why the fray? In it's back pages CityBeat includes many adult services advertisements. Adult services are code words for prostituion, but I suppose you cannot say what you are really selling and still maintain an air of legality. Some of the advertisements are fairly large and others are 3 line classified ads.
A month ago there was a major prostituion raid in Cincinnati, southern Indiana and northern Kentucky that shut down a number of Asian massage parlors. These establishments were well advertised in CityBeat.
The owners of the parlors/brothels were all of Asian descent. It was determined by law enforcement the owners had brought young women into the country for the sole purpose of prostitution. In an effort to give the appearance of legality the owners stated they were merely receiving 100% of the money the ladies obtained for the legitimate massage and any profiting by the women was up to those women. They further admitted that was the only way the ladies were paid.
The CCV held a press conference to announce it's plans to require CityBeat to stop running ads for adult services. The organization had signatures of prominent Cincinnati officials on it's petition. CityBeat was not invited to attend the conference. CityBeat later unleased an editorial and held it's own press conference on Fountain Square. Their reply was they would do what they damn well pleased and would the CCV mind it's own business.
In my opinion, people that are looking for prostitution are going to find it. As the world's oldest profession it is sadly not going away. It is a sad, sad business that is morally, physically and spiritually degrading to both parties. I have to agree with the Citizens Committee when they said that CityBeat's continuation of the ads is all about money. Those ads pay the rent.
On the other hand, CityBeat points out that other publications, such as the phone directory also carry those advertisements.
What really bothers me is what touched off this debate. One of the indicted owners of the Asian massage parlors admitted to the police that she had driven 40,000 miles this past year delivering girls to massage parlors throughout the country. To get this same lady out of jail, her bail was set at $50,000 cash. Her husband posted the bail by reaching in his pocket for a large roll of bills and pulled out $50K, handed it to the baliff and stuffed the rest in his slacks.
These people are making a very large amount of money by dealing in human trafficking aka slavery. If CityBeat continues to run ads promoting this type of business, they are turning a blind eye to a shameful problem. And that is wrong!
150 years ago in this same part of the country were printing firms that produced newspapers and posted advertisements for slave auctions. The Toni Morrison book, movie and opera about Margaret Garner, the escaped slave that killed her daughter, to prevent her child from being returned to slavery actually occurred not far from where I now sit.
I would think that CityBeat, a liberal publication that prides itself on sharing the views of the downtrodden and promotes freedom and free thought, would abhor slavery. Yet they are vehement in their right to publish advertisements for businesses that promote human trafficking.
Why would they want to stand toe to toe with those printers and publishers that in years gone by printed posters announcing sales of slaves? Were not those same enteprenuers as culpable in the slave trade as the slave owners?
I'll tell you the reason. Money!