>BASH ON ASH
Ashton and Demi's publicity machine: Congratulations to Village Voice Media for standing up to these self-serving hypocrite celebrities ("Real Men Get Their Facts Straight," Martin Cizmar, Ellis Conklin, and Kristen Hinman, June 30; "Stuck in Trafficking," Tony Ortega, July 7).
They all seem to have causes to promote. It is just another way of keeping themselves in front of the media. Who could possibly be for abusing children anyway? It is hardly a controversial position to take.
If Demi [Moore] and Ashton [Kutcher] are so concerned about trafficking, why don't they [pay to send] people on undercover age-verifying appointments [based on] Backpage.com escort ads? [Moore] could take some of that $150 million net worth of hers and hire undercover private cops all day to verify the ages of escorts and report the findings to the authorities.
Is she afraid of the results?
I get the impression that Moore wants to talk about the issue [rather than] do something about the issue. In my opinion, it is all about publicity.
Erin Grant, city unavailable
Of course child prostitutes are victims, Andrea: The whole tone of this article misrepresents the issue at hand. The authors present their criticisms as if the children involved were "taking up prostitution" and "becoming whores." What an outrage!
Children trafficked into the sex trade are victims. Whether there is one or 1,000 victims, it is a profoundly disturbing violation of human rights. How can you argue that?
Andrea Martin, city unavailable
Way to go, celebrity hypocrites!: Yawn, Hollyweird yet again is trying to play moral detective so [celebrities] can break their arms patting themselves on the back.
How hard they must work to absolve their sins. Keep up the good work, hypocrites.
Joe West, city unavailable
Lucy feels "ridiculous," misses the point: Seems Village Voice [Media] is having a hard time acknowledging the fact that this issue is hidden way under the radar.
Kids don't run to the police (or to any trustworthy adult, for that matter) when they are sexually violated. And adults do a fantastic job of making sure that no one ever knows.
I feel ridiculous stating something so obvious, but I guess [VVM] didn't know something that I thought everyone knew.
Lucy O'Bryan, city unavailable
There's no con to what VVM is reporting: At least [VVM] posted some real numbers. It also talks about where the stats "100,000 to 300,000" came from.
VVM talks about different agencies and their efforts. Overall, it's a pretty decent breakdown.
Most important, I think, [the VVM articles] talk about how little money is going toward shelters, which probably is where our tax dollars should be going.
The complete article is much more than spouting out a headline number. However, even if it was, where would the con be?
Kevin Phillips, city unavailable
Celebrities should put money toward shelters: I think we all, including VVM, agree that child prostitution is a terrible problem. The point is that Ashton's and others' efforts are silly, narcissistic, and ineffective.
What exactly is the target demographic of [his] ads? Pedophiles? They are going to see Sean Penn ironing a sandwich and decide to change their ways?
This is just another outlet for attention-starved celebrities to stoke their egos. One step down on the desperation ladder from posing nude for PETA.
If they truly cared about the cause, they would remove their images and their egos from the equation and put their money and effort toward [for instance] the shelters mentioned in this article.
I hope [these celebrities'] efforts save at least one person, but I would prefer my tax dollars go toward ventures that save many more than that — and without promoting [the agendas of] prohibitionists and other special interests.
Zach Henry, city unavailable