Spin Control

Up for discussion: The best way to illustrate sex trafficking?

this is a screen shot of the Senate Republican Caucus web site and the photo it was using to  illustrate a hearing on sex trafficking legislation. The site was taken down Wednesday morning. (Senate Republican Caucus)
this is a screen shot of the Senate Republican Caucus web site and the photo it was using to illustrate a hearing on sex trafficking legislation. The site was taken down Wednesday morning. (Senate Republican Caucus)

OLYMPIA -- Submitted for your approval, as Rod Serling used to say at the beginning of "Twilight Zone." Or disapproval, as the case may be.

Until this morning, this was the photo the Senate Republican Caucus web site used to illustrate last week's hearing by the Law and Justice Committee on Sex Trafficking. You may recall it as the hearing at Gonzaga Law School.

Or you may recall it as the hearing where Shared Hope International praised the Legislature for its work to make it easier to crack down on sex traffickers and child prostitution. Washington got an A for its laws fighting sex trafficking. Over in Idaho, they were getting a D.

This morning, the Senate Republican Caucus web site was down, and the photo was removed, although a spokesman for Committee Chairman Mike Padden said that was probably a coincidence. The hearing was more than a week ago, Eric Campbell said, and the site was rotating features to get more current things up.

Padden said later that he didn't select the photo, and hadn't even seen it before it was removed.

"I would have not put it  up. I don't approve of it," Padden said, adding minorities are more likely to be victims of sex trafficking.

We should note that this is a "stock photo", one that has been used other places to illustrate sex trafficking or child pornography, primarily on web sites with ties to religious organizations.  In some versions of the image, the hands over the mouth don't seem to be quite as dark as in the above image.

What grade should the SRC get for its photo selection?

 




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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