The Phoenix New Times has finally gone too far and should be shut down. Its August 14th edition contains not just one, but hundreds of photographs of young children completely naked in provocative poses. How is this not child porn? According to the definition provided by Cornell Law School, child porn includes “lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any (minor).” The New Times didn’t post the pictures on its website, tellingly, they are only in the print edition (we would not link or post to them regardless). Somewhat less offensive pictures are on the website, such as the cover picture.
The New Times’ excuse is that the children’s mother took the pictures as “art.” That doesn’t get around the law however. Because then any child pornographer could use that excuse (“Johnny’s mom took the pictures and said it was ok for me to display them for anyone who wants to see them”). Parents have been prosecuted before for sharing naked pictures of their children .
What is the difference between this and what the Phoenix New Times did? Marc Greenberg and Jeff Libman ran a website (like the Phoenix New Times runs a newspaper/website) which provided nude pictures of children modeling, some with the permission of their parents. The two men were prosecuted for child porn, and the court found that posing in yoga positions was enough to constitute sexually suggestive photographs. Similarly, the children in the New Times photos are posing in what looks like yoga/sexually suggestive positions.
ABC-15 covered the story, and says the Phoenix Police is investigating. Let’s hope some family groups get involved and have the New Times prosecuted. This is outrageous. If allowed to continue, it only encourages pedophiles, because it whets their appetite for more, and their next prey will not have the approval of their parents, since very few parents permit their children to be exploited.
Consider the audience – a look through the Phoenix New Times reveals that their readership is the “prurient” type, based on the hundreds of pornographic adult types of ads it contains. This is evidence the photographs were not displayed as “art” but rather to appeal to the prurient interests of its readership. If they had been meant as “art,” they would have been featured in an art magazine, not an “adult entertainment magazine” as many refer to the New Times.