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Thursday, February 1, 2007
WND Misleads on Library Porn Filters
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Here's the lead of a Jan. 31 WorldNetDaily article:

While pornography itself doesn't "shoot the bullet" for sex crimes, it does "cock the trigger," and Sacramento officials who supervise their public library system have told porn addicts to go ahead and get loaded.

Despite presenting that first claim as fact, the article offers no evidence to back it up; in fact, it's merely a repeat of a quote from a conservative legal group -- who similarly offers no evidence for his assertion.

As for the paragraph's second assertion -- that the Sacramento library system has "told porn addicts to go ahead and get loaded" -- it's a wild, misleading overstatement of the facts the article presents (as is the headline: "Let the porn flow, says public library"). What appears to be happening is that, according to that conservative legal group, adult computer users at the library may request that the content filter be turned off. While offering lots of scary rhetoric, the article offers no evidence that Sacramento library computer users are, in fact, getting "loaded" on porn. Indeed, porn filters have a long history of filtering out legitimate non-porn websites, something the article doesn't mention.

Another thing the article doesn't include: the other side of the story. While the article states, "Sacramento library officials did not return messages left by WND asking for a response," certainly this was not so time-sensitive an article -- apparently based on a press release from the conservative legal group, the Pacific Justice Institute -- that WND couldn't have shown a little fairness and allowed library officals to respond.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 AM EST

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