WND serves up another dose of it in a Dec. 29 article by Chelsea Schilling screaming "CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATS LEGALIZE CHILD PROSTITUTION." In it, Schilling treated as fact assertions by a Republican California state lawmaker, Travis Allen -- originally published by the right-wing Washington Examiner -- that a new law designed to protect youths involved in child prostitution by steering them to help instead of treating them as criminals was a legalization of child prostitution:
“[T]eenage girls (and boys) in California will soon be free to have sex in exchange for money without fear of arrest or prosecution,” Allen wrote in a column published by the Washington Examiner.
Allen acknowledged that Democrats sincerely believe the law will help child sex victims, but he issued a dire warning about the “immoral” consequences of decriminalizing child prostitution.
“Unfortunately, the reality is that the legalization of underage prostitution suffers from the fatal defect endemic to progressive-left policymaking: it ignores experience, common sense and most of all human nature — especially its darker side,” Allen explained.
“The unintended but predictable consequence of how the real villains — pimps and other traffickers in human misery — will respond to this new law isn’t difficult to foresee. Pimping and pandering will still be against the law whether it involves running adult women or young girls. But legalizing child prostitution will only incentivize the increased exploitation of underage girls. Immunity from arrest means law enforcement can’t interfere with minors engaging in prostitution — which translates into bigger and better cash flow for the pimps. Simply put, more time on the street and less time in jail means more money for pimps, and more victims for them to exploit.”
While Schilling devoted a mere two paragraphs of her article to a token defense of the law, the vast majority of her 17-paragraph araticle is devoted to Allen's attack and other criticism of it.Because Schilling has no interest in balanced reporting or even facts, she failed to ttell the full story behind the bill and how it does not, in fact, legalize child prostitution, perhaps explained best by Wonkette:
Wow! So, we have to punish child victims in order to make things tougher for those who victimize them? No! We do not, actually, because the law still allows for sex-trafficked minors to be taken into custody or be declared a dependent child of the court. Meaning that these children can still be taken off the street, but they can’t be punished and thrown in jail themselves.
Additionally, this measure actually helps fight child sex-trafficking, and takes away the leverage pimps and sex-traffickers have to keep these minors in line — the “If I go to jail, so will you” leverage — and may result in trafficked minors seeking help from the police rather than avoiding them for fear of going to jail. Ta-Da!
This legislation is the result of a combined effort from the McCain Institute and the Human Rights Project For Girls, the “There’s No Such Thing As A Child Prostitute” campaign, designed to put the blame where it belongs in cases of child sex-trafficking, treating the pimps as criminals and the minors as the victims of sexual abuse that they are.
Pilot programs in Compton and Long Beach boasted great success and, rather than boosting the income of high-profile exploiters, resulted in their arrests. A similar measure in Los Angeles passed with bipartisan support.
It’s actually a really great program, and includes a new Law Enforcement First Responder Protocol for dealing with child victims of sex-trafficking that will hopefully become the national model. It encourages providing victims with community-based services and actually helping them, rather than treating them like criminals.
Sometime after Dec. 30, though, Schilling's byline was removed and that headline was detuned to "Lawmaker: California Democrats 'legalize child prostitution.'" Near as we can tell, the content of the article was not changed; however, this marks the second time in a month that a WND article was revised after publication to the point that the original author's byline was removed. Like previous offender Joe Kovacs, Schilling appears to still be a WND employee despite her history of misinformation and falsehoods.
But the first, sensational headline is the one that sticks. And mindshare -- even if it's not true -- appears to be all that financially struggling WND cares about these days.