Stupid Media Watch: Utah Paper Conveniently Overlooks the Obvious

By Jun 27, 2006

In its ongoing one-sided coverage of Utah’s misnamed child-protection do-not-e-mail registry, the Deseret Morning News ran a blurb last week headlined “Anti-Porn Registry is Defended” that should have been headlined “Anti-Porn Registry is Demonstrable Failure.”

But an accurate headline would have forced the paper to rethink its pro-registry stand.

Ben Winslow led the June 20 article with the results of an interview with one of the registry’s users: “Tarryn Galloway thought signing up her 10-year-old son Kasey for Utah’s new Child Protection Registry would keep his e-mail box free from porn spam,” the article began.

“‘I have three boys and I signed up all three the day the site came live,’ she said Tuesday,” the article continued. “‘Two of my children continued to receive pornographic e-mail.’”

First, where are Galloway’s boys going that they’re getting all this porn? OK, forget we asked that question. But we do wonder if it has it occurred to this woman that the kids’ computer should be set up in the living room and never used unsupervised.

One would think the article would contain some follow-up to Galloway’s claim that the registry didn’t work. But then one would be mistaken.

The article simply blew by Galloway’s inconvenient little tidbit and went on to report that the Utah Parent Teacher Association had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the registry in a lawsuit Utah is defending, and said the registry is a bipartisan effort.

That Republicans and Democrats are equally stupid in Utah isn’t news. But shouldn’t the Deseret News’ reporters and editors be just a little curious over its source’s contention that the state’s so-called child-protection no-e-mail list isn’t working?

Oh, hell. Forget we asked that question, too.