Robert Kraft! Robert Kraft! Robert Kraft! It felt like every third item on the Blogging Blue Twitter feed was about Robert Kraft. It felt like every fourth item on my Facebook timeline was about Robert Kraft. Robert Kraft was all over my news feeds. Robert Kraft was the top headline on every media site that I visited. Now Robert Kraft is an old white billionaire who happens to own the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots…which makes him a celebrity of sorts…and news worthy. Well he is going to be charged with soliciting a prostitute in Florida. He apparently is on video engaging in a sex act with a woman in a massage parlor.
Well, I saw this item so often, exactly everywhere, that I didn’t care. And I didn’t bother to read any of the articles. And finally after the umpteenth time, I commented somewhere: “why should we care” that some old rich guy is getting a misdemeanor ticket for soliciting a prostitute. Well then I promptly got scolded and rightfully so. And I read an article. And the Robert Kraft story is fake news.
The real story is the women at the message parlor are being trafficked. And they were promised one thing and enslaved and forced to conduct sex work. This is the story. This is the headline. This is the real news. Why isn’t this up front and the topic at hand?
According to Sheriff William Snyder of Martin County, whose agency is also involved in the probe, more than 300 men caught as part of the broader investigation eventually will face charges.
“I know the story is about Kraft, but the bigger story in the moral universe is that these are trafficked women,” Snyder said. “These are women that are brought here from China under some kind of ruse, some promise of a job that never materialized because it was never there in the first place.”
I don’t even know where to go with this. Dozens of immigrant women are being abused and all the media can see is a celebrity got caught doing something wrong. The whole story gets missed…well not the whole story…but the sex trafficking is way down in the stories. And instead of wondering how we can help these women, the writers wonder what the NFL is going to do to Mr. Kraft. Here I can safely say…who the flock cares!
(And to diverge just a moment. While the president continues to harp about needing a wall along our southern border to prevent sex trafficking…right in his own back yard is a sex trafficking operation…Jupiter is twenty minutes from Mar-a-Lago…and the victims probably didn’t come across our southern border.)
So at what point do we hold our press accountable to reporting the priority story? How do we get away from this culture of celebrity worship? When do we stop worshiping sports figures? How do we get back to the moral high ground instead of worship the power of the dollar?
How about: Sex Trafficking Ring Busted Near Mar-a-Lago for the headline?