Fire Cat Kitty, a sex worker advocate here in Halifax, recently blogged what is, to my mind, the best commentary on the non-issue brought up by Sun News:
“What bothers me about this story.. is that it is a story. It bothers me that while there are such serious issues we should be talking about in regards to sex work and prostitution in this country, we are focusing on someones visit to a place in ‘96 because sex work may have happened there (and yes I would say this regardless of who the leader in question is). It bothers me that sex workers are still, in 2011, being used to discredit elections and the political process while the issues that they face are being ignored.
I suppose I was a bit naïve to think that will all the violence, court cases, and funding cuts that happened this year that there would be space in this election where we could talk about the critical issues facing sex workers, and not the space that they may or may not have shared with politicians. I pleaded with the TV for someone ask the leaders how they would work to stop the violence against women and address the stigma that sex workers face. I wanted someone to ask the leaders if they believe that that the health and safety of community can be determined by the health and safety its most marginalized. I wanted some sense through this campaign that nationally we had our priorities straight – because lives, not newspaper sales or joke books or water cooler chatter, depend on it. “
I really can’t state it any better than that. Sex work is a serious political issue that deserves our attention as something far more than a way to smear opposing politicians.
This says far more about Sun News than it says about Jack Layton and the NDP. I refuse to discuss the sexual mores of Jack Layton circa 1995 until there is some discussion of the journalistic mores of Sun News Network circa 2011. They cited an unnamed source to broadcast the contents of a confidential police notebook in a transparent attempt at smearing a Federal politician during the final days of an election campaign. That’s more than just unethical. I’m pretty sure it’s actually illegal. If this is what we can come to expect from the network, then their broadcasting license should be revoked right now.