Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I wasn't impressed with Nicholas Kristof's recent dispatch from Cambodia -- but today's report from Poipet has even less merit.

Kristof forks out $203 -- which he'll doubtlessly claim on expenses when he gets back to New York -- and buys not a Cambodian prostitute's freedom but an easy story with which to fill his the chance to boast to his friends and readers about his philanthropy.

He "bought" a girl's freedom. Good news for the teenager involved, of course -- but so what?

As I said when I was in Cambodia, writing about prostitution is what journalists do when they can't be bothered to come up with another story idea.

And as for buying a prostitute's freedom -- it's the cheapest journalistic stunt imaginable.


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