FLASHBACK: In 1978, the Boston Globe Promoted Decriminalizing Teenage Prostitution

Boston Globe hypocrisy

FACT: The Boston Globe has a history of defending sex between adults and the underage

In January 1978, a judge's ruling shook the country. A New York City judge, Judge Margaret Taylor, ruled that a 14-year-old girl did not commit a crime when she sold herself for sex with an adult. The judge reasoned that because the girl had done something that had become perfectly allowable for adults in an age of "recreational sex," she should not be criminally liable just because she was a teenager.

Most of the country looked on in disgust at the judge's ruling, and an angry New York City Mayor Ed Koch vowed to fight the decision.

But there was one forward-thinking newspaper that applauded the judge's thinking and indeed agreed that teens should be able to sell their bodies for sex to anyone whom they choose: The Boston Globe.

In a January 31, 1978, article (pdf), Globe columnist David B. Wilson wrote:

"Mayor Koch is quoted as saying that the state 'can't just look aside when a 14-year-old girl decides to sell her body.' In fact, the state can and probably should. To fine her is to participate in her business. To punish her is pointless. To 'rehabilitate' her may not be impossible but is certainly beyond the competency of the state.

"Unless society is ready to have the government resume its ever-futile attempts to regulate sexual behavior, prostitution full- and part-time, will continue to flourish."

And don't forget, as chronicled in the book Sins of the Press (by TheMediaReport.com's David F. Pierre, Jr.), only three months after Wilson's article, the Globe published an article from a man named Thomas Reeves. In Reeves' article, "Fairness for all" (click to read, pdf), Reeves passionately argued that arresting gay men for having sex with underage boys was a "witch-hunt against gay people." (Tellingly, the Globe never published an article in rebuttal to Reeves.)

And a mere six months after the Globe gave Reeves its powerful platform to promote his views, an emboldened Reeves co-founded NAMBLA, the North American Man-Boy Love Association, a notorious organization that advocated for the abolition of age of consent laws.

The articles from the Globe in 1978 were not just an aberration. Indeed, in 1974, a Globe article even suggested that the age of consent be lowered to the age of 14 "in recognition of the greater sophistication of today's young females."

So the next time you observe the Boston Globe moralizing about the Catholic Church and its handling of abuse cases by priests many decades ago, remember the critical role that the Globe itself played in creating a culture in which the sex abuse of minors was normalized.


  1. "peoples" clown says:

    Well, that's the globe for you! Such perversion promotion! I suppose, also, if judge Taylor had a 14 yr old daughter, selling her body, she'd certainly allow her daughters  clients to her home, as its just recreational sex.

    It’s telling that the globe would be sympathetic to no sex laws, yet have the protracted hypocrisy to continue rabid attacks against the church! Oh! I forgot! No money to be had from NAMBLA!

    "p" c

  2. Publion says:

    The Boston Globe (which – if I am rightly informed – has recently had to sell its big combo plant-and-offices and is moving to more modest accommodations) seems to have been caught in the inevitable trap of its own making: by embracing whatever the PC dogma of any given moment might require, the paper thus cannot afford anyone to be ‘remembering’ or looking-back-at what it had previously so breathlessly and officiously ‘reported’.

    PC dogma will do that to you when you try to embrace it. A familiar example would be this: on the one hand, gender is merely a ‘social construct’ and ain’t but a patriarchal and oppressive illusory thang; on the other hand, if somebody decides that he/she/ze/xi/whatever is a person of the opposite (or some other) sex trapped in an incompatible birth-body, then such an individual’s ultimate meaning and authenticity and so forth must be rescued by gender-reassignment interventions.

     Even the most modest application of clear thinking will soon reveal to an attentive observer that both of those positions cannot be true; they are contradictory and mutually exclusive.

  3. Publion says:

    This TMR article deals with the media characterization of ‘sexual activity’ as (depending on when one might have boarded the bandwagon) a) ‘liberation’ and sassy self-expression or b) as ‘victimization and oppression’ (perhaps even to the point that ‘all heterosexual sex is rape’, as the late Andrea Dworkin declaimed, the implication inferred by some as being that eschewing males and embracing lesbianism is the only thing a decent – or at least liberated – girl can do nowadays).

    One would have to be familiar with the intellectual contortions of the old Soviet apparatchiks to keep up with the moves necessary to stay au courant with whatever  might be the (currently) Correct position on the subject.

    And such familiarity would also quickly impress upon one the fact that one of the most dangerous statements any apparatchik could ever conceivably utter was ‘this catastrophic outcome should have been obvious to anybody with half a brain when the policy was first instituted’. You don’t get to say that in a totalitarian system where ‘the revolution’ only does the right thing (and never the wrong thing) because ’the revolution’ is the sole source of identifying the right thing in the first place.

    And thus to notice the mistakes made by ‘the revolution’ simply proves that you are a reactionary, counter-revolutionary  troglodyte who is merely using thought and reason to interfere with ‘the revolution’. Which point was expanded-upon by  Catharine MacKinnon in her late-1980s book ‘Towards a Feminist Theory of the State’ where she declared thinking and reasoning to be mere tools of the oppressive patriarchy and called for the substitution of female (or, more specifically, feministical) ‘feeling’ and ‘intuition’ for patriarchal reasoning and thinking.

  4. Publion says:

    It’s not a long jump from MacKinnon to the demand that evidence (and the reasoning and thinking that would consider evidence) be greatly downplayed (if not actually eliminated) in trials concerned with issues close to the heart of the revolution’s objectives and purposes. One also recalls Hitler’s approval of the star Nazi jurist Roland Freisler (himself an ex-Communist who saw which way the wind was blowing and embraced a more useful  ‘ism’) because what was required in a Nazi judge was not dispassionate rationality but rather, as Hitler said, “National Socialist ardor”.

    (That Freisler died when the courtroom in which he was officially venting his “National Socialist ardor” was obliterated by an Allied bomb has always struck me as one of God’s perhaps far-too-infrequent but encouragingly obvious interventions.)

    It’s no wonder then, I would say, that in that same era of the late-1980s Jeff Anderson saw what a bonanza could be garnered from all this moosh. He engaged the collaboration of SNAP; the media were already largely predisposed to go along, and thus the Stampede – fueled by the prospect of cash payouts for claims that did not require evidence – took its course.

  5. Publion says:

    The Globe positions noted in this TMR article also remind me of an even sharper example of the perils of trying to ride the back of the tiger of Correctness: in order to feed the factory workers whose labor would propel the USSR into the 20th-century, the Soviet government had to maximize its extraction of the grain and foodstuffs produced by the peasants. For maximum efficiency in this project, the peasants would have to be collectivized, forced from their individual small-holdings onto state-run farms where they could be exploited for their labor the way dairy cows could be chained between stanchions to maximize collection of their milk.

    But the most successful peasants, the kulaks, defined as those who owned a few livestock and made at least a little beyond subsistence level which could be sold for a small overall profit, didn’t want to leave all that to live like chained cows on a state-run collective. So they had to be eradicated as a class (as Hitler would, a decade later, seek to eradicate Jewish Europeans). Those kulaks who were not shot outright were put on unheated trains with their families in the dead of the Russian winter and shipped from Ukraine to Siberia.

  6. Publion says:

    Well, in what should have come as a surprise to no one, the result of all this was famine in the Ukraine – the fabled historical breadbasket of Russia – and somewhere around six million died of starvation.

    The Soviets’ programme created so profound a catastrophe in the Ukraine that they were then forced to pepper the place with huffy, haughty billboards declaiming (to the starving masses whom the Soviets themselves had created) that “To eat your own children is a barbarian act”.

    No doubt the Soviet elites would have then consoled themselves with this thought: having to work with  such barbarian peoples as this, is it any wonder our glorious plans don’t work right and we are forced to force them to do the right thing … ?

Speak Your Mind

(email addresses will not be displayed publicly)