Wednesday, May 21, 2008

When A Newspaper Doesn't Tell The Whole Story

The Smoking Gun Picks Up Where LaCrosse Tribune Leaves Off in My Space-Child Porn Arrest

First things first. This story involves a couple of teenagers who, let's face it, will probably never be invited to join Mensa. Which doesn't justify what happened, but illustrates that it never had to. Hold that thought.
An item in the LaCrosse (Wis.) Tribune tells the story of 17-year-old Alex Phillips, who's charged with child pornography, exploitation of a child and defamation (who knew that was a crime?) for posting "nude photographs of a 16-year-old female" on his MySpace account.
Now. with this Sahara-like rendering of the incident, it's easy to dismiss Phillips as just another piece of worthless scum caught doing some dumbass things online.
Which may not be far from the truth. But two crucial details are omitted by the Tribune, which The Smoking Gun picked up on.
First, the girl in question was Phillips' ex-girlfriend. Second, she had emailed the pictures, which apparently leave absolutely nothing to the imagination, to his cellphone.
Why the Tribune left out those details, which are available in the police report, can't be fathomed.
The paper did manage to include the best (for lack of a better term) part of the story, namely that when police first caught wind of the photos and contacted Phillips to warn him that he could be arrested if he didn't take down the pictures, his response was: "Fuck that, I am keeping them up."
Guess again.
Needless to say, the ex was not amused. Which is why Phillips is now wearing an orange jump suit and admitting to police -- in what may be the understatement of the day -- that he "probably should not have done this."

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