Sunday, June 8, 2014

'Victims Can Lie as Much as Other People' - -The Atlantic magazine on press gullibility

Somaly Mam, the celebrated Cambodian anti-sex-trafficking activist  according to a recent Newsweek expose, fabricated parts of her story and those of some of the alleged victims she advocated for. The revelations have disillusioned many of Mam’s loyal supporters and left the press looking gullible. Just as importantly, they’ve highlighted the public’s seemingly insatiable desire for heroic narratives—and the willingness of many in the media to provide them. The New York Times public editor has asked columnist Nicholas Kristof for an explanation of his columns promoting her.
On May 28, a week after Newsweek’s story appeared, the New York-based Somaly Mam Foundation (SMF), as a result of its own independent, third-party investigation into allegations about Mam’s personal history, accepted its namesake’s resignation, “effective immediately.” Since its founding in 2007, SMF—whose Global Advisory Board includes actress Susan Sarandon, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and, until recently, Melanne Verveer, former chief of staff to Hillary Clinton—has, according to tax filings, raised millions for Mam’s Cambodian organization, AFESIP (Agir pour les Femmes en Situation Pr√©caire), which operates rehabilitation centers for victims of sexual slavery.
The whole story

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