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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Conservative Ohio Blog: Pushes Envelope, Links To Topless Cheerleader Pix

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Weapons of Mass Discussion is a Republican-leaning Ohio blog that has uncovered some salacious Internet links today. In a matter of mouse clicks, the links get to the bare-breasted photo of a 15-year-old Ohio high school cheerleader and her 19-year-old cheerleading squad coach.

[UPDATE: 6:55 pm -- Some of the links have now been pulled off the site and Matt Hurley contends they did not go to the 15-year-old girl. However, somebody might want to recover and comb through the original post to verify what Matt is saying. If there was no problem, as he insists, then why eliminate the links? Indeed, the original post said the links to the pictures were not hosted on WMD's server.]

[UPDATE 2: 7:32 pm -- "Here" and "PostChron" lead to the link that was up earlier and has now disappeared from Weapons of Mass Discussion. It clearly is a few clicks away from something the conservative blog now seems to want in the distance. Obviously, it leads to more than the WMD admits. Perhaps Matt Naugle at RightAngleBlog wants to snapshot before it vanishes again. Or maybe Jerid Kurtz at Buckeye State Blog wants to preserve the evidence.]

Both women are from Goshen, a semi-rural suburb of Cincinnati. Weapons of Mass Discussion carries a warning that the photos are racy. It explains that viewing the 15-year-old's picture might entail some legal risk -- the law limits displays of nudity involving a minor -- because the girl is clearly underage. Linking to the picture was a bold move for a political blog, and may bring flak.

The existence of the photos, and how the coach snapped them at a party, are the subject of disciplinary action by the Goshen schools and a police investigation. The events are making worldwide news. Weapons of Mass Discussion decided to give readers an opportunity to examine what the fuss was all about, an opportunity that readers of traditional news outlets haven't been allowed to have. TV and the newspapers have exercised self-censorship, an editorial restraint based on a custom of not wanting to risk offending anyone, or not wanting to burst the bounds of tastelessness and ill-manners. But the bloggers took a different tack -- let people see for themselves, the pictures are on the 'Net. Why pretend they are not there?

Weapons of Mass Discussion might be accused of pandering to its readers' basest interests by giving them a chance to see topless teens. But the blog didn't sin, at least not by the wide open standards of of free speech that prevail in the blogosphere. The sin would have been knowing there was a news story and not delivering that story, even the part that could make you squirm. And remember, nobody has to click on the links to see the pictures.


  1. posted by Matt N.

    This is absolutely over the line. We are dealing with a 15 year old so I imagine this violates child pornography laws. WMD shouldn't be linking to that.

    Legally, is there any difference between linking and posting? I don't think there should be.

  2. Matt N.
    You obviously didn't check out the story. WMD does not link to any naked images of the 15 year old girl. The only image they had was another blacked out photo similar to the one on the news. The only nudity is that of the 19 year old ex coach. Quit trying to create some type of CCV crusade against a blog because they are becoming more wellknown than you, Matt Naugle. You are a joke and a hypocrite, because of the language you use to talk about people is just as pornographic as any pictures. Bill, you need to correct your story.

  3. Bill,

    Thanks for pointing me to this important story. I can't believe Mark the preacher over at WMD would ever be interested in nude cheerleaders, much less post a link to nude photos of an underage one! Wow.

    What were the links that were removed? Do tell.

  4. Bill, the biggest boobs in this story are you and others thinking this non-story is worthy of your attention.

  5. did they or did they not link to underage nude women? when did they link to it and who else knew of the linking?

    questions that simply MUST be answered.

  6. Hi Eric --

    They have pulled down the links, and links that led to links. But they head a "here" that went to PostChron, which had three connections, one of which showed the coach and the girl topless. WMD has removed it all . . .

  7. I find it highly ironical that the guy who posted on his blog -- not linked to, but actually posted -- pics of Jennifer Brunner's son feeling up some coed is now saying that WMD shouldn't be linking to pornography.

    I'd also like to clear up something that Eric has pointed out, but Bill hasn't seemed to get yet...this was Mark's story on WMD. I have had reservations about the story from the begininng, but don't like to censor what my co-authors write about.

    The reason Mark edited the post and de-linked was that we had a discussion and decided that it was best to make a change.

    The story ought to be about the 19 year old who was hired by the same school district she just graduated from being in charge of people when she clearly needed supervision herself. If y'all want to make WMD the focus of the story, I think you are really missing the point entirely, but help yourselves...