What's up, Europe? Gender, media and European integration. The story of a a young Dane exploring the continent.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Danish sex photographer II

A new kind of journalism is thriving in Denmark.

"The media is the new court system and you're the judge!" as stagisblog puts it.

Morten Spiegelhauer and his programme "Operation X" is a good example of journalism that turns your living room into a court. Two weeks ago he revealed the sex crimes of a 'paedophile hunter', effectively collecting evidence and doing interrogation on-screen. Afterwards all footage was handed over to the police who then - rather undramatic - arrested the suspect. What the real-life court has to say will not really matter. Rudy Frederiksen has already recieved his verdict. All those who followed Spiegelhauer's investigation from the sofa have delivered their sentence: guilty.

The thing I have most against "Operation X" is its moralism. One thing is to uncover illegal acts or immoral deeds. Another is to expose the guilt of the perpetrators into endless details. In an earlier episode of "Operation X" Spiegelhauer took a close look at trafficking and sex slavery in Denmark. Here he confronted a pimp with the immorality of sex trade by repeatly asking questions resembling "how can you bring yourself to profit on sex slavery?"

I find this kind of 'moral porn' repulsive. We all know that it is wrong to exploit other people and that there are very few morally acceptable motives for doing so. Why do we need this pillary in prime time?

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