Sex Work

If You're Not Wearing Pants, the L.A. Times Doesn't Want to Know You


Times editorial staffers break the story of fallen women in America.

You can always count on the Los Angeles Times to get goofy when the talk turns to grownups fucking.

Case in point: Kate Linthicum's scintillating sexposé of Eagle Rock massage parlors, which made the front page of the Times' quaint "print" edition. In 34 paragraphs, Linthicum manages to make accusations of prostitution and strongly imply a sex trafficking ring, yet somehow never bothers to ask the accused for a response.

Linthicum fleshes out her tour of the city's sordid underbelly (OK, actually it's just a tour of an online directory of erotic massage businesses) with plenty of salty teases: "One of them, Surprise Massage, advertises 'Fairytale Oriental Massage' with 'Sexy Pretty Asian Girls NOW.'" She gets juicy hearsay from local NIMBYs: "Once, he said, he saw a man run out of one of the parlors barefoot, wearing no pants."

Yet nowhwere does she get a quote from an operator, employee or customer of any of these establishments.

This is not to say Linthicum is not diligent. She gets quotes from a local restaurant owner, a neighborhood council president, the head of the state's "Massage Therapy Council," a bunch of apparatchiks and several police officers – one of whom tells her the women busted in one parlor raid were illegal immigrants who, in shocking contrast to everybody in the United States, are "working to pay off debts." She also identifies the culprit in this whorehouse bubble: a none-too-interesting loophole in licensing laws for legitimate massage parlors. Finally she quotes some officials complaining about budget cuts and proposing a solution that will cause men to stop craving sex and women to stop selling it to them shut down these apparently successful business in a city that is only losing 111,000 jobs a year.

So why not give a bleeding whore a chance? This being the scrupulously lawyered Times, Linthicum stops well short of anything that might be actionable. (It's not libel if the target is a faceless, undifferentiated group, as is the case here.) But if you're going to scare the bejeezus out of readers over the rise of prostitution right in one of the Times' editorial staff's favorite neighborhoods, is it too much to ask that you get a quote from one of the alleged prostitutes?

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  1. Kate Linthicum = shitty journalist.

    But I repeat myself. Most journalists fail miserably at the basics of their jobs.

  2. Prostitution in the City of Angels? I hope this was a satirical story, because such a thing has never even been suggested.

    1. El Pueblo de Nuestra Se?ora la Reina de los Angeles de Porci?ncula or The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the Little Portion although its official name was simply El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles.

    2. Ray Chandler documented this 75 years ago.

  3. Massage with extra benefits = human trafficing

    Casting couch = a grand Hollywood tradition

  4. I’m really digging these “Reason after Dark”, but not as much as “Cinemax after Dark.”

    I mean, “Lord of the Nipple Rings” is a tour de force of a film.

    1. Is it really “gold” in your “water,” or is it lead? Reason‘s mission is not only political and economic libertarianism but cultural, too. Front page stories in major newspapers inspired by dimwitted prudery merit exposure and ridicule on this blog.

  5. Geez, it’s like someone mentioned the bordello.

    1. Song parody idea:
      California has a whorehouse in it
      Gaia have mercy on our souls

      (Somebody else can finish it?or not.)

  6. If you’re one of those types who is deeply jealous of everyone getting more tail than you are in your loveless marriage, why do you choose to move to Los Angeles, where you’re constantly confronted by rich, happy, well-sexed people? Masochism? You know, there are places that specialize in that.

    Also, one place is actually called Surprise Massage. The Jade Pearl place offers organic facials. Uh…

    1. There is a certain kind of woman who obsesses over prostitution. These women obsess over it primarily becuase prostitution offers their poor suffering husbands some relief from their sexless marriages. If we could eliminate prostitution, and with community property laws being what they are, these women would no longer have to worry about their weight or ever put out again.

  7. B) Getting grease-jacked by a suicidally depressed, cartoon-uniformed Asian (Other) whose only English is “I Katy” and “that door out” isn’t fucking.

    It’s better.

    1) Linthicum.

  8. Kate Lithium?

  9. So why not give a bleeding whore a chance?

    Why not indeed – man’s gotta get his red wings somehow.

  10. Who needs hookers? I got me one of them Japanese robot sex dolls. She talks, and everything. Or, you could just use a frog.

  11. I bet she never interviewed Porky Pig either.

    1. e be de be de…that’s all folks. How do you jack off a cartoon pig?

  12. Once, he said, he saw a man run out of one of the parlors barefoot, wearing no pants.

    It would have been scandalous if the dude had been wearing no pants but was wearing shoes.

    1. Nice.

      See you and raise you.

    2. No Shoes
      No Shirt
      No Service

  13. This bint wrote a story on perceptions and attitudes, while not calling it that, to be sure. Funny thing being that she’s probably desperately in need of the activity that she hints goes on, maybe for cash (OMFG!) behind closed doors – she seems to sure need a happy ending.

    Wanna do some hard hitting investigative journalism about massage parlors, aromatherapy centers, etc, stereotypically staffed by two or three oftentimes Korean chicks who live on site, service customers, and are overseen and attended by a ‘mamasan’ who acts as manager and chief cook and bottle washer (literally), then she needs to forget yapping to all the folks she wasted her time on for the pretentious fluff piece, and describe to circumstances for the recruitment and retention of these girls. Held passports, you say? Could be, maybe not (since these girls likely do have the chance, even at a 50/50 split, of topping 6 figures, easily, annually).

    I’d suggest she go ‘undercover’ for fact finding purposes, if it weren’t for the likely rise in customer complaints and business losses at the places she ‘in beds’ with. . .

  14. This calls for an undercover sting. I nominate myself to do as much research as we need to confirm or deny whether the girls are indedeed ‘Sexy Pretty Asian” and available NOW.

    Somnetimes, Journalism really can make a difference.

  15. and I thought there was nothing worthwhile in LA.

  16. the women busted in one parlor raid were illegal immigrants who … are “working to pay off debts.”

    Law school ain’t cheap.

  17. I think the point is that it’s not great journalism. If I remember correctly, nowhere in the article was anyone interviewed that verified there was prostitution or any kind of sex actually going on. I’ve been to three massage places in L.A.because I was sore and my feet hurt and there was nothing going on but massages in a public room mostly with people fully clothed except for their shoes and socks off. I doubt there are hundreds and hundreds of massage parlors around in L.A. with illegal things happening in them. I’m guessing some, but not hundreds and hundreds. If a thousand people are able to make a living giving inexpensive legal messages, good!

    1. Let me know where you got your massage so I can scratch that place off my list.

    2. There ARE hundreds and hundreds of massage parlors in L.A. with illegal things going on in them. But you didn’t ask for anything illegal. They won’t provide the “services” if you don’t ask. Just so you know. (Enjoy laying on that massage table… yeeeccchhhh!)

  18. “So why not give a bleeding whore a chance?”

    I did that once, but then she testified against me. I won’t make that mistake again.

  19. For some reason, the link to the map of these locations isn’t in the story. Can we get that fixed, please?

  20. No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service!

  21. While I support anyone ripping the quality of the LA Times‘ “journalism”, it’s still miles better than the waste known as the SF Chronicle.

  22. “Once, he said, he saw a man run out of one of the parlors barefoot, wearing no pants.”

    Ok, ok, that was me…

  23. But if you’re going to scare the bejeezus out of readers over the rise of prostitution right in one of the Times’ editorial staff’s favorite neighborhoods, is it too much to ask that you get a quote from one of the alleged prostitutes?

    This is why we need public funding for newspapers. Those quotes cost money.

  24. “Yet nowhwere does she get a quote from an operator, employee or customer of any of these establishments.”
    One word: superfragalisticexpiallidocious.

    Or, as the maseurs say, cum again…and I say, I’m trying!

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