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Ex-ACLU leader's child-porn arrest fails to make news

In the summer of 2003, Operation Predator was launched by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. The investigation has targeted individuals who make and consume child pornography worldwide.

Because much of this stuff is manufactured overseas and shipped to America, ICE agents took the lead in tracking down the bad guys in the U.S.

In case you don't know, child pornography features children from infants on up being raped in a variety of ways by adults. It is expensive to purchase and, because of the Internet, the distribution of this evil material has become easy. Have a credit card, you can get it.

According to ICE agents, one of those who used a credit card to purchase child porn is attorney Charles Rust-Tierney, the former president of the American Civil Liberties Union in Virginia. Tierney was arrested and charged on Feb. 23.

Tierney apparently told the feds that he paid for the child porn using a PayPal account and then downloaded images of prepubescent girls being violently raped onto CD-ROM disks, which the authorities seized in his home.

One of the images Tierney was in possession of showed a little girl tied up and screaming while being violently raped.

This shocking case received little media attention even though Tierney, 51, is a well-known figure in the Washington, D.C., area and strenuously fought against limits on Internet access in libraries.

On Dec. 1, 1998, Tierney issued this statement: "Recognizing that individuals will continue to behave responsibly and appropriately while in the library, the default should be maximum, unrestricted access to the valuable resources of the Internet."

And included among those "resources" is child porn. The ACLU in Virginia successfully blocked any filtering of objectionable material in Loudon County libraries.

This is off-the-chart disturbing, and you would think the media would be all over it. When Ted Haggard was scandalized by a male prostitute in Colorado, the media relentlessly hammered the preacher. He deserved much of it, but the coverage was everywhere.

How many of you have heard of Charles Rust-Tierney?

The only major liberal news organization to cover the story was The Washington Post. It ran a small mention of it in the second section of the paper, essentially burying the situation. The New York Times ignored the story entirely. So did NBC News, CBS News and CNN. ABC News mentioned it on its Web site.

There is no question that an ACLU big shot who fought against library filters being busted on federal child porn charges is a big story. So what's going on?

The truth is the committed left press in America is no longer interested in reporting the news. Anything that hinders a favorable view of the far left will be ignored; anything that advances liberal causes will be celebrated. News reporting today is largely about ideology and shaping the culture, not about informing the public.

This is dangerous. The Constitution gives the news media a wide variety of protections because the Founding Fathers wanted information to get to the folks. So answer me this: Did the media do its job covering the case of Charles Rust-Tierney?

It did not. Another example of the downward spiral of American journalism. The New York Times masthead says "All the News That's Fit to Print."

Sure.

Veteran TV news anchor and author Bill O'Reilly is a host on Fox News. His "Radio Factor" can be heard weekdays from 1 to 3 p.m. on NewsTalk 1300 WIMO-AM. Have any thoughts about this column? Share them with us at letters@gwinnettdailypost.com. Letters should be no more than 200 words and are subject to approval by the publisher. Letters may be edited for style and space requirements. Please sign your name and provide an address and a daytime telephone number. Address letters for publication to: Letters to the Editor, Gwinnett Daily Post, P.O. Box 603, Lawrenceville, GA 30046-0603. The fax number is 770-339-8081.