EDITORIAL: Leave the kids out of it


By Cheri Roberts for Challenging the Rhetoric

The growing trend of the Alt-right and GOP supporters using kids, even fictitious ones, as fodder, should be concerning to everyone. The latest twist comes from troll central regarding President Donald Trump’s WWE Tweet depicting himself beating a CNN reporter. The new talking point is that that the maker of the original gif, is a 15-year old kid being blackmailed by the news agency.

This is false. The person responsible is an adult male who himself apologized before ever speaking to a CNN reporter.

No 15-year old. No blackmail.

Of course, the die-hards will continue to perpetuate the lie claiming CNN is covering it up. The same way they have continued spreading so-called “PizzaGate” disinformation about a made-up pedophile ring that resulted in gun violence at a Washington D.C. pizzeria that is alleged to house the pedophile dungeon in their basement. And let’s not forget their insidious claims and harassment of parents of the children murdered by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

The people that concoct and curate these dangerous and deceiving gems do so for the gut-factor. They want to trigger your emotional outrage using kids and sophistry at every turn as their smokescreen,  merely to distract you, from…whatever.

If you go to any YouTube conspiracy or anti-govt. channel, or poke around 4-chan, you will find comments or content shamefully accusing their perceived enemies of being pedophiles, just because of they can. Watch any social media flame war coming from the right and again, quickly the argument often devolves into accusations of pedophilia. If you take a picture at a protest that some idiot brought their kid to, then you are labeled a pedophile for taking the picture. While it is certainly offensive to be called a pedo, the malicious baiting does nothing to actually help save real children from abuse. In addition, how many resources are being squandered chasing fake reports and BS news?

Prevalence of child abuse as reported by participants in landmark CDC/Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences study.

  • Physical Abuse 28.3%
  • Sexual Abuse 20.7%
  • Emotional Neglect14.8%
  • Emotional Abuse 10.6%
  • Physical Neglect. 9.9%

A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds. These figures do not include the missing victims of child sex trafficking.

child sex trafficking graph


There were 3.3 million child abuse reports made in the United States in 2010.  Most abuse is never reported. For instance, according to the FBI, only 1-10% of molestation cases are ever reported.

Out of the millions of abuse reports filed annually, 1-4 % are fabricated reports, the majority of which are made by adults (75%), not children. While it may seem like a small number of false reports, that 1-4% becomes quite significant. Being conservative calculating just 1%, using the 2010 figures, that would mean that at least 33,000 of the 3.3 million child abuse reports were faked, mostly by adults.

Crimes against kids are real. A major contributing factor to such high occurrence rates of abuse is our inability to have a genuine ongoing, and open, dialogue without some weird personal embarrassment staunching our speech. When one in three girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18, shouldn’t the national conversation be about these kids’, their suffering and about justice? Instead, the conversation that continuously gets the most buzz and longest shelf life is that which is salaciously manufactured and grotesquely propagated while every day 4-7 of our little ones die from abuse and/or neglect.

Some links for help and Info because #ChildhoodHurts.



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2 responses to “EDITORIAL: Leave the kids out of it

  1. Pingback: PODCAST: #IamJaneDoe and the Indecency of the Communications Decency Act with Documentary Filmmaker Mary Mazzio, Attorney Erik Bauer, and Cybercrime Forensic Expert Frederick Lane | Challenging the Rhetoric·

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