Having Your Porn and Condemning it Too: A Case Study of a “Kiddie Porn” Expose
Law, Culture and the Humanities 2009; 5: 391–424
Department of Law, Carleton University
In 2005, the Toronto Police Department’s Sex Crime Unit embarked upon the unprecedented move to go public with forensic evidence related to an on-going child pornography investigation. This strategy provided the public with exceptional glimpses into the taboo arena of child pornography. In this article, I trace the media coverage of this investigation to highlight the rhetorical and aesthetic components that, I posit, are related to a pedophilic logic. My goal is to reveal the latent but omnipresent desire encoded in the media narratives to imagine children and childhood in sexualized contexts. In particular, my analysis maps the literary and photographic aspects of the coverage to highlight the “performative contradiction” of the texts; though the media articulated a one-dimensional story of outrage and condemnation, the rhetorical and pictorial aspects of the story produced meanings that undermined the purported censure of child sexualization.
Keywords: child porn; narrativity; media; police; Voyeurism; taboo
Masha - Law Journal.pdf