Front Page Confidential Founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin Speak Out in Reason.com Profile

Screenshot of the photo and headline treatment that topped Elizabeth Nolan Brown's August 2018 Reason.com profile of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, former owners of the online classified-ad site Backpage.com. Shows a photo of Lacey and Larkin, along with the story's headline, 'The Senate Accused Them of Selling Kids for Sex. The FBI Raided Their Homes. Backpage.com’s Founders Speak for the First Time. An inside look at how indie media veterans James Larkin and Michael Lacey became the targets of a federal witchhunt.'
(screenshot via Reason.com)
Reason.com profiles Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, veteran newspaper publishers, former co-owners of Backpage.com, and founders of Front Page Confidential

In an in-depth profile by Elizabeth Nolan Brown published this week on the website Reason.com, veteran newspaper publishers and former Backpage.com co-owners Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin spoke out candidly about their arrests on federal charges of money laundering, conspiracy, and violating the Travel Act.

Read More:
“The Senate Accused Them of Selling Kids for Sex. The FBI Raided Their Homes. Backpage.com’s Founders Speak for the First Time.”

Over the course of four decades, Lacey, 70, and Larkin, 69, worked to build Village Voice Media into a groundbreaking national chain of local weeklies that gave no quarter to corrupt or arrogant civic power brokers and government officials.

Now the longtime business partners, whose publications have garnered upward of 1,000 local, state, and national journalism awards, face the prospect of spending the rest of their lives behind bars.

Their supposed crime: exercising their First Amendment rights by providing an online platform on which users could publish classified advertisements. Federal prosecutors have accused the men of using Backpage to promote and/or facilitate prostitution.

“We’ve never, ever broken the law. Never have, never wanted to,” Larkin told  Brown. “This isn’t about sex work to me. This is about speech.”

Added Lacey: “This is the biggest speech battle in America right now. The First Amendment isn’t about protecting the rights of the McLaughlin Group to speak their mind on television. This is specifically what the fuck it’s about. Unpopular speech. Dangerous speech. Speech that threatens the norm. Not only do we have that right, our readers have that right.”

Click here to follow Elizabeth Nolan Brown on Twitter And click the link below to read Brown’s profile on Lacey and Larkin in its entirety:

“The Senate Accused Them of Selling Kids for Sex. The FBI Raided Their Homes. Backpage.com’s Founders Speak for the First Time.”

About Tom Finkel

Skeptical about nearly everything but my rights and responsibilities. Former editor-in-chief at Village Voice, Riverfront Times, & City Pages. Before that, Miami New Times. Interested human being.

One comment

  1. Backpage.com gave us a birds eye view of America’s sexuality especially teen sexuality. The Justice Department did not stop child prostitution, they hid it by putting the children in solitary confinement without counseling until they testify against a pimp/trafficker. They are held on Witness Protection Holds with the highest confidentiality so records are unobtainable. If the Justice Department believed this was in the best interest of the child then they would provide them with new identities and relocation funds but they turn them back to foster homes or homeless shelters from which they run. Once back on the streets the children are held again and forced to testify. This is child abuse – barbaric –

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