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The Canadian-American magazine Vice has a convoluted editorial line that has been evolving over the years. Some of their relatively recent headlines (from 5 years ago) are emphatic: “Mike Pence, Trump’s VP Pick, Is Pretty Damn Homophobic.” In other articles, from last year, they accuse both Facebook and YouTube of not doing enough to stop right-wing “misinformation,” and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is accused, without evidence, of suppressing minority voting rights.
In general terms, Vice is a magazine that perfectly represents the American mainstream media: culturally progressive and against conservatism. However, it is quite complex to explain.
Vice: progressive, but not Democrat
Vice is a magazine that has been controversial since its origins. Born as a punk publication, it gradually migrated to different topics until it became a magazine with an important presence in the United States, covering different areas of national and international politics, as well as socio-cultural issues of general interest. What sets Vice apart from traditional media is that it is not a publication aligned with Republicans or Democrats.
What is Vice, then? An urban magazine mostly sympathetic to progressive causes, so its articles are hostile to Republicans, especially on issues such as Critical Race Theory. Vice, paradoxically, is also very critical of Big Tech, but not because of censorship against conservatives, but because it is “a right-wing media” that, they argue, favors media mostly akin to Republicans.
The reality is that Facebook as well as Twitter and other social networks, under pressure from liberal media and Democratic politicians, severely regulate conservative content on their platforms to the point that censorship complaints are rising dramatically. An emblematic case was the restrictions on the New York Post for the exclusive related to Hunter Biden and his controversial business dealings abroad.
Vice also, like almost every progressive media outlet, is critical of Fox News, which has been repeatedly accused of publishing misinformation and right-wing propaganda. However, it is curious that the magazine accuses the conservative network of publishing fake news when they themselves published an article labeling the Post story about Hunter Biden as “conspiracy candy” when the president’s own son admitted that the laptop may be his and the FBI is investigating the situation. The magazine also criticized Facebook for failing “miserably” to censor the Post.
The magazine consistently condemns conservative media and politicians, yet while they do so, they also make apologies for pedophilia and normalize children identifying as genderless and dressing up as drag queens.
Vice and its defense of “non-offending pedophiles”
“This online community calls themselves “Virtuous Pedophiles” because most of them claim to have never sexually engaged with a minor. They also claim that they never intend to” reads the lead-in to a Vice story titled: “I Spent a Year Living with ‘Non-Offending’ Pedophiles.”
This extensive report from Vice tells the story of several pedophiles who describe themselves as non-offenders. According to them, they have “never” attempted to molest a minor and have no intention of doing so, despite their sexual and physical attraction to children.
One of the stars of the Vice story is a man named Gary Gibson, 65, who was accused of rape by an adopted daughter he had 12 years earlier.
“Jazzmyne Holden, now 20, was just ten years old when she and her sister went to live with her new foster parents Gary and Tabitha Gibson,” reads an article in the Daily Mail. “Holden spent just three months with the Gibsons before she and her sibling were removed by Child Protection Services after reports that Gary had touched little girls in his care.”
The case was investigated by police and no charges were filed. Gibson denies Holden’s story and says they are false memories.
The author of the story, Alexander McBride Wilson, writes that “on the way over, the reality of what I was doing began to sink in, and I started to feel nervous. However, after meeting Gary and being welcomed into his life for the week, I grew so comfortable that my perception of him came to be defined less and less by his sexual proclivity. This turned out to be the case with the others, too. From what I saw, they were regular people trying to get on with life in much the same way that anyone else does, all while tackling a burden that they did not choose to bare.”
This Vice report presenting the “normality” of pedophiles is not the only one to make an apology for the sexualization of children. In one article, for example, the magazine criticizes Twitter for canceling people identified as pedophiles.
“Social Media Sites Can’t Decide How to Handle ‘Non-Offending’ Pedophiles,” reads the title of the piece where Vice basically quotes some doctors who defend the activism of these pedophiles who insist that they are not potentially dangerous people and therefore should not be cancelled from social media.
In another article, Vice interviews Todd Nickerson, a man born one-armed and defined as a 43-year-old pedophile-virgin, who was allegedly molested when he was 7 years old. Nickerson’s story — quite tragic, by the way — is reviewed by the magazine like so many other articles to give a platform to doctors and experts who advocate for a society more open to pedophilia. They say that not all pedophiles are abusers, although Nickerson, who says he never touched a child, admitted to being attracted to a five-year-old girl when he was 18.
The apology for pedophilia and the normalization of cases of openly pedophilic people are even more disturbing when the magazine itself reviews and highlights cases of children identified as drag queens.
For Vice, it is cool that a child chooses to identify as a genderless person.
“We spoke to young children who use drag personas to explore and challenge gender—and have fun!” they review in an article where they openly highlight the story of “drag kids” and debate whether or not these kids can “explore gender without judgment,” explaining that “some argue that drag is not the space to do so because it’s imbued with queer history the children don’t yet understand.”
In another article, the magazine highlights photos of children dressed as drag queens at one of the events organized by RuPaul, a well-known American drag performer. In the article one of the children says: “I’ve been doing drag since I was two. I would take my mom’s towels and bed sheets and anything I could get my hands on and turn them into savage outfits, yaas.”A few paragraphs later, a photo is shown of two parents with their children at the drag event; a nine-year-old girl in a drag dress and another two-year-old boy dressed in a female two-piece outfit.
Vice is not the only media with these ideas
While Vice is indeed an activist magazine; it is not the only media that normalizes controversial and contentious situations regarding children. For example, The New York Times defended an animated material on masturbation used by a teacher to teach sex education to 6-year-olds. The Washington Post went further and defended the presence of “kink sex” at Pride marches despite the fact that children attend such demonstrations.
“Yes, kink belongs at Pride. And I want my kids to see it” is the title of that article.
Then these media, some more radical than others, identify as evil those parents, newspapers or politicians who do not allow issues potentially harmful to the formation of children to be normalized. A magazine that glorifies parents who dress a two-year-old in drag or normalize the pedophilia of a person accused of rape is indeed a publication that flies in the face of common sense and sanity.
American parents and parents in other parts of the world should be very concerned about media like Vice that condemn conservatives while, at the same time, defend pedophilia.
Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.
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