According to Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore and a legion of lazy reporters looking to attach their bylines to a sensational story, every minor in the United States who has access to a car and lives within easy driving distance of the Northern or Southern borders is a victim of commercial sex trafficking. So is every kid who runs away from home, including the 80 percent or so who return within a week. Every kid in the U.S. who is deemed an “outsider” is also a sex slave.
It's a preposterously large number – it would mean about 1 out of every 250 Americans under 18 years of age are sex slaves. Yet that claim lies at the heart of a controversial campaign launched by the crusading celebs to “educate the public” to the fact that “real men don't buy girls.” That campaign has in turn sparked a food-fight between the prominent couple and Village Voice Media, which has been quick to disclose its vested interest in the issue: it owns Backpage.com, a leading online classified ad site that makes big money from its adult services section. Kutcher has so far persuaded American Airlines to pull its advertising from the company's network of alternative weeklies.Kutcher told CNN that there are “between 100,000 and 300,000 child sex slaves in the United States today," echoing a distortion that's been picked up by dozens of respectable media outlets, according to the Village Voice. That figure is tenuously based on a study conducted by University of Pennsylvania sociologists