Said FranchisePick.com blogger Sean Kelly “I’m guilty… I guess I got seduced by the easy web traffic that flows when the lewd & lascivious behavior, the convenience of drive-thru kiosks and the world’s most popular hot beverage all come together in a single story.”
– Blogger Sean Kelly
After the story broke that bikinied baristas were busted for prostitution in their little Grab-N-Go coffee kiosks, Kelly allegedly pandered to the puerile interests of web searchers and posted keyword-rich posts that included little meaningful content (other than photos of the scantily clad baristas themselves):
As if two wrongs suddenly now make a right, Kelly points out that many others – from Jay Leno to Perez Hilton to the esteemed Herald.net of Everett, WA – were also sensationalizing the story for their own gain.
In fact, Herald.net began posting twice daily, stretching facts and duplicating posts to make the most of their 15 minutes in the national spotlight. This story is their PastieGate.
Admission #1: It wasn’t REAL prostitution
Now that the life is probably wrung out of this story (for now) it’s time to come clean: They weren’t charged with REAL prostitution. I mean, not what the rest of the country considers prostitution (having sex for money) – just what the state of Washington considers prostitution. According to Findlaw blog:
In Washington state, prostitution is defined as engaging in, agreeing to, or offering to engage in sexual conduct with another person for a fee. Sexual conduct is defined as “any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person done for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party or a third party.”
Despite the allegations of customers paying to see skin, it’s the touching allegations, including the whipped cream licking, that would constitute prostitution. As included in Washington’s definition, intimately touching someone for the gratification of a paying voyeur is prostitution.
So the fact if the baristas took money for licking whipped cream off each other for money, that’s prostitution in WA. But most people would assume they were having sex with customers in their latte love shacks and we, the opportunistic media, let that misimpresssion stand. And for that, I’m sorry.
Admission #2: We let the hype go unchallenged
Heraldnet.com, our eyes and ears in Everett, WA, must have been giddy with traffic because they milked this little story for all it was worth. When there was nothing new to report, they published a post titles “Two more Grab-n-Go baristas charged by Snohomish County”
While the headline implied there were new, additional charges files, the article referenced old, previous cases at different kiosks. A duplicate of the same story was posted the next day with a different headline, I assume to keep feeding material into the search engine as national attention began to wane.
Admission #3: The whole thing was pretty much a non-story
There’s kind of a weird enjoyment in treating a non-story with tongue-in-cheek importance when you know it doesn’t matter. Hmmm… maybe I finally understand the appeal of Entertainment Tonight.
OK… now let’s get back to our regular programming, now in progress…
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Photo: Grab-N-Go Bikini Hut in South Everett, WA Photo credit: Ken Lambert, copyright Seattle Times/ZumaPress.com
Post from: Franchise Pick