ABC News Pimping for Ratings

For insight on Nevada presidential politics, most national journalists might turn to political science profs at UNLV or perhaps some local ink-stained wretches. Not ABC World News Saturday. They sent their fearless camera crews into a whorehouse.

In a “news” story that aired around 7 p.m. on January 19 called “Pimping for Paul,” ABC's David Wright dropped in on the Bunny Ranch, a legal whorehouse in Carson City, Nevada, to cover the political activism of the brothel owner and assorted prostitutes.

Here's what unfolded:

In a husky voice, Wright relates that owner Dennis Hof told him, “my girls are pimping for Paul.”   That would be Ron Paul, the libertarian Republican congressman from Texas who is running for president.

With a bevy of scantily clad women lounging on plush red sofas in the background, Hof declares that, “Nevada is a very conservative state, but we also believe in 'live and let live.' Don't bother anybody, we won't bother you.  And that's what Ron Paul stands for and I like that.” There was no comment from the Paul campaign as to whether they are endorsing Mr. Hof's efforts or have any plans to appoint him to anything if Paul wins.

Let's go further into the Bunny Ranch with the ABC crowd.  A charming blonde named “Air Force Amy” leads a laughing Wright into the bedroom where she says she “pimps for Paul.”  Barely contained by a spangled red “dress,” the giggling Amy tells Wright, “It's very easy to ask for campaign contributions here. A lot easier, too, when I take my clothes off.”  More giggles. Amy claims she has snagged up to $1,000 this way for her candidate.

Attention, political scientists and political reporters! ABC has given you a whole new field to study! Expect deeper scrutiny of your expense accounts, however.

Back to the ranch. Wright ventures into another bedroom to interview one of Amy's colleagues, Brooke Taylor.  Wearing a purple dress resembling a teddy, the waiflike Taylor sits on a bed next to Wright and expounds on the Euro and Ron Paul's health plan.

The segment ends. Viewers are left pondering this question:  How were Americans able to make political decisions before ABC began bringing us this kind of political uncoverage?

Robert Knight is director of the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center. Brian Fitzpatrick is CMI's senior editor.