Dan Gainor

A picture is worth 1,000 words or so we’re told. Here are a few: despicable, appalling, predatory and unprofessional.

That barely hints at the disgusting behavior Reuters is displaying in its quest to use a crotch photo of a 17-year-old girl to make money.

We thought we had seen it all, so to speak. Perez Hilton, who has turned all things sleazy into a business model, was smacked down by society for posting a revealing photo of singer/actress Miley Cyrus. After Hilton’s lame defense of showing an up-skirt photo of the girl who he has previously called a “Disney Whore" and “Disney Slut,” Disney pulled ads for ABC’s “The View” from his site.

Perez has always been the troll the media love, but even he went too far here. His indefensible actions generated the attention his little, er, ego required and he got to move on and slime someone else.

Surprisingly, Hilton has been outdone by a larger, more experienced bunch of scumbags – the folks at Reuters, once thought of as a professional news agency.

Glenn Beck

Cyrus, who is having her teen misadventures broadcast globally, got photographed in a compromising way during the Much Music Awards in Toronto on Sunday. The photo shows her dancing in a white body suit with ribbons. However, the photo caught her just as the body suit moved, revealing all too much of her crotch.

Like the previous Disney pop tarts – Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera – embarrassing moments go with the territory. Reuters enshrined this one in the marketing hall of fame as a way to destroy credibility. The company is now selling the photo.

That’s right, a news agency is selling dirty pictures of a 17-year-old girl. It’s doing a lot more. Its disreputable photo department sent the photo out to Reuters print clients for use – although what use they would make of such a picture one can only imagine.

Disbelief and outrage are barely a starting point for this one. Dictionary.com lists 50 synonyms for disgusting from “abominable” to “yucky” and not one does this justice.

For any news organization to do this, is outlandish. But Reuters has fallen on difficult times and it is no longer deserving of much respect. These actions raise true legal issues – such as whether pornographic or questionably pornographic images of underage girls are protected by the First Amendment. Even if some lawyers say they are, I disagree.

In words so simple even Reuters might understand – no #%@&ing way.

Dan Gainor

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and director of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute.