|Rick Cusick, High Times: “Cutting ties” with Village Voice Media. WHAT “ties”?
In a self-serving and hubristic press release on Tuesday, Trans High Corporation, the parent company of High Times magazine, announced that it will, effective immediately, discontinue any advertising or promotional relationship with Village Voice Media due to their continued financial stake in Backpage.com.
Village Voice Media is the corporation which owns Toke of the Town.
High Times claimed it was taking the action “due to their [Village Voice Media’s] continued financial stake in Backpage.com, based on reporting by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times and others who credibly accuse the website’s ‘adult services’ classified ads of being allegedly complicit in the advertising of child sex traffickers.”
“While we remain staunch defenders of the First Amendment and free speech in general,” Trans High Corp spokesman and High Times associate publisher Rick Cusick said, “we do not in any way condone such activity as has been alleged by Backpage.com, and this includes advertising in media owned by its parent company.”
It was an interesting announcement, especially since High Times has never had any “advertising or promotional relationship” with Toke of the Town in the first place. Granted, Toke has run (positive) reviews of separate books by High Times employees Elise McDonough and Danny Danko, but that’s about as far as it’s gone.
Unless, of course, you count emails querying about the best venue location for a High Times Cannabis Cup awards ceremony in Seattle (received as recently as yesterday, mind you) from High Times staff. (You’re welcome for the advice.)
In any event, no, Toke of the Town is not involved in sex trafficking. And no, neither is parent company Village Voice Media, according to its spokespeople, who say VVM is doing all it can to make sure ads of underage sex workers don’t appear in the back of its 13 alternative weeklies across the U.S.
For what it’s worth, Toke of the Town was unable to confirm at press time that the announcement has anything to do with the fact that we have been kicking HighTimes.com’s ass in page views every month for almost two years now.