The Times of Swaziland expressed surprise and also a little outrage on Monday (4 October 2010) that an American man has conned Swazi women into sending him photos of themselves naked.
What happened was this: The man had letters ‘published in various newspapers in the country [Swaziland]’ and in them he ‘expressed his wish to marry a Swazi woman’.
But it was a scam. He didn’t want a wife; he just wanted photos of women.
What a surprise. What the Times, an independent newspaper in Swaziland, failed to report that it was the newspaper that published the letter in the first place and as far as I recall it was the only one that did (let’s face it there aren’t that many newspapers in the kingdom.)
The letter writer said, ‘I’m not too picky; I just want a woman with a good heart to help me raise my daughter and take good care of me. I make good money so my wife will not need to work or worry about finances.’
The Times should have smelt a rat, but didn’t. Worse than that, the editor in a footnote encouraged the man by writing, ‘We [Swaziland] have beautiful women, who were raised right’. This almost certainly also encouraged women readers to contact the man.
When this was published in December 2009 I accused the Times of pimping for the man. How right I was.
This week the Times is indignant that the man turned out not to be genuine. Some women who contacted him were left upset.
Perhaps the editor of the Times would like to offer them – and his readers – an apology for being so irresponsible as to publish the letter in the first place.