The State of Colorado considered requiring massage therapists be licensed, and determined that there is no need for it at this time, based on a review of the massage industry paid for by taxpayer dollars, and carried out at the request of a "Sunrise Review" of an application for state regulation. That was LAST YEAR. But James Jarman and his KOAA.com website for the Colorado Springs local "News First 5/30" media company published this inflammatory article just yesterday, as if it was news.
James Jarman framed the massage licensing issue in a new light, starting the article:
Despite law enforcement expressing the need for licensing and regulation in the massage industry, the state department that would regulate massage therapists has told state lawmakers that regulation is not needed.
Combined with the headline "State Regulator Says No To Licensing Massage Therapists", this seemingly deceitful presentation of old news as new suggests to the reader that massage licensing is a current concern for Colorado government, instead of the FACT that this was addressed and decided LAST SUMMER. Maybe James Jarman isn't happy with the outcome of the democratic, lawful process of government, but shouldn't he (and KOAA) limit their editorial opinions to the editorial pages?
This "article" (which is really just editorialized propaganda) is obviously supporting someone in the business of licensing massage therapists, such as massage schools, massage certificate programs, or those "international associations" that take several hundred dollar annual fees from hard-working massage therapists who are literally forced to buy them by unfair state laws in other states.
According to James Jarman:
As we've reported over the past few months, the massage therapy industry, along with Springs Metro Vice and the El Paso County Sheriff want licensing and regulation to help clean up the industry.
That's right. Someone is presenting themselves as "the massage therapy industry" and getting James Jarman to write inflammatory stuff like this, presented as news.
James Jarman continues to say :
In November we heard Sheriff Terry Maketa say that without regulation, no matter how many busts officers make the illegal operations continue to flourish in unincorporated El Paso County. "Having some type of regulation, some type of licensing would dramatically turn the tide to our favor and that's what we need if we're really going to have an impact on these operations," Maketa told News First.
Again, by presenting this as news and starting with statements from Police vice units, James Jarman is sugesting that the people and government need massage therapist licensing. Wrong, as considered and decided by Colorado government regulators last year. That vice activity being busted by cops is not massage therapy. It's usually unlicensed illegal business, and if the Police can't stop it, the Police need lawmakers to pay attention to that problem.
The only people who will benefit from mandatory massage licensing are those collecting fees from massage therapists: the massage schools, certificate programs, and sketchy "International Associations" who charge several hundred dollar membership fees for little more than a mebership card. Ask 10 massage therapists if they need mandatory licensing, and then report the results as "news" because ti will be to the readership of KOAA. Until now they are being led to believe massage therapists want mandatory licensing, instead of the truth which is massage schools and massage certification providers want mandatory licensing.
It seems very obvious James Jarman is in bed with some corporate/political agenda. That should be ok, as he is a citizen and entitled to his opinions, but is this news, and it is deceitful and misleading to frame this as news in the local media? Last i checked the FCC granted licensed to news outlets to use public airwaves. Is this abuse of the public trust?
No modern inflammatory news bit about massage would be complete without a mention of sex trafficking, and even though James Jarman had no news involving sex trafficking he managed to fit it in there by appending this:
The report does not mention human trafficking.
Huh. If the report does not mention human trafficking, James Jarman, why do you?
James Jarman also says this:
their review looked at massage therapy not massage parlors. State law defines as parlors as places where massages are given by people who didn't graduate from a massage therapy school. So looking only at therapists, regulators didn't find a lot of problems or complaints.
Okay, so that's the fact. Now we see the bias in James Jarman's reporting. Apparently, James Jarman wants to associate massage therapy with prostitution, and is apparently (shocked? annoyed? frustrated? disappointed?) that the Colorado State government didn't share his desire to associate massage therapy with prositution. I'm wondering if James Jarman is affiliated with a radical religious group, based on this reporting. It seems like fishing for evil in something not understood. It sounds like a lazy manipulative way to force people to follow a belief system they haven't chosen to follow.
Colorado is a democracy, based on the rule of law and the concept of justice (legal justice, not religious justice). If you want to go to get massage therapy, find a massage therapist. If you want to meet a friendly, probably international lady for conversation over a body scrub and rub down, feel free to go to a massage parlor. If a massage parlor breaks the law and engages in prositution, bust them for it (and the man or woman who offered the low wage massage worker money for sex, because that is illegal as well).
KOAA has a published mission statement on their web site:
We will serve our communities with a quality news product that is overwhelmingly local, relevant, and useful to viewers. We will listen to our viewers' interests and concerns and seek solutions with compassionate stories and pro-active journalism. We will build on our leadership position, providing community involvement programs that will help enrich the quality of life for our viewers. We will achieve these goals through good communication, teamwork, and an effective use of our resources.
Maybe it's time for James Jarman to read that mission statement. And if the people of Colorado Springs and Pueblo County want to close down illegal massage parlors that are actually fronts for prositution, they should do two things right away:
- stop going to them and paying for sexual favors, because they will close up shop if you do
- support your local law enforcement by helping them close illegal businesses when they find them
Neither requires passing of unreasonable state laws guaranteeing millions of profit dollars to "professional associations" and "massage schools", or placating religious groups pushing their unsolicited values onto the public. Licensing won't stop prostitution. It will simply drive legitimate massage therapists to charge higher fees and/or move to other states where they can make a living, while making the schools and certificate programs rich.
*** Thanks to the reader who submitted this. Excellent coverage of local issues in Colorado.