The Newsweek headline — “Penthouse Gets Pious” — grabbed me. But the story doesn’t quite deliver. In it, business reporter Jennifer Ordonez’s story argues that internet porn is forcing adult magazines to diversify. Here’s how the story begins:
Christian dating web site BigChurch.com’s motto is “Bringing people together in love and faith.” A pointed quote from the Old Testament (“A man will leave his father and his mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Gen. 2:24) precedes the site’s Bible-verse search library. Further testimonial from a fresh-faced woman leaves little doubt as to the site’s higher purpose: “I feel like my prayers of finding a respectable man have been answered! Thanks BigChurch!!”
So it may surprise users that BigChurch.com has a decidedly promiscuous corporate parent: Penthouse Media Group Inc.
But that’s it. The article very dryly discusses how Penthouse acquired a social-network company with a broad reach. Its subsidiaries range from BigChurch.com to Bondage.com.
I know it’s the business section and all, but perhaps we could get a bit more? Some quotes from Penthouse execs talking about how great it is to run a Christian dating web site? Some quotes from Christians who think it’s not so great? Quotes from economists putting the business move in context? When the assignment editor gods give you a story that combines religion and pornography, you have to do more.