I wrote here about the many relatively reputable news outlets that got suckered by a bogus story about a public masturbation booth in midtown Manhattan. It seems like some stories are just too juicy to pass up. Why bother with shoe leather when hell it is only a quick, pleasurable hit, and others are doing it?
A somewhat similar tale is unfolding. This time, the story is of a Fellatio Cafe planned for the formerly Calvinist Geneva by the end of the year, with one to follow in London and in other swinging locales.
Here is a website that describes the concept and points to the many press outlets that have covered the development. None of the outlets are to my knowledge pure fake news providers, though they vary in terms of how much probity, to use that term correctly, is to be expected. Put another way, the HuffPost is on the list of outlets that have run with a story.
At the high end of the credibility spectrum, Instapundit linked to a story along with a wink-wink-nod-nod just yesterday.
So it’s true, right?
That is not so easy to establish. Your humble correspondent was able to put on some decent shoes and trek over to the site of the alleged masturbation booth in Manhattan to debunk that story. That option is not available here. Not only is a flight to Geneva prohibitive for a mostly pajama-journo such as yours truly but the first cafe is not yet even open. The London cafe is mysteriously off in the distance as well, as are the spinoffs such as a cafe for the ladies in which the tables are turned. That one sounds at least as fishy.
As with the masturbation booth coverage, most all of the stories appear to be virtually identical, as though they were simple rephrasings of promotional language. And that’s one of the problems of getting to “the truth” in our addled era: it is not just a matter of the truly fake news found on bogus sites, or even the relentless big picture narrative promotion at which the mainstream media excel. It is also this pesky matter of the middleground, of stories that might be true, or partially true, but who knows?
I was not about to fly to Geneva but I did spend some time sleuthing, finding the name of the promoter (Bradley Charvet) in one story and using that to Google in other ways, including in the Swiss press. There, the concept is referred to as a Cafe Pipe, since “pipe” is the term used colloquially for fellatio, equivalent to “blowjob”.
The best I can make out is that while Charvet and the idea do in fact exist there was never probably never really a serious attempt to open such a cafe. The impression given is that of a a promoter with a clever idea at self-promotion, a form of ego masturbation all too common in our day and age, and the kind of stunt that our so-called media are only too happy to enable, no penetrating questions asked.
And in fact here is an article from a Swiss newspaper, poorly translated by Google, that reports that the cafe concept is dead.
Cold shower for lovers of morning expressos naughty! The pipe-pipe project will not see the light of day in a public establishment in Geneva. Indeed, the Commercial Service did not validate the coffee at 60 Swiss francs, which was meant to be innovative in Switzerland: fee-based sexual services are still banned in public establishments (see below).
Bradley Charvet, designer of the Geneva project and boss of the escort service www.facegirl.ch gives up: “It is impossible to set up this type of coffee in Geneva in a public establishment. It was a daring idea but for the time being we will not make the project. “In Switzerland, if prostitution is allowed, it must be done in a private setting, so it is impossible to offer a A simple cafe.
What seems most likely is that while prostitution is legal in Switzerland it is regulated and must take place in a private setting. And that Charvet may well have known it was a non-starter but that he also followed Barnum’s dictum: a sucker is born every minute.
The article ran several weeks back. Did Instapundit–the prototypical pajama journalist--bother to check, even from his bedroom computer? No. Will we likely see more coverage of the Cafe Pipe? Probably.