The Croydon Advertiser has done a bit of a Hull Daily Mail in an exposé of a "sinister" brothel "operating in the same building as a charity for the elderly".
The quality piece of investigative journalism recounts how a fearless undercover reporter was "offered sex with a prostitute for £50 at the seedy enterprise in London Road, West Croydon".
Having made absolutely certain he was being offered sex in return for cash, the hack "made his excuses and left", as journalistic tradition requires.
The brothel was brought to the Advertiser's attention by an anonymous local businessman who told the paper: "I've complained to Croydon Council and the police in the last six months, so they are aware of its presence, but it's still open for business and no one's done anything about shutting it down.
"It looks horrible and really sinister and you get all sorts going in – from businessmen to creepy guys who look like they haven't had a bath for a long time."
The Advertiser notes that the establishment "was advertised as 'Oriental Massage Croydon' through a card in the window of Eshop General Stores, in London Road."
Here's where the wheels come off the paper's probe, however. As the Guardian explains, the reporter could have saved himself a trip to Eshop General Stores by turning to page 52 of his own paper, which carries an ad for the very bawdy-house he was investigating.
The Croydon Community Against Trafficking (CCAT) declared: "CCAT has brought this very fact to the attention of the Croydon Advertiser in the past...
"CCAT is baffled by the utter hypocrisy of the Croydon Advertiser; on the one hand to have a front page article about sinister brothels in our midst, and then, on the other, to take money from the same brothel and help it to thrive, demonstrates an alarming degree of double standards from our local family newspaper."
Regular readers will, of course, be reminded of the aforementioned Hull Daily Mail and its porncoder scandal. The paper's readers were quick to point out that it was a bit rich exposing a local man for having been involved in pornographic websites, while carrying small ads for escort services. ®