Here's the photo Doug Lamborn feared was child porn -- one activist says speaks volumes

Categories: Politics

orange bathtub photo cropped.jpg
Full pic below.
From Pennsylvania to West Virginia (and Colorado), pictures of bright orange, iron-laced water pouring down streams and out of kitchen faucets have been shared by activists to demonstrate the dangers of coal mining. But one photo scheduled for display before Congress' energy and mineral resources subcommittee was deemed "inappropriate" by staffers and a noted former Schmuck of the Week, Representative Doug Lamborn.

The image, taken by photojournalist Katie Falkenberg (see below), depicts a naked five-year-old girl sitting in orange bathwater. It was originally included in the PowerPoint presentation that Boone County,West Virginia, coal mining activist Maria Gunnoe presented in front of the subcommittee Friday. But not only was the photo pulled from Gunnoe's presentation, but the activist was taken aside for questioning by a Capitol police officer, allegedly tipped off by senior committee staff that the photo constituted child pornography.

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Screenshot of Katie Falkenberg's website
Here is a screen shot of photographer Katie Falkenberg's website, on which the image is available for public view.
"I knew that they messed up," says Gunnoe, who was testifying about the negative effects of the Spruce #1 mine permit, the largest mountaintop-removal permit in West Virginia's history. "Whenever they censor a photograph, people are going to want to know what it is."

Lamborn, who heads the subcommittee, admitted to the Denver Post that he decided to remove the photo without having seen it. "If it's inappropriate, I don't think I should be viewing it," he said. "The fewer people who viewed it, the better."

"It's disturbing that this committee would go so far to distort the truth about [mountaintop removal]," Gunnoe says. The photo may be difficult to see, she concedes, but it demonstrates the reality of coal mining. "This is how it affects us in our homes."

To read Maria Gunnoe's official testimony and view her presentation, click here.

More from our Media archive: "Doug Lamborn named Keith Olbermann's Worst Person in the World for tar-baby line (VIDEO)."

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12 comments
My2Cents
My2Cents

The nakedness of this child is not what is so disturbing.... the fact that someone's child is having to bathe in such iron saturated water to begin with is the real concern.  It truly is a shame though that the first thoughts this guy had was it was child pornography...talk about not seeing the forest for the trees...

S Salazar
S Salazar

I'm sorry, but only a pedophile or an individual with questionable sexual tendencies would look at this photograph and see anything erotic or pornographic When I look at this image, I see NOTHING MORE than the degrading quality of life experienced by many families as a result of severely polluted water. Sad? Absolutely. Sexy? Absolutely Not!  I have many, many pictures of my son bathing from when he was a baby and now as a toddler. The are adorable! He's splashing around, having fun, and making a huge mess. It makes me sick that some twisted person could come along and label them pornographic. There is something seriously wrong with that.

Stan
Stan

"... flabby, pasty-skinned, riddled with phlebitis — a good Republican body,"

Ricky Hollywood
Ricky Hollywood

It probably made Lamborn feel tingly in his panties and that's why he said it was porn.  To most people, it's a kid in a bathtub full of an environmental disaster.  To Lamborn, it's sex.

Newman8520
Newman8520

Oh good grief, I’m was just listening to Dan Caplis for the last two hours putting his politics above decency, as usual.  Caplis claims that Lamborn did the responsible thing with his role in referring this case to authorities to investigate for child porn. After requesting or insisting that the “chest and groin” of the child is blacked out on the KHOW site, which is a little disturbing in action or intent by itself, Dan is saying that anyone distributing this kind of naked picture of a child, or forwarding it, should be investigated, and it should be a violation of Colorado Law.  Let the the investigators decide the intent, Caplis says.  There has to be a baseline refusal of 3rd parties to distribute photos of naked children, he adds.  Well, turn yourself in Westword. And by the way, Dan, turn yourself in, too.  You electronically forwarded this photo its link to your radio partner this morning, as was mentioned near the beginning of the show.  Dan should do what he demanded of Laura Bradford when the legislator got off after drinking wine and packing a gun:  Turn yourself in and let the law decide.  Danny just advocated for a law he apparently just broke.  I wish I was surprised.  jmo

Stan
Stan

They should have just used a fat, old person in a thong.  

Harvey
Harvey

It is certainly indecent,disturbing, and disgusting.  But not for the reasons Lamborn thinks.

Lee
Lee

But wait!  Lamborn is a whore for Big Coal, so he's going to obfuscate and smear the opposition in any way possible. He saw a not-so-clever way to smear an anti-coal activist, and he jumped at the opportunity. Maybe he and Don Blankenship can share the same bunk in Hell.

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