THE BIG APPLE—Poor Patrick Trueman! Ever since he got roped into taking over the flagging censorship organization Morality in Media, contributions have been dropping like cow pies in a pasture.
It's gotten so bad that MiM's flagship columnist, Ed Hynes, who until 2010 contributed bi-monthly anti-porn/anti-sexual rantings in his "A View From Riverside Drive," delivered only two columns in 2010, and just one this year—in January.
Worse, the group's Wikipedia page doesn't appear to have been updated in several months, since it still lists Robert W. Peters as the group's president—a job he hasn't held since December, 2010.
And while the page notes that MiM received $150,000 in grant money in both 2005 and 2006 from the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance (under Bush Attorney General appointee Alberto Gonzales, natch!) to help pay for the group's "citizen-generated obscenity complaints" from companion site ObscenityCrimes.org, we're guessing those funds dried up after none of the 67,000 "legitimate" complaints the site generated led to any obscenity prosecutions as of August, 2007.
But damnit, they're still trying! Who can forget that wonderful campaign last April to get federal legislators to sign an anti-porn pledge which MiM personally delivered to Attorney General Eric Holder? Why, out of 535 senators and representatives, they actually got 117 of them to sign!
And what about that terrific "phone your representative" campaign in May, where all one had to do was dial a toll-free number to be put through to an eager public servant at the Justice Department who'd gladly listen to you complain about all the damned sex just spilling out all over the place from your radio, TV, newspapers, tinfoil hat antenna? I think we all remember how well that turned out! But stalwarts that they are, MiM quickly followed it up with a personal petition to President and Mrs. Obama to urge Holder to order the FBI to mount more mail-order sting operations, resulting in ... no new obscenity prosecutions (unless you count the extra charges added onto Ira Isaacs' docket).
And then there was July's four-week campaign by PornHarms.org, MiM's sister organization, that featured "live online conferences," webinars, online movie screenings, Twitter hashtags, "live online events," YouTube videos—the works!
But of course, all of that stuff costs money—and now it appears that Morality in Media is broke!
"The economy is taking a great toll on non-profits like ours," Trueman wrote in an email sent to MiM fans (like us!) on Monday. "I don't like to approach you this way, but knowing of your keen interest in our work, I thought you would like to hear from us on this."
"Money is what the porn industry has," he continued cluelessly. "We have people, in growing numbers and with a great willingness and spirit to fight the scourge of pornography. I know it is a sacrifice for many of you to give your hard-earned money to help us in our fight. But, you know that our small staff is making a major difference and we count on you. We need immediate help. There is no other way to say it. We have been very aggressive in our war on the porn industry and we are fighting on many fronts. We have stretched even the smallest funds to accomplish great things!"
Apparently, that plea didn't do a lot of good, because on Tuesday, he sent this:
"I wrote you yesterday telling you of our urgent need for funding," Trueman wrote urgently. "I profoundly thank those who gave. We are far from our goal, however. Frankly we need to raise $40,000 in the next 10 days. I know from past experience that that amount is possible. I also know that it will take some sacrifices on your behalf for which we are so grateful." [Emphasis added]
"We have a very small staff, four full-time people," he continued. "And we keep costs down. We even discontinued using our mailing house and all mailings, such as our newsletter, fundraising appeals, etc. are done in our office to save money. Your contribution goes a very long way."
Poor Pat. Even with that appeal not enough people "sacrificed," because today, we got this:
"We received many contributions yesterday and it is so helpful," Trueman probably lied. "We are still far from our goal of $40,000 and our financial situation threatens us, but I am encouraged."
"Yet, I was saddened by the comments of some," he continued. "One woman contributor wrote of how her family was torn apart by her husband's addiction to pornography and how it led to his suicide. I thought of how the porn industry tells us that porn is empowering to women. What an insulting lie!"
Yeah! How dare the porn industry suggest that just because women get paid, on average, twice as much as men do for sex scenes, often get to choose their partners and veto anybody they don't want to work with, and through those scenes often get a handle on what they like, don't like, and really like sexually, that that's "empowering to women"! What nonsense!
And just look at all the good work MiM intends to do with that money you'll send them!
"Our battle against NBC to keep The Playboy Club, from airing on prime time this fall is picking up speed," Tuesday's email stated. "Right now we want to mail all the top advertisers on NBC to urge them to use their influence to stop the show... We are also researching and writing a legal brief for the U. S. Supreme Court case of Fox v. NBC, the most important indecency case to come before the Supreme Court in nearly 40 years. We have been fighting this case for years, knowing that if it is lost, network TV will look like cable TV, with nudity and profanity prevailing in prime time. I hope you see how critical our presence in the case is."
Of course, Trueman meant Fox v. FCC, but we understand what a strain it is, worrying about where the next dime to fight "nudity and profanity prevailing in prime time" is coming from. It breaks our hearts to think of poor, tired old Pat Trueman, standing out in Times Square in his $995 Versace Collection pinstripe suit, hat in hand, begging tourists and even those generous native New Yorkers for just a few pennies to keep the "War On Illegal P*rnography" carrying on!
So won't you help? Just send whatever you can to Morality in Media at some address we can't find right now in New York City—and please: Do it today!