JESUSLAND—Now we know why Morality in Media (MiM) has been so hot recently to get its sticky little hands on your bucks: It's time to browbeat the announced presidential candidates into promising to reactivate the U.S. Justice Department's Obscenity Prosecution Task Force (or something like it) to dance on the heads of those lousy pornographers!
"We want assurances that the next President will agree to make the prosecution of illegal hardcore pornography a priority of the U.S. Department of Justice," declared MiM president Patrick Trueman. "Only then will the harm begin to subside."
What "harm," you may ask? Just the same crap they've been pushing for the past couple of years since Trueman inaugurated his "war on illegal pornography" at PornHarms.com.
"According to peer-reviewed research and many, many personal accounts, harm from adult pornography is at pandemic levels," an MiM press release trumpets. "Exposure to pornography is leading to addiction among many children and adults, and is a significant cause of broken marriages and the sexual exploitation of children and women. Pornography is linked to increased demand of sexual trafficking and its role as a gateway to child pornography is a major reason why child pornographers are increasing at unprecedented levels, according to new studies."
Of course, MiM's "peer-reviewed research" mostly isn't peer-reviewed, or if it is, it usually deals only peripherally with the effects of using sexually explicit materials. And as far as "personal accounts," it's best to bear in mind Roger Brinner's famous adage, "The plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data'." In other words, no matter how many people claim to have experienced harm from using porn or in some other way being exposed to it, until those claims have been subjected to scientific scrutiny, they're just that: Claims.
And as for porn being "linked" to "increased demand of sexual trafficking," perhaps MiM is unaware that for all adult industry movies being produced today, performers are required to produce government-issued photo IDs, thus pretty much guaranteeing that those performers aren't "trafficked." And as for adult porn being "a gateway to child pornography," actual peer-reviewed studies have shown that those interested in child porn have virtually no interest in adult porn; they just can't get off on it.
The MiM press release claims that it was because of the obscenity prosecutions of the Reagan/Bush years that "[t]he porn industry stopped producing violent-themed pornography such as rape films, as well as themes involving children." Yeah! It wasn't because adult producers saw that few people wanted to buy the (very few) fake "rape videos" that had been marketed, that stores didn't want to carry them, and that after decades of being forced to produce their movies "underground," producers were able to see the light of day and operate their businesses above-ground, becoming more socially aware in the process! And of course, the legitimate adult industry has never knowingly produced child porn, which has been illegal since well before Ed Meese convened his anti-porn commission.
Sadly, that hasn't stopped Trueman from claiming, in an email sent today to his constituents, that when he was in the Justice Department's obscenity unit, he A) never lost a case, and B) "As a result, much of the hardcore pornography available disappeared—at the time it was rape and child-themed pornography." That's horseshit, Pat, and you know it.
"In recent years, however, all prosecution of the existing obscenity laws has stopped," the MiM press release continues, "essentially giving pornographers a free pass to produce as much of the hardest types of pornography possible. As a result of not enforcing the law, hardcore pornography has now become the majority of available porn and individuals are suffering from a plethora of harms."
Um, Pat? When a guy sticks his cock into a pussy or ass (female or male), when a guy or gal sucks a cock or a pussy, that's "hardcore pornography," and that hasn't changed in all the years that movies have been shot and photographs taken. It really doesn't get "harder" than that. And yes, that's different from what Playboy shows in its magazines and on its cable channels (along with Cinemax and Showtime and all the other networks that carry sexy material), but it always has been. Admittedly, porn—hard and soft—has kept up with the times, in the sense that, for example, "men's magazines" for a long time would only show bare breasts in profile, and only began showing pubic hair in the '70s, while movie porn has become more inventive and acrobatic over the years—but that's because it's what the public wants, and if the public didn't want it, it wouldn't be produced.
Of course, Morality in Media makes its money by ignoring the above-noted facts, and expects to make even more if a fundamentalist Republican is elected president, and his/her comrades get to fill House and Senate seats—recall that Congress stopped funding MiM's sister organization, ObscenityCrimes.org, several years ago—so obviously, the group is staking an early claim to this election's sexual morality gutter.
To that end, MiM wants all of its "fellow travelers" to ask the seven current major Republican candidates and the Democratic incumbent the following:
"Will you agree to vigorously prosecute illegal adult pornography if elected president? Federal obscenity laws prohibit distribution of hardcore 'obscene' pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops, through the mail, and by common carrier. Pornography is causing great harm to America. It is causing addiction to children and adults and increasing violence against women. It is a contributing factor to sexual trafficking and causing an increase in child pornography. It is a leading cause of divorce and harming many marriages. Please tell me your position. Will you order your Attorney General to make adult obscenity prosecutions a priority?"
Frankly, we can't imagine that any of them will answer "No"—but then again, who in his/her right mind would take any of these candidates' campaign promises seriously?