WASHINGTON, D.C.—We were probably too sidetracked (and elated) by President Obama's speech on April 3 denouncing the Republican Party and its presidential candidates for their "cruelty and extremism" and their attempts to impose on the country a "radical vision" that "is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity" to notice that the following day, Morality in Media (MiM) president Patrick Trueman had delivered 5,000 or so letters to Congress calling for "a Congressional hearing in either or both the Committee on the Judiciary and Committee on Energy and Commerce" to "explore the true harms of pornography" by "bringing together leading medical professionals and researchers on the subject," a hearing that Trueman described as "now vitally necessary.
"We also know that consumption of adult pornography leads many consumers to harder and more deviant material over time," Trueman added in a fundraising letter to supporters, "and even leads many to consume child pornography, contributing to the widespread and increasing problem of child pornography distribution in America. Children are also too often targeted by the pornography industry through free distribution of illegal hardcore Internet offerings, leading many child consumers into sexual exploitive behaviors and life-long accompanying problems."
It's all horseshit, of course, but Trueman still managed to get 127 like-minded "national and well-known leaders" to sign the letter with him, including Alliance Defense Fund president Alan Sears, conservative Princeton University Prof. Robert George, Citizens for Community Values president Phil Burress, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, anti-women's rights activist Phyllis Schlafly, anti-Kinsey crusader Judith Reisman, Shelley Lubben and five of her acolytes and a coupleof dozen other lesser-known "movement conservatives," plus 43 more pages of names of religio-conservative citizens who really should have checked the bottoms of their shoes before stepping into this mess.
Of course, with Rick Santorum now having dropped out of the presidential race, porn-bashing is likely to take a back seat to other campaign issues, even though the Republicans' most likely presidential candidate Mitt Romney signed onto MiM's anti-porn pledge in January, but so far has been relatively silent on the issue.
And much as the adult industry would hope that such time-wasting pleas would fall on deaf ears, it's worth remembering that as soon as conservatives took power in the House in 2010, their first orders of business were trampling women's abortion rights and defunding Planned Parenthood. Hence, with child support scofflaw Fred Upton chairing the House Energy and Commerce Committee (backed up by ultra-conservative Texas Rep. Joe Barton), and SOPA creator Lamar Smith chairing the House Committee on the Judiciary (which counts as members ultra-conservatives like James Sensenbrenner, Mike Pence, Darrell Issa, Steve King, Randy Forbes and Louie Gohmert), there's a good chance that one of those committees may just take Trueman's call for a hearing seriously, if for no other reason than to distract the public from the Republicans' myriad failings as the 2012 presidential election approaches.
After all, it worked for then-Sen. Sam Brownback, didn't it?