LOS ANGELES—It's one thing to be hated so much that a cottage industry of religious zealots is created just to destroy you, but it's quite another to be relegated to the bottom of the list of core issues on the official website of aspiring zealot-in-chief, Rick Santorum, which is exactly where porn resides at this moment. Oh, the humiliation! To what ignominious act or person does the industry owe this reprehensible lack of appropriate recognition?
That would be Alex Seitz-Wald on Think Progress. Thanks a lot, Seitz-Wald. You happy now?
This is how it went down, according to Seitz-Wald himself, who shortly after 2 this afternoon posted a short item to Think Progress about the hierarchy of issues on Santorum's Where I Stand page. The top issue at that particular moment was, you guessed it, Enforcing Laws Against Illegal Pornography, a section that contains a lot of juicy red meat for Santorum followers, the majority of whom would not be caught dead buying, renting or downloading porn. (Uh-huh)
The point of the Think Progress post was to point out the apparent prioritizing of issues by the campaign as reflected on the site, including the observation that "the word 'tax' appears only 4 times on the issue page and 'job' only 5 times—the same number as 'abortion' and fewer than 'pornography,' which appears 8 times."
Of course, the reason for that discrepancy is simple; everyone knows that it is twice as much fun to watch porn as it is to pay taxes, and almost twice as much more fun than going to work, unless you work at AVN, where work, fun and porn are hopelessly commingled.
So the placement of porn at the top of Santorum's issues page was very interesting and more than a little gratifying for those of us who slave in the salt mines of an industry that churns out more content on a yearly basis than Hollywood has produced in the last hundred years.
But then something really strange happened.
Shortly after this post was published," wrote Seitz-Wald in an update, "Santorum’s campaign appears to have changed its website, as the section on pornography is now the very last item listed on the 'Issues' page. The rest of the page appears unchanged, with the second item, 'No More Leading from Behind for America,' moved to top billing. A Google cache version from the page on February 18th shows the original."
Whether the Think Progress post instigated the change we do not know, but we thank them for pointing out the sudden shift in priorities and we agree with the assessment that Santorum is being advised to downplay the social (i.e. sexual) issues in favor of more rational ideas such as... well, we'll get back to you on that.
No matter where it is placed on the page, however, Santorum's take on porn is definitely worth a read. Please note the "cottage industry" organizations with which he aligns himself. Just three—Family Research Council, Focus on the Family and American Family Association—indelibly mark the former senator as a supporter of unmitigated hate.
The entire position statement is reprinted here:
America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography. A wealth of research is now available demonstrating that pornography causes profound brain changes in both children and adults, resulting in widespread negative consequences. Addiction to pornography is now common for adults and even for some children. The average age of first exposure to hard-core, Internet pornography is now 11. Pornography is toxic to marriages and relationships. It contributes to misogyny and violence against women. It is a contributing factor to prostitution and sex trafficking.
Every family must now be concerned about the harm from pornography. As a parent, I am concerned about the widespread distribution of illegal obscene pornography and its profound effects on our culture.
For many decades, the American public has actively petitioned the United States Congress for laws prohibiting distribution of hard-core adult pornography.
Congress has responded. Current federal “obscenity” laws prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier. Rick Santorum believes that federal obscenity laws should be vigorously enforced. “If elected President, I will appoint an Attorney General who will do so.”
The Obama Administration has turned a blind eye to those who wish to preserve our culture from the scourge of pornography and has refused to enforce obscenity laws. While the Obama Department of Justice seems to favor pornographers over children and families, that will change under a Santorum Administration.
I proudly support the efforts of the War on Illegal Pornography Coalition that has tirelessly fought to get federal obscenity laws enforced. That coalition is composed of 120 national, state, and local groups, including Morality in Media, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, American Family Association, Cornerstone Family Council of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania Family Institute, Concerned Women for America, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and a host of other groups. Together we will prevail.