Right wing fundamentalists are upset that Attorney General John Ashcroft isn’t shaping up to be the reincarnation of Edwin Meese III- the attorney general who led a crusade against pornography during the Reagan years - that anti-porn organizations had hoped he would be.
In a Los Angeles Times article published yesterday a number of fundamentalist groups expressed their anger at the man they had viewed as one of theirs. Focus on the Family, Morality in Media, Citizens for Community Values and other anti-porn groups were interviewed for the piece.
Ashcroft was appointed because of his fundamentalist Christian views, an appeasement to the right-wing voters that Bush depends upon.
Yet in the three years under Ashcroft’s helm, the Justice Department has shown few results – though it is often mentioned that over 50 companies are being investigated for somehow being involved in adult.
The Ragsdales, a Dallas couple selling pirated rape videos were recently convicted on federal obscenity charges – though their lawyer is currently seeking a new trial; a juror called him the next day to say she hadn’t agreed with the verdict.
Rob Black, Lizzie Borden and Extreme Video are being prosecuted on federal obscenity charges in Pennsylvania – the first federal case against a producer in a decade.
In September a Texas family that owned adult retail stores and arcades was indicted on federal charges that included racketeering and obscenity charges.
But only twenty people have been convicted on obscenity charges since 2001. And that has the fundamentalists wondering if maybe Bush would be better off with a new attorney general.
John Malcolm, a deputy assistant attorney general who oversees the department’s child exploitation and obscenity section, told the Times that critics don’t understand the difference outraged and making a federal case out of it.