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Commentary: AVN Agrees With Morality In Media – Who'd'a Thunk?

Commentary: AVN Agrees With Morality In Media – Who'd'a Thunk?

In a news release e-mailed on Friday, Morality In Media president Robert Peters gave his views on MSNBC's decision to cease televising the show "Imus In The Morning" after its star was lambasted in the media for using racial epithets to refer to the Rutgers University women's basketball team – even if such language by Imus apparently wasn't primary in Peters' thinking:

"I have only watched MTV once and that was several years ago in preparation for a TV interview about MTV," Peters wrote in the news release, dated April 12, probably before CBS made it known that it too was dropping Imus' show from its radio line-up. "What shocked me almost as much as the anti-social behavior exhibited in the 'music videos' were the mainstream advertisers that made the programming possible."

"Companies that pulled ads from the Don Imus Show are to be commended," Peters continued, "but companies should also pull ads from music channels that daily pour forth a cultural swill that makes the Don Imus insult look tame by comparison."

"The outrage directed at Imus is more than justified, but it will prove to be largely a hollow victory if corporate America continues to give rappers who degrade women, glamorize criminal and other anti-social behavior and promote racial stereotypes a high-profit, high-profile national platform to corrupt the minds and hearts of children and to pollute mainstream culture."

AVN.com couldn't agree more, and notes also that it has long held the position that, for instance, adult production companies should take steps to avoid using demeaning language and terminology toward the porn stars whose energetic sexual performances generate the revenues that keep such companies in business. AVN.com also believes that companies and their personnel, including directors, should treat the talent at all times with the respect due to the women and men who toil for hours to make sex scenes as enjoyable as possible for the millions of viewers in the worldwide market for American porn.

But as infrequently as Peters watches MTV, we're guessing (and it is just a guess) that he watches hardcore adult material even less frequently; hence his failure (this time) to comment on the language and behaviors in some of adult's more extreme productions.

What Peters is likely more familiar with, however, but which he also failed to comment on, is the steady stream of insults emanating on a regular basis from conservative talk radio and TV, in the form of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, Neal Boortz, Michael Savage and the over 600 right-wing talk show hosts across the country.

Perhaps the best-known is Limbaugh's recent reference to presidential candidate Barak Obama as a "Halfrican," but that hardly scratches the surface of Limbaugh's long train of ad hominem attacks.

("Ad hominem" – literally, "argument to the person" – is the Latin term used to indicate an attack on some physical or otherwise irrelevant aspect of a person's gender, race, religion or intellectual capacity in an attempt either to avoid dealing directly with the argument the person is making, or to imply that because there is something wrong or deficient with the person him/herself, that the person's argument is equally deficient. It has been described as the "best-known of the logical fallacies.")

For example, Limbaugh, the originator of the term "feminazi," has claimed that "women still live longer than men because their lives are easier"; that the reason "a majority of young blacks feel alienated from today's government" is that "the government's been taking care of them their whole lives"; that women "actually wish" for sexual harassment; and once told a black caller to his radio show, "Take that bone out of your nose and call me back."

Bill O'Reilly has taken to describing any person or position he opposes as "secular leftist" or "secular liberal" even when the target clearly isn't either, described an 18-year-old girl who was raped and murdered as "moronic" for wearing a miniskirt and halter top in New York City late at night, and suggested to his co-host, Lis Wiehl that "it might be worth learning how" to strip for a $10,000 tip, adding, "You're a good-looking girl. I mean, if you haven't seen Lis on TV, she's a good-looking blonde." He was also sure that "many of the poor in New Orleans" did not evacuate the city before Hurricane Katrina because "[t]hey were drug-addicted" and "weren't going to get turned off from their source... They were thugs."

It's of course popular on right-wing radio to knock the views of The View's Rosie O'Donnell, but CNN's Glenn Beck crossed a line when he claimed that she has "blubber ... just pouring out of her eyes," and asked, "Do you know how many oil lamps we could keep burning just on Rosie O'Donnell fat?" He later "apologized" for the weight references, saying, "I'm a little ashamed" for calling her "a fat witch ... But she's so fat." He also famously demanded of Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim ever elected to Congress, "[W]hat I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.'"

Atlanta-based Neal Boortz has had a hate/hate relationship with former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, saying at one point that she "looks like a ghetto slut"; that her "new hair-do" made her look like "an explosion at a Brillo pad factory," like "Tina Turner peeing on an electric fence," and like "a shih tzu." He also described her as "the cutest little Islamic jihadist in Congress." A real "man of the people," Boortz also suggested on-air that if the country is faced with an impending national disaster, then "hell, yes, we should save the rich people first. You know, they're the ones that are responsible for this prosperity."

Michael Savage – the former Michael Weiner – has referred to journalist Barbara Walters as a "double-talking slut," an "empty-mind slut," a "mental prostitute" and "vermin." Speaking of singer Melissa Etheridge's acceptance speech at this year's Academy Awards, where she thanked her wife and four children, Savage aired his bigotry with, "I want to puke when I hear about a woman married to a woman raising children because, frankly, I think that it's child abuse to do that to children without their permission. What does a child know? Ask them when they're 16 whether they want to be raised by two lesbians or two men." And in a rant that should be particularly galling to Peters, Savage claimed of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who has a Ph.D. in political science and was named a Provost at Stanford university, "was chosen by George Bush as part of an affirmative action program in order to make his Cabinet look like America" and called her "a schoolmarm who has been pushed up the ladder all of her life because of social engineering."

(These and many more rants and insults can be found chronicled on the Media Matters for America website.)

We know that either Peters or some on his staff read AVN.com, so perhaps the above will cause him to expand his list of people who "degrade women, glamorize criminal and other anti-social behavior and promote racial stereotypes a high-profit, high-profile national platform to corrupt the minds and hearts of children and to pollute mainstream culture."

Hey, we can dream, can't we?

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Mark Kernes

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