ORLANDO, Fla.—The Men's Health magazine article about the smuttiest cities in America was published in the middle of April, but it seems to only now be percolating through the editorial desks of newsrooms here and abroad, and wouldn't you know it, the Daily Mail, Britain's reactionary tabloid, which is currently gnashing its teeth over porn on the internet and calling for a nationwide "opt-in" program that would filter all porn sites by default, has taken note of Orlando.
The article—Porn in the USA: Orlando is crowned America's Pornography Capital in list of top 100 smuttiest cities—is a fine example of ideological excess disguised as muckraking journalism, or vice versa.
"Home to kids' idols Mickey Mouse, Shamu the Whale and all their fairytale friends, Orlando is a mecca for fun... and fantasy," begins the article, lulling the reader into a false (if brief) sense of serenity. "But while tourists queue at the gates of attractions that include Disney World and Wet 'n Wild Water Park, it appears the locals prefer a rather more adult form of entertainment.
"Orlando, Florida, has been crowned America's most porn-addicted city," it declares, employing a level of editorial hyperbole that even the tabloids in the States would find excessive.
But they are not done relegating the Sunshine State to a cultural swamp. "Orlando," reports Mail scribe Matt Blake, "was not the only Florida city in the top 20. Nearby Tampa came in eighth and infamously debauched Miami in 12th."
It is not as if the British do not know a thing or two about debauchery, especially among the upper and royal classes, whose provocateurs all but paved the way for such a relative newcomer as Miami, not to mention Orlando.
But in the end the point of the Daily Mail article is to once again hammer home the idea that the internet is an evil place because of all the porn.
"The internet is the biggest source of pornographic material, an industry that pulls in $4.9 billion per year worldwide, according to research conducted by the online Master of Business Administration," the article states conclusively, adding, "A recent study found that eight out of ten men looked at porn on the internet—compared to one-third of women, with men spending an average of two hours a week watching pornography on internet, compared with just 15 minutes for women."
In case you were wondering what "Master of Business Administration" is, it is the website onlinemba.com, whose sole purpose is to "provide you with comprehensive resources and up-to-date information on how to choose the best online MBA program to fit your needs. We also delve into how to succeed in your MBA program and how to determine what your MBA degree can do for you."
Where else would you go for your definitive porn stats, none of which, need it be stated, are actually the result of "research conducted by the online Master of Business Administration."
But who's quibbling when the future happiness of nations is at stake?
"Coincidentally," the article adds, "an earlier survey in Men's Health's November 2011 edition, found Orlando to be America's 19th unhappiest city. In fact, five of the 20 saddest American towns made the top 20 porn capitals, including Atlanta (14th), Las Vegas (10th), Miami (8th), Tampa (4th)."