What will John Kerry do about enforcement of obscenity laws, if elected?
NEWS RELEASE from MORALITY IN MEDIA, Inc.
NEW YORK (5 October 2004) – Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media, made the following comments in response to today’s New York Times article, “Strip Club’s Cover Charge Is Voter Registration Card,” which describes the adult entertainment industry’s “political activism” in behalf of the Kerry Campaign:
“During the 1992 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton issued a written statement expressing his strong support for enforcement of federal obscenity laws. But when President Clinton nominated Janet Reno as his Attorney General, he for all practical purposes signed a death warrant against the successful campaign that the Reagan and Bush administrations had been waging against obscenity.
“The result was an explosion of hardcore pornography, especially on the Internet—an explosion that is preventing and destroying marriages, corrupting children, contributing to sexual crimes against children and adults, contributing to the spread of STDs, including AIDS, and eroding morality and decency.
“During the 2000 presidential campaign, Morality in Media worked to get both candidates to go public on the obscenity issue; and both did—in support of enforcement of federal obscenity laws.
“To date, President Bush’s record on enforcement of obscenity laws is mixed. On one hand, the flood of obscenity in large measure continues unabated. On the other hand, during the past two years there have been obscenity prosecutions against commercial distributors of hardcore pornography in Kentucky, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas (two cases), and West Virginia; and according to various sources, many obscenity investigations are underway. Earlier this year, FBI Director Robert Muller also assigned a team of FBI agents to investigate obscenity crimes.
“The question now is what will John Kerry do about enforcement of obscenity laws, if elected? Will he continue the progress (however slow) that has been made in the war against obscenity or will he fulfill the expectations of the pornography industry that seems convinced that he, like Bill Clinton, will be soft on obscenity?
“For the past few months, MIM has been asking its members to write both presidential candidates, asking that each candidate make his position clear on enforcement of federal obscenity laws.
“Today, I went to the georgewbush.com website and searched the site for the words obscenity and pornography. Two documents were found indicating the president’s support for enforcement of obscenity laws, and five documents were found indicating his concern about pornography.
“When I went to the johnkerry.com website and searched the site for the words obscenity and pornography, no documents were found that included the word obscenity. One document did include the word pornography, but that document blasted President Bush for nominating an individual to the federal courts who ‘decried the degradation of values by…pornography….’
“The article in today’s New York Times describing the efforts of strip joints and hardcore pornographers on behalf of the Kerry campaign was not the first. Other articles have appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer (June 24), WorldNetDaily.com (May 21) and USA TODAY (May 20).”
MORALITY IN MEDIA is a nonprofit national organization, with headquarters in New York City, which works to curb traffic in obscenity and to uphold standards of decency in the media. MIM operates the ObscenityCrimes.org Web site—where citizens can report possible violations of federal Internet obscenity laws to Federal prosecutors—and the National Obscenity Law Center, a unique legal resource for legislators, prosecutors and others.
Author: MIM 20041005