Antiporn Groups Step Up PR Campaign Against LodgeNet

Q Boyer
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Antiporn groups Citizens for Community Values (CCV) and South Dakota Family Policy Council (SDFPC) will hold a press conference on Thursday to “expose” the Sioux Falls-based LodgeNet Entertainment Corp. as a “major provider of prosecutable hardcore pornography,” the groups announced Tuesday.

“We will debunk some of the myths about selling hardcore pornography,” CCV President Phil Burress said in the release. “Obscene pornography is not protected speech, and selling pornography to as many as 1.8 million hotel rooms in nearly every community in America is not a ‘privacy’ issue. Pornography is not a ‘victimless crime.’”

According to the release, at the press conference the two groups will “publicly encourage the U.S. Attorney for South Dakota to investigate LodgeNet for violation of federal law that prohibits interstate transportation of obscene pornography.”

The press conference is just one part of a wide-ranging public relations campaign initiated by the CCV against LodgeNet, a campaign that also includes radio spots, billboard advertising and the website TruthAboutLodgeNet.com.

Using what their press release terms “strategically placed” billboards in South Dakota, the CCV and SDFCP direct consumers to the website with massive roadside ads reading “LodgeNet Profits from Porn” with TruthAboutLodgeNet.com printed beneath that message.

The radio spots, which currently are being aired in an unspecified number of other states in addition to South Dakota, are entitled “Porn Hurts Us All” and “Policing Porn.” The link on the TruthAboutLodgeNet.com to the “Porn Hurts Us All” was broken as of press time for this article, but XBIZ was able to listen to the “Policing Porn” radio spot.

The radio spot states, in part that “more than 80 percent of police officers say when children are sexually abused, the abuser is a user of pornography, and [the officers] don’t mean just keep child porn, but [the abuser uses] so-called ‘adult pornography,’ as well.” The announcement further asserts that obscenity is a federal crime because “obscene pornography isn’t just a private act, it doesn’t just affect those who use it, but harms even the most innocent among us.”

Convincing LodgeNet to drop pornographic movies from their in-room pay-per-view offerings isn’t the only goal on the agenda for Thursday’s press conference; the SDFPC also will take the opportunity to present a plan to “upgrade” South Dakota’s obscenity law, according to the press release.

“The recent opening of a new sex business near Sioux Falls has brought increased attention to the need for such a law,” said Chris Hupke, executive director of the SDFPC. “Other states have enacted similar laws, the courts have upheld them, and the time has come for South Dakota to follow suit.”

LodgeNet representatives did not respond to XBIZ requests for comment by post time for this article.