Antiporn Groups: Feds Should Indict Softer Content

Q Boyer
NEW YORK — Reacting to the Justice Department’s indictment of producer John Stagliano on obscenity charges, executives from socially conservative watchdog groups said their organizations are pleased by the indictment, but concerned about the type of material being prosecuted.

“Early indications lead us to believe this material is once again the ‘worst of the worst,’” said Daniel Weiss, the senior analyst for media and sexuality at Focus on the Family. “The Justice Department does nothing to stop the mainstreaming of pornography by only prosecuting material at the extreme edge of society.”

Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media, concurred with Weiss and called on the government to initiate far more obscenity prosecutions.

“The case is an important obscenity case, but standing alone it isn’t going to stem the tide of obscenity,” Peters said. “They’ve just got to do more cases, or the pornographers are going to win.”

Peters asserted that, despite the proliferation of pornography in American society and the “mainstreaming” of adult content, Americans are not accepting of pornography.

“Just because there’s a lot of pornography around doesn’t mean the American people accept it,” Peters said.

Diane Duke, the executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, told XBIZ that Peters’ comments simply demonstrate “how out of touch Morality in Media is with mainstream society.”

“It’s difficult to win any obscenity case, and it will be difficult for them to convict Evil Angel, because most people really don’t want to tell their neighbors what they can or can’t watch,” Duke said.

Duke added that if one looks at all the speech and expressive conduct that groups like Morality in Media lobby the government to restrict, it’s clear that their agenda goes well beyond targeting the adult entertainment industry.

“Morality in Media will not stop at the ‘hardest of the hard,’ and they won’t stop with pornography,” Duke said. “This is [advocating] censorship of the worst sort.”