Salon Reporter May Testify at Isaacs Obscenity Trial

LOS ANGELES — As jury selection continues in the Ira Isaacs obscenity case at federal court in  Los Angeles, a reporter with Salon magazine says she's preparing to travel and testify for the prosecution on whether the fetish filmmaker actually believes his videos have artistic merit.

Salon reporter Tracy Clark-Flory, based in San Francisco, says that prosecutors are focusing on one of numerous questions she posed to Isaacs in an interview with him last year.

The question and his response are the following:

Clark-Flory: "As far as your upcoming trial, one of your goals is to prove that your videos have artistic merit."

Isaacs: "I have to do that to sound not guilty."

"The prosecution is presumably interested in this passage, because it’s possible to interpret Isaacs’ response as an admission that he doesn’t actually believe his own defense," Clark-Flory wrote in a column published today. "I’m not a telepath, nor an expert voice analyst, so all I can say is that Isaacs said what I said he said. We offered a sworn affidavit that says as much, but I have nonetheless been 'commanded,' as the subpoena puts it, to appear in court."

Prosecutors contend that Isaacs from at least May 2004 and continuing to at least April 14, 2011, operated "a business engaging in the production, distribution, transportation and sale of obscene videos and movies."

The government in the case is targeting the movies "Mako’s First Time Scat," "Hollywood Scat Amateurs #7," "Hollywood Scat Amateurs #1" and "Japanese Doggie 3 Way."

Isaacs, in a 2-1/2 hour Daubert hearing in January 2011, was grilled for much of the time over his experience as an "artist." (The Daubert standard is a rule of evidence regarding the admissibility of expert witnesses' testimony during federal proceedings.)

Isaacs, a self-described filmmaker in the Postmodernism 'Shock Art' style, has commercially worked as a graphic artist creating coupon mailers for cleaners and pizza parlor.  

At the hearing, Isaacs, among numerous responses, said that he has been published as an artist and has planned installations of his works.

"I have shown my work on the Internet; it's been discussed," he testified. "People  have blogged about it; people have talked about it."

As the Isaacs trial gets underway, Clark-Flory said that she plans on writing about her experiences as a witness in future columns.

But at the moment she is closed-lipped about what she'll be writing about.

"I have plenty to say on the subject, but ...  I'm going to wait until after I testify to make any additional commentary," Clark-Flory told XBIZ.