FC: More on PBS will air special "American Porn" show on Feb. 7

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Sat Feb 02 2002 - 14:43:37 PST

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    [Naturally I'll give Bruce the chance to reply. --Declan]
    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2002 14:51:56 EST
    From: MarkKernesat_private
    To: declanat_private
    Subject: Re: FC: PBS will air special "American Porn" show on Feb. 7
    In a message dated 2/2/02 2:46:29 AM, declanat_private writes:
    << Former Justice Department attorney Bruce Taylor concurs.  "If there had 
    been continued federal prosecutions [for obscenity], you wouldn't see the 
    Internet presence of the porn syndicate as big as it is today," says Taylor, 
    who maintains he has prosecuted more obscenity cases than anyone in U.S. 
    history.  "The combination of the industry's willingness to go on the Web in 
    a big way and the prosecutors not indicting them for it allowed it to explode 
    beyond anybody's imagination." >>
    "Porn syndicate," my ass! If this guy knew ANYTHING about porn, he'd know 
    it's one of the most DISorganized enterprises ever to turn a profit. If porn 
    dealt with anything other than sex -- which everybody seems to crave, no 
    matter how poorly it's done; perhaps even Taylor in his more secret moments 
    -- most of the guys that make it would have been out of business long ago.
    And of course, his proposal is that cities across the country should have 
    spent essentially billions of dollars prosecuting something that the vast 
    majority of Americans use in the comfort and privacy of their own homes, 
    without even their next-door neighbors even having a clue what's playing on 
    the monitor or TV next door. Now THERE'S a policy the general public is just 
    waiting to jump on the bandwagon of!
    I am moved to attach the section on Taylor that will appear as part of my 
    article, "The Enemies List" in the March issue of AVN Online, the magazine of 
    adult webmasters:
    << 1) The Attorneys: Ayn Rand, in Atlas Shrugged, said of some of the 
    characters she depicts that if they could get real jobs, they wouldn't be 
    working for the government. Whether there's any validity to that concept is 
    open for debate, but the fact is that some of the more visible legal 
    personalities in the censorship movement arrived on the scene fresh from 
    government service.
    One breeding ground for warped attitudes toward speech has been the U.S. 
    Department of Justice (DOJ). Bruce A. Taylor and J. Robert Flores, for 
    example, were both prosecutors, during the Reagan/Bush years, in the National 
    Obscenity Enforcement Unit (NOEU), which changed its name in the early '90s 
    to the more euphemistic Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS).
    Best known for having been the main prosecutor of early porn mogul Reuben 
    Sturman, Taylor began his public career as an assistant prosecutor in 
    Cleveland, Ohio, where one of his first assignments was to digest what have 
    become known as the U.S. Supreme Court's Miller decisions on obscenity, and 
    to formulate a plan to prosecute purveyors of sexually explicit material that 
    would withstand Supreme Court scrutiny. It may have been his anti-porn zeal 
    that earned him his Justice Department position, but it certainly led him, 
    after leaving the DOJ, to form the National Law Center for Children and 
    Families, of which he is currently president and chief counsel.
    Though the National Law Center (NLC) claims to be a "specialized resource to 
    those who enforce state and federal obscenity and child exploitation laws," 
    Taylor himself has often been ineffective when it comes to the nitty-gritty. 
    Last November, after the city of South Bend, Indiana brought Taylor in as a 
    special prosecutor for the first of three scheduled bookstore trials, a 
    12-person jury took just six hours to find Little Denmark owner Robert 
    Henderson not guilty on all counts of trafficking obscenity, money laundering 
    and conspiracy. Several attorneys who actively defend adult businesses have 
    expressed the opinion that Taylor is both a lacklustre legal writer and an 
    unimpressive advocate in the courtroom. That, however, hasn't stopped Taylor 
    from being a favored speaker at anti-porn events, and a commentator on 
    various newscasts regarding the adult industry.>>
    My advice? Give it up, Bruce; the American people better understand their 
    First Amendment freedoms than you do.
    Mark Kernes, Sr. Editor
    Adult Video News
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