Is Morality in Media Going Out of Business?

JESUSLAND—Of course, the likely answer to the titular question is, "You wish!" But over the past two days, we've received a couple of begging emails from Patrick Trueman, president of the legendary pro-censorship organization, who lamented on July 31, "Since the end of June, our donations have all but stopped," further noting that, "Summer is always a terrible time to raise funds. But, now the difficult economy is really hurting so many people that few are giving to charitable groups like ours. The surplus that we had on July 1 is now gone, yet we are fully engaged in the war on pornography and are fighting on many fronts."

Being "fully engaged in the war on pornography" and "fighting [it] on many fronts" means, we suspect, sitting in their cushy offices and fielding letters and calls from similar hate groups complaining about how society is going to shit from all the "pornography" out there, by which they mean funny TV shows like "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" and serious ones that channel (in a cheesy TV soap-opera-ish sort of way) some of the real problems faced by sex workers in "The Client List" (and don't even get us started on anything "Kardashian"), movies like Green Lantern and Watchmen, as well as modern novels like "50 Shades of Grey" ... and, of course, the internet, which can deliver millions of pages of naked people to anyone's computer with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Oh, and Dawn Hawkins, the poor staffer who was so traumatized by catching a glimpse of young Asian women's bondage on an airplane that she may never feel safe in flight again, has been making the mainstream "news" rounds, first being featured in a New York Times article on people who watch sexual imagery in public (another of MiM's "many fronts"), then following up with a July 28 televised "debate" on Fox & Friends with Fox contributor Tamara Holder, where Hawkins claimed, "Part of the problem is not just that they're watching adult content but what they're doing while watching or immediately after watching it. There are countless stories where men are going and watching pornography and then they're masturbating, they're showing themselves to patrons, they're stalking librarians and patrons and children. There's been many stories even where patrons are viewing pornography and then they take children into the libraries or away from the libraries and they rape them." Holder tried to disabuse her of that notion, but Dawnie was having none of that.

But apparently, Hawkins' notoriety hasn't translated into bucks for the veteran bluenoses, even though Trueman wrote that, "We are getting the upper hand on library porn!" (Yeah; so San Francisco decided to put plastic "privacy screens" around its monitors so people can watch porn—or whatever—without offending anyone; big deal!)

Anyway: "We simply cannot keep going now with the little money that we have," Trueman cried. "All projects must stop soon so we can seek the desperate funding needed at this time. I am sorry to report that, but it is true. Today we have an emergency board of directors conference call to decide what to do. Please help right now. We need to raise $62,000 by August 15 so I am asking you to be extra generous today," adding,  "P. S. I really mean it when I say that we will have to stop all projects so our staff can concentrate on our desperate need for funds."

And how did that emergency board of directors conference call go?

"We are spending this week righting our ship," began Trueman's August 1 email. "[O]ur funds are depleted and we must stop our war on pornography to refill our coffers.

"The upcoming elections are also draining money away from good causes like ours," he continued. "We are concerned with the elections too. That’s why we have pressed both President Obama and Governor Romney to take a stand on pornography. We managed to create a lot of news on this, as you have seen. Both candidates are being pressured to state now whether they will enforce federal laws that prohibit distribution of hardcore pornography."

Hate to break it to ya, Pat, but there are no "federal laws that prohibit distribution of hardcore pornography." The Supreme Court has ruled that hardcore porn is protected speech under the First Amendment... unless it crosses that imaginary line that makes in "obscene"; there are laws against that, even though such laws are unconstitutional.

And of course, the bible had to figure into this somewhere: "I need to ask for your immediate financial support," Trueman's email continued. "We don't like having to stop our war on pornography, but without money and supplies, what can we do? Believe me, the porn industry has money! It's a David and Goliath battle—but you know David defeated Goliath. We can do the same. We have seen our efforts achieve positive results far beyond expectations."

Yeah, the porn industry has some money... but sadly, it doesn't put very much of it into the battle to retain the right to make and sell its products, so when Trueman sobs, "We don't want to be outgunned by pornographers," there's little chance of that happening unless producers pay more attention to the shitstorm they'll be facing if Republicans win in November and putting their money where their business interests lie.

Or as Trueman put it, "Will you give a sacrificial gift today?", adding, "It is fully tax deductible. We need to get back to work fighting for you and your family against the porn industry and their well-funded allies like the ACLU."

ACLU. Well-funded. Right! But certainly, Free Speech Coalition should be!