Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Larry Flynt exposed Sen. David Vitter (R-LA); some 18 U.S.C. 2257 notes

The interest in the Vitter case should be based on the hypocrisy of the man, who portrayed himself as a champion of right-wing family values and the "Defense of Marriage", etc.


Monday’s confession of marital infidelity by GOP right-wing marriage-protection advocate Senator David Vitter of Louisiana was the result of a multi-pronged investigation launched and run by Larry Flynt.

Vitter’s number appeared on the phone records of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called DC Madam. The Washington, D.C. number, (202) 543-1752, is listed on the Sprint itemization of calls for February 27, 2001 at 3:06 p.m. The call lasted 1.2 minutes.

A member of the investigative team, Dan E. Moldea, personally obtained the phone records from Palfrey once the injunction against releasing them was lifted. Palfrey released the records to a select group of reporters before posting them on her Web site. On Friday, while spot-checking D.C. numbers on the list, Moldea found the number and linked it through multiple reverse searches to Vitter. He immediately informed HUSTLER of his discovery. Investigative journalist Moldea was also involved in exposing Congressmen Robert Livingston and Bob Barr in 1999.

At around 2 p.m. West Coast time on Monday, HUSTLER Research Director Mark Johnson called the Senator’s D.C. office and left a message with a staffer, saying we were working on a story about Sen. Vitter and would like to get his comment regarding information that we had obtained. The call was never returned. At that point only Larry Flynt and the HUSTLER investigative team knew that Vitter’s number appeared on the D.C. Madam’s phone records. Vitter went public shortly after our call.

Flynt’s team is currently continuing its investigation into improprieties by Vitter and other high-ranking elected officials. While the Vitter matter is not directly related to the recent $1-million offer in the Washington Post, we are currently pursuing several promising leads from roughly 250 tips generated by the ad.

HUSTLER appreciates how ABC got the ball rolling with their initial investigation and we now know that ABC did not have the same phone records as we did.

[LarryFlynt.com]


Beyond blowjob-based impeachments, other interesting problems created by the right-wing's federal legislator's obsession with sex and obscenity, lead by folks like Vitter and Mark Foley, is the damage to free speech and free expression in this country.

Very often using the cover of legislation with titles designed to create public support by addressing the need for protecting children from sex predators (like former GOP Congressman Mark Foley, himself), the GOP unnecessarily restricts lawful, professional and even artistic sexual expression not just in the Adult Entertainment Industry but potentially mainstream media, which is rife with "simulated sex" and even the "lascivious display of genitals" (e.g. Norwegianity).

I am just hoping the GOP's lawmakers aren't hopeless confused about biology and consider nipples and breasts to be genitals, because I am mostly about the lascivious display of breasts... anyway, here is quote from the Free Speech Coalition about the collateral damage to adult sexual expression being posed by the 2257 changes imposed in the The Adam Walsh Child Protection And Safety Act Of 2006:

the otherwise laudable bill also expands obscenity law as regards adult entertainment in some major respects and re-works 2257 record-keeping requirements to include so-called secondary producers and to expand the nature of images needing 2257 documentation. Under the Adam Walsh Act, 2257 records are required for lascivious display of the genitals, which brings soft-core imagery under the law and, in a separate section, “simulated sex,” such as one might see in mainstream movies.

...

Regarding the 2257 record keeping provisions, it appears from the language -- which is by no means straightforward and will need some serious analysis by FSC attorneys -- that secondary producers such as webmasters will have to keep 2257 records going forward from the date the law goes into effect some months from now. FSC members who are secondary producers are protected against 2257 enforcement for the past by a court injunction. Going forward, under this new law, may be a different story.
During the legislative process, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) got quite involved, for obvious reasons, since “simulated sex” is stock-in-trade of the industry. Under Pence's original amendment, "any book, magazine, periodical, film, videotape or other matter" that contained a simulated sex scene would come under the same government-filing requirements that adult films must meet. However, before the current bill could obtain its bipartisan, bicameral approval, legislators had to find a way to pacify Hollywood, which they managed to do with softball penalties and eased record requirements in the special section written for simulated sex. According to Brooks Boliek, writing for the Hollywood Reporter, although Hollywood isn't thrilled by the bill, the studios didn't want to give the appearance that they are standing in the way of legislation meant to help the government crack down on child abusers.
"To be clear, we support legislation that stops child pornography," the MPAA said. "But the original proposal would have subjected studios to criminal penalties, federal searches and near-impossible labeling requirements, none of which would have advanced the stated goal of protecting children. While this latest draft is not a perfect outcome, it is much better than it was."
“Near impossible,” is it? We quite agree. Too bad the final version leaves in “near impossible” labeling requirements for some but not for others. Is it too much to ask for laws to be fair and reasonable for all?

[Free Speech Coalition]


Instead of developing a prurient interest in the the deviant sex lives of others (the GOP or even prudish/repressed/anti-sex factions in the Democratic Party) I think now is a time to focus on what real obscenity is:

Pornography is not obscenity. WAR is OBSCENITY!

And child pornography is simply criminal, and issues of art, aesthetics, free speech, or obscenity simply don't enter into it. Therefore, issues of obscenity should not be confused with child protection.

Does tightening 2257 records keeping requirements aid law enforcement in their fight against child porn and child trafficking? Maybe only in areas where youthful, teen performers in legal porn might be marketed to adults, but that desire for youthful teenage looking girls is common, biologically driven, and not related to child abduction, molestation and the criminal recording and depiction of child sexual abuse in print or digital media. Does tightening 2257 accomplish the political goals of the Administration and the GOP in Congress, in attacking sexual expression that right wingers find threatening, is it part of feeding the GOP base? More than likely, and it probably is also tied to the recent increase in obscenity-related Federal charges against producers like Max Hardcore and distribution of DVDs by mail (FBI sting operations procuring Max Hardcore releases by mail in jurisdictions where local, (Mormon Utah or Jeb Bush's Florida) community standards apply (but yet child marriage and incest is commonplace?), but using the bureaucratic hassle of records keeping requirements in Porn Valley, which obviously has more modern, less biblical community standards (and fewer arranged child marriages within Mormon families). To its credit the FBI is cracking down on that, with the arrest of FLDS leader Warren Jeffs and his police protectors.

I am being to harsh on the incestuous practises of the FLDS and others in Utah (or the Koreshites and other evangelical cults in Texas) because as sad as that is, and
as illegal as bigamy/mornmon polygamy is, it is still not the sociopathic evil of child abuse that most people associate with the emotionally charged phrase "child pornography" or names of the abducted and slain children Adam Walsh and/or Jacob Wetterling.

If Americans are legitimately concerned about the production of child pornography, and child protection from child sexual abusers, they need to not confuse it with the legal Adult Entertainment Industry operated within the confines of the U.S., operated under U.S. law, because the laws of other countries are dramatically different, causing larger segments of the U.S. Adult Industry to seek less restrictive business environments may increase the amount of material available on the internet where either the performers ages simply can't be verified, or can be legally verified but a different, local standard allows 16 and 17 year olds to perform (much of Europe). Europe's adult webmasters are definitely receive a competitive advantage vs. U.S. based webmasters as a result of the proposed new 2257 regulations. European webmasters do not need to factor in the cost of complying... maintaining a fixed address available 20 hours a week during business hours for warrantless searches by the FBI, etc.

Back to the hypocrisy:

Of course, Foley, a co-sponsor of the Adam Walsh Child Protection legislation was soliciting pictures and trying to arrange sex with 16 and 17 year old persons. The photos were, legally child porn, but many defended Foley's actions as targeting children who were above the age of consent, perhaps, in Washington, D.C.

Has Vitter, similarly, been a hypocrite on issues and legislation that impacts or restricts prostitution? The legal, legitimate adult entertainment industry? The MPAA's (mainstream Hollywood's) desire to be able to produce films with the occasional bit of gratuitous frontal nudity or more prolonged, simulated or obfuscated sex? Has Vitter frequented brothels that "employed" trafficked women and children from other countries?

Legalized prostitution in well-regulated brothels, as in Nevada or Amsterdam, deals effectively with some of the supposed hazards of prostitution, e.g. human-trafficking and the public health concerns of STDs. Championing GOP family values and the defense of marriage amendment, and absinence-only education, while hypocritically visiting brothels and hiring call girls is ridiculous. In Foley's case, soliciting sex from minor Congressional pages and simultaneously advocating "child protection" legislation that does collateral damage to the healthy, heterosexual adult sexual expression of mainstream Hollywood film making and the mostly law-abiding, mostly vanilla Adult Entertainment Industry is...

I dunno. Maybe, it exposes the Orwellian NewSpeak political environment we dwell in better than almost anything I can think of.

Update: The federal prosecution of Max Hardcore is based on DVDs mailed to a PO Box in Tampa, FL, as well as an internet download. I am trying to find the Utah case I remember...

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