The Daily Stern: This slope slippery with KY

The Daily Stern: This slope slippery with KY
: Government nannyism is surrounding us. The FCC wants to tell us what we can’t listen to on radio. The FTC is going after violence. Congress wants to freeze-dry free speech.

And now the Justice Department wants to take away your flesh.

John Ashcroft faces death in the ICU and the first thing he does when he gets out is launch a multi-million-dollar war on porn. Guess he didn’t want FCC National Nanny Michael Powell to have all the fun.

In this field office in Washington, 32 prosecutors, investigators and a handful of FBI agents are spending millions of dollars to bring anti-obscenity cases to courthouses across the country for the first time in 10 years. Nothing is off limits, they warn, even soft-core cable programs such as HBO’s long-running Real Sex or the adult movies widely offered in guestrooms of major hotel chains….

Drew Oosterbaan, chief of the division in charge of obscenity prosecutions at the Justice Department, says officials are trying to send a message and halt an industry they see as growing increasingly “lawless.”

“We want to do everything we can to deter this conduct” by producers and consumers, Oosterbaan said. “Nothing is off the table as far as content.”

The government wants to regulat content in this country. Let’s say that again: The government wants to regulate content in this country.

That should be sending a shiver up your American spine. It’s not just about the FCC. It’s not just about Howard Stern. It’s about free speech, people.

First they went after Stern and radio.

Next they will go after cable.

Then they will come after the Internet.

: One interesting sidelight to this raised by the Baltimore Sun story above and highlighted by TechDirt is the fight that’s coming over the definition of community standards.

The Justice Department’s flesh enforcer made a point of ordered video from a Hollywood producer in Pittsburgh, so the case could be tried there. That’s how they want to game “community.”

But the Sun adds:

Industry lawyers and top executives contend that the courts should rule that because the tapes were ordered on the Internet, the “community standard” demanded by the law should be the standard of the whole community of the World Wide Web.

Don’t you love that? My community isn’t New Jersey. It’s the Internet! And it’s true. That’s where I live. That’s where my friends are. That’s where I’m comfortable with the standards.

I am a citizen of the Internet.

: More comment elsewhere: Eric at Classical Values has a good analysis. See also Alphecca. Glenn Reynolds is pissed:

I blame John Ashcroft. No, really, this time I mean it. And if the Administration thinks that this is a good use of their “computer forensics” experts, then they must have decided that terrorists aren’t a threat any more.

This is so ham-handed and sure to blow up in the Administration’s face, making them look like stooges for the religious right while accomplishing nothing, that one almost suspects a Democratic mole in their ranks.

Ted at Game the World says:

I had gotten to the point where I had thought that my bad opinion of John Ashcroft was a result of some seriously selective reporting. Now comes this crackdown on pornography that shows me that I should pay more attention to my first impressions. Add this to the story about how the Patriot Act is being used in cases with no connection to terrorism, and you can see my truly deep ambivalence to the Bush Administrations attitude toward law enforcement.

Note to everyone enamored with Federal authority: Get the hell out of my life. I do not need you to worry about what I am putting into my mind (pornography), or what I am putting into my body (super-sized fries). Why don’t you just let me mind my own business, and you can mind yours. If what I do offends you or makes you think I am an idiot, let the effects kick me in the teeth. I’ll deal with the mess. In the meantime, please keep those freelance oppressors (criminals, terrorists, et al.) off my back. That’s what I’m paying you for.

Steve says:

First it was the limits on stem cell research, then the amendment to ban gay marriage, the spending like a drunken sailor, the protectionist flip-flops, the government funded faith-based initiatives, the Prescription Drug Program, etc. What’s next? Burkas? This is just completely ri-f***ing-diculous.

Andrew Sullivan says:

With the Justice Department having nothing better to do, like catch Jihadists, it’s very important that they keep a fierce and unrelenting eye on adults enjoying themselves in the privacy of their own homes.

Corey rants:

I’ll bet Ashcroft is a closet S&M guy. Is it really that important that people, in their own damn homes, don’t watch porn? Who the hell cares? What happens in my bedroom is my business. If I want to have someone (man, woman or chimp) come into MY HOME and whip the crap out of me while I’m hog-tied and covered in processed cheese, that’s my business and my business alone. Maybe Ashcroft isn’t getting any at home and thinks no one else should either. Maddening. Like I said in a post a little while ago, if we let the govt start getting into our bedroom, where or when will it stop? What is next? And what else is this administration wasting money on?

Conrad says:

John Ashcroft’s Justice Department, having defeated international terrorism, brought an end to money laundering, eliminated accounting fraud, won the war on drugs, driven computer scammers to extinction and routed organized crime, turn their attention to the greatest remaining evil in the world.

Boobies.

See Oliver Willis, too.

The Internet community is pissed. By our standards, Ashcroft, you are the boob that’s ruining America.

: We await comment from Fleshbot.

  • Mike

    I think maybe it’s time you change the name of this post from the Daily Stern to something concerning censorship. Stop aligning yourself with Stern, he shouldn’t be your focal point. He will only do things that are in his best interests.
    That being said, I can’t believe Ashcroft would come out and say they are coming out full force against porn while they’re are so many other things more important to worry about. There is a reason the industry generates 8-10 billion dollars a year. People enjoy it, they but it, and it’s no business of the government whether or not we look at it. If they want to attack child porn and such, fine, but adult porn on the internet is not what the Justice Dept. should be focusing on and this can only hurt GWB.

  • Rick The Lawyer

    Two weeks ago, I took my daughters (ages 6 and 2) and my wife to the local Manhattan Bagel for breakfast. The restaurant had a TV on. It was tuned to ESPN. It was about 9:00 a.m.
    Nothing wrong here, right? A true Norman Rockwell moment.
    Until ESPN showed a commercial hawking some “Girls Gone Wild” or “Hot Spring Break Coeds” videos. My 6-year-old was staring at the screen, mouth half open, watching some drunk babe dancing erotically, raising her shirt (albeit with some parts strategically blocked out).
    Enough is enough. When a guy can’t take his daughters to get a Saturday morning bagel without having them exposed to garbage like this, enough is enough.
    If Ashcroft and Powell want to shut this down, more power to them. If the program editors at ESPN want to act like randy teenagers, and if they lack a reasonable standard of decency, and if they feel the need to run advertisements like this at 9:00 a.m., well, maybe it’s time they got some adult supervision.

  • Cletus

    Rick the lawyer sounds like he’s prepping to line his pockets with a class action suit. For the rest of the Rick wannabe’s….. STAY OUT OF MY BEDROOM! If you don’t want to watch porn, don’t. If I want to, leave me the hell alone. This country was founded on the principle of liberty. Here’s how the American Heritage Dictionary defines liberty: 1a. The condition of being free from restriction or control. b. The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one’s own choosing. c. The condition of being physically and legally free from confinement, servitude, or forced labor. Personally, I don’t think that c really applies in this case but to avoid the appearance of bias I included the whole thing. Being free from restriction or control=liberty… I think our gov’t needs to get with the program and start to pay attention to it’s original vision. And no, I’m not arguing that the founding fathers would have been in favor of modern pornography. That era and ours cannot be directly compared; however, the concept of being free to do what you want to certainly is constant, and if the regulations currently in place dictating the minutiae of daily life had been in place then, the revolution would have still taken place, probably with even more vigor. (Try to tell a founding father he can’t smoke in a restaurant, or his child has to wear a helmet and knee pads to ride a horse or the gov’t might take him/her away and put them in another family’s care for their “safety” and see what would’ve happened…)

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Hey, Rick: Didn’t you know that carbs are bad for your kids? What kind of father are you? You’re a lawyer. You should be suing that bagel shop for ruining your health and your morals. Litigate! Litigate!

  • http://www.themediadrop.com Tom

    I can’t wait until someone else is in the AG’s office and is uncovering the statues in Washington. We should have known this would happen, I suppose.
    If there’s going to be something called “community” – it’s not based on what some section of the “community” wants – it’s on everyone’s ideals. We’re not all Catholic in this country, right?

  • Rick The Lawyer

    Two points.
    First, Cletus: What you do in the bedroom is your business. What gets broadcast in a public place over public airwaves is the public’s business.
    I made it clear that I was in a public restaurant at 9:00 on a Saturday morning. Not my home. Not your home. Not even a sports bar at 10:00 p.m.
    Get some reading lessons.
    Second, Cletus and Jeff, is this the best you can come up with? Some slurs on lawyers? Pretty pathetic.
    This is a real problem, and needs a solution. A guy should be able to take his daughters out to breakfast and not have this garbage shoved down his throat.

  • Mike

    Rick,
    Your solution is to complain to the restaurant’s manager and then never buy from them again. Or call and write to ESPN and complain to them.
    To think that TV commercails are the only thing that is going to corrupt your daughter as she grows up is ridiculous. She is going to learn plenty more from her friends, or would you like the government to start regulating what her friends will be able to say to her?

  • KMK

    This is ridiculous. This will turn into a save the children campaign. I have three. I monitor everything the see why don’t the rest of you do the same? Maybe if you were more involved parents you kids wouldn’t see things you find questionable.
    Someone dropped a comment the other day about their 6 yr. old hearing the word penis. Funny, but I’ve never heard spongebob utter that word. Haven’t heard it on PBS either. So, your watching an adult content movie with your 6 yr. old in the room. Who exactly needs regulating?
    Same with ESPN it’s an adult channel. If you walk into a public place showing adult content, with your kids, ask them to change the channel or take your child out of an adult atmosphere.
    Unbelievable. Lazy parents.

  • Buzz

    Dumb dumb dumb… but what does it have to do with the Daily Stern?

  • Rick The Lawyer

    Mike says, “To think that TV commercails are the only thing that is going to corrupt your daughter as she grows up is ridiculous.”
    Gosh, Mike, you’re right! They’ll see and hear worse as they get older. So, no reason to wait, right?
    Whatever they’ll see as they get older, might as well put on public TV in a public place now, right?
    If 10 things are going to tend to corrput someone, may as well be 100. No difference, right?
    Kids should be exposed to the same thing as adults, and if a parent doesn’t want to have this garbage shoved at his girls in a public place over public airwaves, screw him.
    I’m sure you’re right, Mike.

  • Rick The Lawyer

    “Same with ESPN it’s an adult channel”
    Silly me, I thought ESPN was a SPORTS channel, not an ADULT channel. I certainly thought nothing of it when I went into the place.
    Yeah, it’s all my fault. Dumbass me. Taking kids into a public restaurant and expecting not to get bombarded with smut. My fault for having such unreasonably high expectations.
    Y’all enjoy the dancers while you have your bagels. Civilization would go to hell in a handbasket if that right was curtailed, right?

  • KMK

    ESPN is an adult sports channel. It’s also a cable/pay channel and not regulated. It’s not a public broadcast station. Hence, anything goes as far as commercials/advertising. Your an involved parent and this is something you don’t know? Amazing. I know it sometimes takes a village but is it possible to educate the village first.

  • button

    First, they went after the smokers. You have a very short memory span.

  • Mike

    I believe that all it takes is some parenting skills from yourself to limit and control what your daughter sees and hears over the public airwaves. I’m sure now that your daughter witnessed that commercial she will grow up to be a stripper. Just because you find it offensive that your daughter saw some commercial doesn’t make it offensive to others in the bagel shop and doesn’t mean it has to come off the air. The world isn’t all about you. The government is not responsible for properly raising your children.
    There is no right in the constitution gauranteeing your freedom from being offended. And I sure don’t want to have the content of my TV programming dictated to me by someone who feels a 30 second commercial is offensive to his 6 year old daughter.

  • Foobie

    Rick,
    As mentioned above, in the incident you mentioned, you should either have complained to the owners of the restaurant to change the channel or shut the damn thing off, and / or sent a complaint to espn concerning their choice of advertisement.
    But no, you would much rather support a censorship initiative and regulatory framework that would have side effects far worse (in the short and long term) than *any* amount of ‘girls gone wild’ commercials could *ever* have.
    Freedom trumps your sensibilities. EVERY TIME.

  • Rick The Lawyer

    LOL.
    The absolutist positions here may be summed up as, “Everyone should have the right to watch smut all day any place, and civilization is doomed if we can’t, and if you think kids shouldn’t be exposed to it, lock them in a room and never let them out, because my right to watch smut in a public place trumps your right to keep your kids away from it in a public place.
    The more I read the comments, the more I support Ashcroft on this one.

  • Bobbert

    The complaint against voluntary standards enforced by those in the broadcasting community is that it’s in response to government threats of censorship, so voluntary standards are bad now too.
    But if you don’t want government action, voluntary privately-enforced action is the only way to go.
    And yet, it seems as if people here want NONE of that either. Well, if that’s the case, and if it’s a choice between depravity everywhere or a court case deciding things, I’ll take a court. At least they pretend to listen to reason.

  • Ga-ne-sha

    Rick, use the ESPN episode to educate your kids. Thus saying, for example, “That’s pretty weird, isn’t it? They are selling sex, and that’s not good for those girls. What do you think?” And so on. Six year olds understand death, in general, so they can probably understand other ideas of some complexity. I don’t know about the two year old. [Those commercials are obnoxious, but also somewhat humorous. They aren’t much different from the Victoria Secret/Bob Dylan one referenced below, IMHO.]

  • KMK

    Rick – Your children will not be 6 and 2 forever (God willing). I would prefer you supervise and educate your kids before sending them out into the adult world as opposed to telling me what I can and cannot watch right now because your kids are 6 and 2.

  • Roger

    Society has a right to set standards. Failure to do so results in a moral anarchy which most people, parents in particular, find uncacceptable. To claim the freedom of expression is the ultimate freedom, trumping all others, is wrong. Societies, including ours, have always held that there are greater goods, such as a wholesome environment for raising children. And they have also held that not all “freedoms” are to be allowed. The position that many pro-porns take – “You’re the parent – you’re responsible for everything your child encounters” – is one of radical, selfish individualism which is not concerned with how its behavior impacts individuals or society as a whole.

  • Mike

    Listen, I’m not saying that everything should be available over the public airwaves. I think the current regulations work just fine. And I sure as hell don’t think the government should be regulating the internet. That’s something I pay for, so I can decide for myself and my family what is right for them to view. It’s called parenting and John Ashcroft is not a guardian for my family.
    Rick the lawyer,
    I find it amazing that you would define smut as a 30 second commercial for Girls Gone Wild! It’s not as if you walked into a public place and the actual video of Girls Gone Wild was on. Give me a break!
    Don’t go back to the bagel shop, don’t watch ESPN, encourage others to do the same. Just don’t tell me that I can’t watch it because you feel this offends your daughter!

  • Rick The Lawyer

    “By our standards, Ashcroft, you are the boob that’s ruining America.”
    I don’t recall seeing this on TV 20 years ago. So I guess by Jeff’s definition, America was ruined long ago.
    In fact, I don’t recall seeing this anytime until lately. So I guess from its inception until now, civilization has been ruined. We’re only just now beginning to set things right.
    I’m sure you’re right (rolling eyes).

  • Inspector Callahan

    Hey, Rick: Didn’t you know that carbs are bad for your kids? …
    This is a pretty dishonest, emotional response by your standards, Jeff. You should be able to watch what you want, but NOT anywhere you want. Kids shouldn’t see certain things. And until airwaves are privately owned, the government is who the US voters have commissioned to keep track of what is on the airwaves.
    To think that TV commercails are the only thing that is going to corrupt your daughter as she grows up is ridiculous
    So should parents just throw up their hands and say, “Oh well, she’ll be corrupted anyway, might as well give in.” All this because some viewers in a bagel shop want to watch the spice channel. We almost have to keep our kids indoors until they are 18 just to avoid it.
    You libertarians and leftists have been shoving such corruption down the throats of kids for so long that it is a near-impossible fight. The question is this: why does your right to watch what you want, WHEN you want, trump my right to try to raise my kids properly? Watch what you want, but do it at home.

  • Inspector Callahan

    I would prefer you supervise and educate your kids before sending them out into the adult world as opposed to telling me what I can and cannot watch right now because your kids are 6 and 2.
    So basically, Rick was right about the theme of this thread: The hell with Rick and his kids, I want to watch whatever I want whenever I want.
    Is there no compromise with you absolutists? Freedom of the press does not mean anything, anytime, anywhere. Parenting is difficult as it is, why should it be twice as hard because some people are too lazy to walk home to watch their Jenna Jamison?
    This society has become so selfish that people don’t care about what they do to others.
    TV (Harry)

  • KMK

    Sing with me,
    “Boy, the way Glen Miller played. Songs that made the Hit Parade. Guys like us, we had it made. Those were the days! Didn’t need no welfare state. Everybody pulled his weight Gee, our old LaSalle ran great. Those were the days! And you knew where you were then! Girls were girls and men were men. Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again. People seemed to be content. Fifty dollars paid the rent. Freaks were in a circus tent. Those were the days! Take a little Sunday spin, go to watch the Dodgers win. Have yourself a dandy day that cost you under a fin. Hair was short and skirts were long. Kate Smith really sold a song. I don’t know just what went wrong! Those Were the Days!”
    Anybody remember the attempted rape scene with Edith? My mother dragged me in front of the TV to watch it. Poor parenting or enlightenment? Or, how about for the NY-ers, my mother cut my hair real short (Dorothy Hamil style) when the son of sam was running around because he seemed to have a thing for long haired girls. The world around us is not wholesome. Removing things you find offensive should start with you not the government and in doing so you lay the groundwork for proper parenting. I don’t need the government to watch my kids, I can do it all on my own thank you.
    Callahan – If the questionable commercial was being broadcast on NBC instead of ESPN I’d agree with Rick.

  • http://www.maultasch.us Jayme

    Maybe it’s me but I see this as part of the Bush administration’s general distrust of the American public. For me there is a clear pattern: It starts with the failure to hold press conferences and the urge to classify everything(ie Energy task force) from there it goes to misleading the public on the Iraq war and then to Chairman Powell at the FCC and now Ashcroft at Justice. I see President Bush espousing a patriarchal, father’s knows best attitude where public opinion doesn’t matter. Scarier still in a polarized 45 45 10 nation where there is virtually no middle he may get re-elected with no effort to listen to minority opinion. The tyranny of the majority looms as a real fear for me!

  • Lauren

    *sigh* this country is getting exactly what it voted for. anyone who didn’t see all this coming almost four years ago is deluded. sadly we’re likely to get four more years of this, given the way some of the polls have read of late. oh well….this is what the American public wants, let them have it. I can no longer care.

  • bob

    Does Bush have ADD? It seems like as long as there’s something else to worry about, Bush can’t quite manage to focus on porn. But as soon as those problems fade to the background, it’s porn porn porn. It really shouldn’t take a terrorist attack to keep the Bush administration’s hands off our porn.
    What we need now is a widely-published terrorist attempt that is caught at the last minute. No one gets hurt and nothing damaged. Bush is distracted again, and Flynt can relax a bit.
    Where are the Richard Reid losers when you really need them?

  • http://blogmouth.jimchandler.net Buster

    Who in hell has time for porn? Put your pee pee back in your pants and get on with the important business of killing people!

  • Mike

    Callahan,
    don’t equate the Spice Channel to a 30 second comercial on ESPN, no one here is saying that it’s OK for a 6 year old to be exposed to that, at least I’m not.
    “So should parents just throw up their hands and say, “Oh well, she’ll be corrupted anyway, might as well give in.”
    No, but they, and they alone, should take the necessary steps to monitor and block what their children are watching.
    And this bagel shop is technically not a public space. The shop is a private enterprise. You, Rick, are not forced to buy your bagels there. You have the choice of never going there again and instead buying your bagels in a shop where there is no TV, therefore avoiding the risk of corrupting your daughter.

  • Robert E. Bihlmayer

    oh, grow up. “now the Justice Department wants to take away your flesh”? as far as i can tell, all of my *personal* flesh is still all too firmly attached to my skeleton, though i’d be willing to part with 30 or 40 pounds. “The government wants to regulate content in this country”? hello? the government has the legal RIGHT to “regulate content” that is legally classified as obscene or indecent; just because it neglected its duty to do so during the notoriously prurient Clinton administration does not mean that either its right or its responsibility to do so have vanished. again–and this is particularly apt for a blogger who is so obsessed with the juvenalia of Howard Stern–grow up.

  • Rick The lawyer

    Yep.
    I take my girls out for breakfast. They see some irredeemable crap on TV in the bagel shop. That makes me the asshole here.
    Serves me right for taking the girls out of the house. If I don’t like having them exposed to smut over a simple family breakfast, I’m the weirdo. Your right to see tits, drunk teenage sluts, and similar shit 24/7 not just in your homes, but in public, trumps all. If you can’t see tits, drunk teenage sluts, and similar shit 24/7 wherever you happen to be, the Republic is “ruined” (Jeff’s words, not mine).
    Whatever. FOAD.

  • Ga-ne-sha

    “juvenalia”, I like that one, Robert E. B..

  • http://caribpundit.blogspot.com Helen

    What’s so good about pornography that everybody wants it and gets so het up about it?
    Yeah, there is an individual rights aspect about government intrusiveness in our lives. However, the porn industry is big business. Does big business have the right to demean women and children? Are we going to go to the mat for the right of a pervert to depict women as T&A&H?

  • Mike

    Sorry Rick the lawyer. I didn’t realize that the only breakfast place you can take your daughters to is the one with the TV.
    Yeah, if you don’t realize that you can take your daughters to another restaurant or bagel shope, well, you are an a**hole.
    I bleeped myself just in case your daughter happens to read the comments section.

  • Skip Kent

    Rick,
    Take heart. Most folks who read your words agree entirely. I like a lil’ porn now and then but I fully expect to go out of my way to get it.
    The people who deride your abilities, love or concern as a parent are idiots, pure and simple.
    I think it’s really laughable how EVERYONE turns into a “Freedom of Speech!” shrieking anarcho-Leftist the second some little vice they like is threatened.
    Others have said it and it bears constant repeating: Ashcroft is applying the laws that are already on the books. That’s his f*cking job. If you don’t like it, attack the laws, and then he’ll have nothing to apply.
    At the root of all this, in my opinion, is the virus of postmodernist Moral Relativism that has been steadily nibbling away at the popular conscience from the sixties on. It can be summed up in the following, damnably trite but revealing phrase that so many are so fond of tossing about:
    “It’s ALL good!”
    No. It ain’t all good. Some of it sucks.

  • http://karchner.com/update Ross M Karchner

    “Are we going to go to the mat for the right of a pervert to depict women as T&A&H?”
    OK, I’m not sure what the “H” is, but as long as the women in question are willing participants: YES
    The extreme cases are what test our commitment to an idea.

  • Mike

    This is quoted from the Baltimore Sun:
    In a speech in 2002, Ashcroft made it clear that the Justice Department intends to try. He said pornography “invades our homes persistently though the mail, phone, VCR, cable TV and the Internet,” and has “strewn its victims from coast to coast.”
    I know it’s from 2002, but does he really still believe that pornography INVADES our homes. Give me a break. How does porn invade my home through my VCR? There’s something very wrong with that statement.
    Hey Skip, this doesn’t sound like someone intending to prosecute laws that are already on the books.
    And I’m no leftist. I intend on voting for GWB this coming November because I believe he is the strongest candidate when it comes to the war on terror. I just wish he would tell the Justice Dept. to keep its focus there as well.

  • http://amygdalagf.blogspot.com Gary Farber

    I had some comments here.

  • http://amygdalagf.blogspot.com Gary Farber

    “A guy should be able to take his daughters out to breakfast and not have this garbage shoved down his throat.”
    This is very emotional, but I’d like to ask Rick, sincerely: why?
    Seriously? What’s the basis? Your preference for what your daughter’s should be allowed to see? I fully grant that you are entitled to a preference. I do not grant that you get to have your preferences put into law and enforced upon everyone else.
    Life is full of images I’d rather not see, words I’d rather not hear, art I don’t like. Life is hard. I don’t ask the government to step in to make any of it illegal. On what basis are you entitled to? Can I have equal rights to have the ogvernment enforce my preferences on you? Kewl.

  • http://amygdalagf.blogspot.com Gary Farber

    “Civilization would go to hell in a handbasket if that right was curtailed, right?”
    And civilization is going to hell because of “Girls Gone Wild” and body parts, and public sex, right?
    See, people don’t agree on these things. That’s why we have this wacky “freedom of speech” thing.
    So subjective opinions are not the denominator of what people are allowed to say and broadcast.

  • http://amygdalagf.blogspot.com Gary Farber

    “And until airwaves are privately owned, the government is who the US voters have commissioned to keep track of what is on the airwaves.”
    Cable tv isn’t “airwaves.”

  • http://amygdalagf.blogspot.com Gary Farber

    “Serves me right for taking the girls out of the house. If I don’t like having them exposed to smut over a simple family breakfast, I’m the weirdo. Your right to see tits, drunk teenage sluts, and similar shit 24/7 not just in your homes, but in public, trumps all. If you can’t see tits, drunk teenage sluts, and similar shit 24/7 wherever you happen to be, the Republic is “ruined” (Jeff’s words, not mine).”
    As was pointed out, the bagel store is a private endeavor, not a “public” one, and your beef is with the owner.
    “Whatever. FOAD.”
    Have you tried this winning, persuasive, argument in court? It’s equally persuasive wherever it’s tried, and convinces any reader equally well as to the logic and justice of the writer’s position.

  • KMK

    Don’t know if you caught this Jeff, I know you’ve linked to them before.
    http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/news.aspx?id=13093
    ‘Close Up on C-SPAN': First Amendment Month
    Beginning Friday, April 9, and continuing through Friday, April 23, Close Up @ Newseum will focus on current debates and also provide historical context on the First Amendment as it relates to religion, music, and broadcasting decency standards.
    From the backlash following the now infamous Super Bowl halftime show to the Supreme Court decision on the Pledge of Allegiance, First Amendment topics remain at the center of American life and culture, with First Amendment rights providing the blueprint for a free and open society.

  • Hipocrite

    Rick is either mistaken or lying. GGW dosen’t run their commercials before 11pm. Trust me, I know.

  • http://twistedspinster.com/ Andrea Harris

    Jesus, Gary, way to spam the comments.
    Moving on… no, I can’t. What a bunch of nasty babies you all are. All Rick did was complain about having to see the disgusting and pitiful “Girls Gone Wild” commercial (which I’ll now envision you all not only owning but watching every night in order to get yourselves off enough to go to sleep — yuck, must wash brain) in broad daylight in a public venue. (If the guy’s business was a “private” venue it would be what’s known as a “home.” When you open a business you are entering into a social compact with the public to, among other things, not disgust them. See, they might leave and never come back — a phenomenon known as “driving away the customer.” Even you X-Treem Libertarians know what that means, don’t you?) You acted like he personally entered your homes and set fire to your Assmaster — Vol. I–XXXIV collection. Gee, what’s that smell… it’s the smell of liberal gears stripping as they encounter a legitimate different opinion and their tolerance engine throws a rod.
    You can all bite me. The heck with kids, I don’t like seeing young women participating in their own disgrace, which is what the “Girls Gone Wild” series and other such modern porn is. All you guys with your “women fully participating!” spiel reveal yourselves to be just the current variation on the “dirty old men” of song and story. How does it feel to be a living stereotype? Frustrating, I imagine, as your desperate and hysterical response to even the hypothetical threat of having your sex toys taken away seems to indicate.
    Your ploy to destroy the dignity of men, women, and the sexual relationship is slowly falling apart as more and more people take a good look at what “letting it all hang out” really means. Oh — and by the way: porn was ten times more erotic and alluring when it was really forbidden. Today’s distorted, pointy-nippled, tiny-hipped skanks don’t even come close to the allure of Bettie Paige fully dressed in a catsuit. So I say: ban the porn! It’ll weed out the dross, who won’t be able to take the pressure of hiding from the Man etc., leaving the way for the real adventurers and adventuresses. Are you men enough for that? Probably not, considering the juvenile nature of your heroes and lust-objects. Oh well, more for the rest of us then.

  • http://www.tonypierce.com/blog tony

    rick,
    i have to agree with the mob on this one, pal.
    europeans allow titties on tv and i havent read about kids being more fucked up over there than they are over here
    because they saw tits on tv.
    you can say fuck on tv in england.
    no reports of little heads exploding.
    kids gasp all the time. they should. it means theyre learning.
    i gasped when i read your comments. now what? i cant read jeff jarvis without being assaulted by uptight simpletons who truly believe that life should be dumbed-down to the level of children so as to “protect” them from something that is inevitable, natural, and harmless. yes harmless.
    titties are harmless.
    she should be gasping at the guns, and the gasoline prices, and relationships between the rnc and clear channel and enron and the white house and oprah and salad tossings and the war and the vice president’s former company.
    many ways to react to what your daughter saw. deciding to align with john asskroft is an interesting one.
    heres some alternatives:
    “thats right honey, we’re so repressed in america that women’s breasts get mosaiced if theyre shown nude on tv.”
    “i know, baby. they do that for beads. BEADS!”
    “i agree, what junkie watches sports at 9am?”
    “three bucks for a bagel IS highway robbery.”
    “Two dvds for $19.95. i dont how they make a profit either, honeybear.”
    “shhhh shhhh, theyre not saying that God created something bad… theyre saying women are bad. get used to it.”
    “that does look like your babysitter. but it’s not…. not that i’d know. directly.”
    “sadly, men will do anything to see you topless. you have more power naked, sweetie, than you do clothed. more than you’ll ever know. whoops, i guess you now know.”
    “$8.95 shipping and handling is outrageous.”
    “you’re right. where ARE the black chicks?”

  • http://amygdalagf.blogspot.com Gary Farber

    “All Rick did was complain about having to see the disgusting and pitiful “Girls Gone Wild” commercial (which I’ll now envision you all not only owning but watching every night in order to get yourselves off enough to go to sleep — yuck, must wash brain) in broad daylight in a public venue.”
    Andrea, with all due respect there is a minor, but crucial error here, and an overwhelmingly major error.
    The minor one is that a store is not a “public venue” but a piece of private property. As repeatedly said, Rick’s problem is with the store owner, just as if he came into your home and objected to what you had playing for music or tv, his problem would be with you; demanding that the government pass laws to limit what is played in your home is not an appropriate response.
    The major error is that “All Rick did was complain about having to see the disgusting….”
    No, if that’s all he did, that would be fine. No one would object. The issue is that he’s demanding that the government step in to censor cable tv to prevent people from watching it.
    The remaining stuff you said is irrelevant; no one is defending the taste, or stating they personally favor, anything. Period. Flat stop. End of story.
    Free speech is not about evaluating that which is in good taste, and saying “okay, we’ll allow that, it is well-done and tasteful.”
    It is about defending the most disgusting and offensive speech possible.
    As I wrote on another blog: ree speech must protect that which we find the most vile, the most offensive, the most despicable, speech, or it defends nothing. “Semi-free” speech is not “free” speech.
    I support the right of neo-nazis to march and call for my death (so long as they do not cross the line of incitment-to-riot and call for my death right there); I support the right of calling for killing Jews, blacks, men, and women. I support the right to publish pictures of people being evicerated, tortured, or raped, men or women. I support the right of expressing any idea, no matter how vile.
    Because if I don’t, I’m in danger that sooner or later, the law I’ve allowed will be used to come after what I say. And, then, having chopped down all the trees of protection of speech in England, Richard, what will protect me from that wind?
    This has nothing whatever to do with what I want to watch, or what you want to watch, or anyone’s aesthetic taste. Free speech is not about aesthetics. It’s an utterly irrelevant topic.
    Rick can complain all he likes about what he wants to see; that’s his free speech. If he had his own way, of course, it could be illegal for him to say it on cable tv; ironic, isn’t that?
    (I perfectly well feel for him that he was wroth because he was concerned with protecting his daughters; that’s completely understandable; it does not, however, give him the right to demand that the government abrograte the First Amendment. That he was in father-mode is why I forgive him his FOAD; it is not, however, a rational argument.)

  • http://twistedspinster.com/ Andrea Harris

    You’re wrong, Gary. Full stop. End of story. About the privacy thing — way to miss my point. Where did I say anything about this bagel shop owner’s private ownership of his shop? Though actually, I’ll bet like many business owners he leases the building it’s in. I lease an apartment, and go figure — I have to obey the rules of the apartment complex. And it’s my “private home”! This man invites the public into his “private” business, thereby entering into a relationship with the public that is based upon rules of standard behavior, not “my way or the highway” behavior. That is, he does if he wants repeat business from people. Did you not read what I said? I’ll bet you, though, the shopkeeper was as irritated by what appeared on his television as anyone. He owns a bagel shop, after all, not a sports bar.
    As for the rest of this mishegas on the dreaded Ashcroft Monster and his Strange, Weird, Inexplicable desire to uphold and enforce the law, society has to have some standards of behavior. The leaders of the so-called sexual revolution were absolutely sure that loosening standards would lead to a utopia of equality between the sexes, better mental health, whiter teeth, fresher breath… After observing the results from my viewpoint all I can say is that the least that has happened is that sex and all the entertainment based thereon has become uniformly boring and crass. Now we can say “f*ck” and “sh*t” almost everywhere (except on Granny Jeff’s blog, since his children might see a Bad Word and have their innocence destroyed, Jeff’s children’s innocence being uniquely deserving of protection unlike anyone else’s children, apparently). Yeah, I swear like everyone else. I tell you, I feel so free. My life is so enhanced by titties and trash talk — to think I wasted all that time reading Shakespeare, with all his elaborate euphemisms!
    As for small-t tony — you would say that, considering you seem to have built an internet personality around fantasies of beautiful, nubile young women offering themselves to you on a daily basis. You know, I wouldn’t be a man for anything: it must be like being a tomcat in heat 24/7. How do you fellows ever get anything else done?

  • http://amygdalagf.blogspot.com Gary Farber

    “About the privacy thing — way to miss my point.”
    Um, what? I didn’t say a thing about privacy.
    “Where did I say anything about this bagel shop owner’s private ownership of his shop?”
    You didn’t. That was an error.
    “Though actually, I’ll bet like many business owners he leases the building it’s in. I lease an apartment, and go figure — I have to obey the rules of the apartment complex. And it’s my ‘private home’! This man invites the public into his ‘private’ business, thereby entering into a relationship with the public that is based upon rules of standard behavior, not “my way or the highway” behavior. That is, he does if he wants repeat business from people. Did you not read what I said?”
    Yes. You don’t seem to be following the point, although you’re partially making it. His relationship with the public is whatever he wants to make it; if he makes poor choices, he will go out of business. If one objects to his choices, one takes it up with him. One does not ask the government to change Constitutional interpretation to pass a law to intercede between you and him, and one does not pass a law to limit what he can broadcast in his shop. One simply asks him to not broadcast something you, the customer, finds offensive, or one takes one’s business elsewhere.
    “I’ll bet you, though, the shopkeeper was as irritated by what appeared on his television as anyone. He owns a bagel shop, after all, not a sports bar.”
    So why didn’t he turn it off? What’s the problem? Why ask the government to be nanny?
    As for the rest, it’s great to have your own standards and preferences. I have mine own, to. But I don’t ask the government to step in and enforce them upon everyone else. I don’t have that right. I’m unaware of a clause in the Constitution that says I get to be aesthetic Leader.
    I am aware of a bit of the Constitution that begins “Congress shall make no law….”
    This is an issue of law, Andrea, not aesthetics. We’re all free to have our own aesthetics. Have you read many histories for First Amendment law? If not, I recommend a few books on the subject as relevant to, you know, First Amendment law. Or I could recommend some web pages.
    I’d kinda prefer to not be included in sweeping deductions and insults about my own aesthetic tastes, by the way, when the issue at hand is free speech, not aesthetics. Or do you deduce that I also favor torture, lynching, and the Holocaust, because I note that we must defend free speech about them? Am I actually calling for my own death, because I assert that we must defend the rights of neo-Nazis to march?

  • Andy Freeman

    > The government wants to regulat content in this country. Let’s say that again: The government wants to regulate content in this country.
    That should be sending a shiver up your American spine. It’s not just about the FCC. It’s not just about Howard Stern. It’s about free speech, people.
    Nice talk, but the big elephant that doesn’t bother Stern or Jarvis is the FEC.
    If Jarvis actually cared about speech restrictions he’d complain about speech restrictions. Instead, he only complains about restrictions on media outlets.
    He rants about possible future restrictions on media outlets and ignores current restrictions on political speech.
    You can’t honestly argue against restrictions on media because they’re a slippery slope to future restrictions on political speech and ignore current restrictions on political speech.
    At this point, media support for free political speech by not-media ranges from silence (Jarvis) to active hostility. When that changes, I’ll start caring about restrictions on media speech. Until it does, it is dishonest to argue that supporting media speech is an important part of supporting free political speech.

  • M. Simon

    It appears to me that Rick the Lawyer has already corrupted his children.
    When my kids were that age and saw somthing of a similar nature come on TV or even adults just kissing they either looked away or left the room. With no prompting from me. Because that is the way kids are.
    If your kids are acting differently Rick then you have done something to make them interested in something that at worst they would norally be indifferent to and at best they would actively shun.
    God gives morality. Parents destroy it.

  • M. Simon

    The really sad thing here is that every one wants a government program to solve their personal problems.
    i.e. my problem is so bad that only men with guns can fix it.
    Welcome to the land of liberty Mr. Rick.
    Well the Dems want hate speech codes and the Repubs want sex speech codes.
    Perhaps you guys could join up and solve the problem of free speech. With just a few laws.
    Bipartisan as it were.

  • http://amygdalagf.blogspot.com Gary Farber

    Please. There’s no push by Democrats for hate speech codes in any legislature in the land. They were a minor problem on a handful of college campuses a few years ago, and that has nothing to do with the Democratic Party.

  • http://twistedspinster.com/ Andrea Harris

    Yeah, Gary. There aren’t any of those silly “hate speech codes.” Nothing to see here. Move along.
    Oh, and I love the way you ended your response to me. Way to be petty. I won’t bother encountering you again, now that I know that’s your final answer to everything.

  • http://amygdalagf.blogspot.com Gary Farber

    “I won’t bother encountering you again, now that I know that’s your final answer to everything.”
    Good lord, Andrea. I’d think you’d know me better than that by now. (I don’t even know what you’re suggesting my “final answer to everything” is supposed to be.)

  • KMK

    After Hipocrite’s post and out of curiosity I called ESPN. 1-860-766-2000 and asked for programming. I told the gentleman who answered the phone about the debate going on and he said Girls Gone Wild is not broadcast by ESPN during prime-time hours. He went on to say the local companies may have inserted the commercial in their line up as they have 1-2 minutes each hour of advertising. He asked if I wanted him to look into it and see if it was broadcast. I said yes please, name, number and he called me back last night. The commercial was not shown by any local station at 9am on Saturday morning. So, either Rick was watching a tape or he’s full of feathers. If Rick was watching a tape then his beef is still with the bagel shop. Every station has a programming dept. If you have a complaint or a question you should call them directly. Enough calls and you can change broadcast without the intrusion of the government. It does require you participation. This isn’t about Stern, he’s just the beginning wrung on the ladder of chilled speech. This is about diversity in broadcasting so we all don’t wind up with “Tesh” style broadcasts.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Great reporting, KMK.

  • http://www.stlouisbluesart.com/silicow.html JayT

    Jeff, I’m jes stickin my head in here for a sec, snarky style, to ask: you’re joking right? This is good reporting? Where’s the implied analysis??
    I don’t have time to read the entire line on this particular bull-manifesto, but would it actually surprise anyone that whether or not this particular ad was on at that hour, it would be totally un-surprising.
    Iow, how many hundreds of millions of people all over the world got treated to more-a the same-ole-same-old-t-n-a??
    “Or call and write to ESPN and complain to them.”
    Or the FCC?
    How’s that working out?? Getting so much lame pushback that I don’t think the FCC can do it’s job, obviously.
    Or are some-a you ready to give up on the argument that a society has no right to have a say-so, either publicly and/or through the government(s) that (to some extent, anyway) represent the peoples (and freedoms) that you all are supposedly in favor of protecting.
    There are two mutually incompatible freedoms here, unfortunately, that co-exist nonetheless. I’d prefer to be able to be free from this crap in public, though I wouldn’t make much effort to avoid it myself, personally (having no kids).
    Sorry, Jeff, but you be missing the forest on this one, blinded by the treedoms, apparently…;-D
    Btw, how does this theory (the theory that, basically, anything goes if in the name of freedom) apply globally, if at all?!? I think not so well and, in fact, think it creates a lot of the problems.

  • http://jrobb.mindplex.org John Robb

    If my kids were in a public place and something inappropriate was shown (in person or on TV), all I would have to say is “don’t watch that.”
    I think that for parents that don’t have the smarts necessary for handling their children, a V-chip (now a P-chip, LOL) is appropriate. Let the marketplace decide. If your bagel shop doesn’t turn on the chip, don’t go to that shop.