March 23, 2005

But No One Defined the Boundaries of Porn...

I was driving to a dental appointment yesterday, so I was in my car during the 4:00 p.m. hour with the radio tuned to KMOX - the Paul Harris show.

Paul was conversing with a woman named Naomi Seligman from the Committee for Responsibility and Ethics about senators and congressfolk who accept money from instutitions whom the CfRE deem as distributors of porn - cable companies and hotel chains namely. The crux of the attack was that these aforementioned senators and congressfolk are hypocrites for their stances on Family Values when they accept such dirty money. Paul's job is to keep us interested, so it's a pretty good topic. Naomi's aim was to incite us to indignant mood. Senator Bond - who called in after being named - was clearly flustered - neither party's on-air argument skills left me feeling inspired. A whole lot of sputtering "he" and "she" instead of proper debate of "Senator Bond" or "Ms. Seligman." It sounded like a playground namecalling festival.

I turned the radio off when nearing the dental office, right in the middle of a whining Naomi mini-screed, but I'd like to address the title of this post. Senator Bond didn't, and I think that he should have.

What is porn? And who decides? Certainly some cable companies offer porn channels, and some hotel chains offer same. Naomi mentioned "Skinemax" in reference to the cable channel Cinemax. Do we dis Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon for their sales of sexually-related books? Newly bankrupt Penthouse and Larry Flynt were mentioned as non-questioned porn purveyors, but Seligman linked in General Motors because of its ownership of/affiliation with (I didn't catch which) with DirectTV. A stretch, at best.

Back to hypocrisy - cracking down on things that subvert family values (as porn was so defined by the senators and congressfolk) but still accepting money from these OBVIOUS (too bad there's not a sarcasm tag) porn purveyors. Somehow, it really falls flat without the acceptance of Seligman's definition of porn. She stated that Senator Bond and those grouped with him in this report should have taken extra steps so as not to accept monies from those affilitated with "porn" - including GM, Mariott, and several cable companies.

I just don't buy it. Someone working for the Committee for Responsibility and Ethics may be cheating on his or her spouse. Does that invalidate the whole Committee and its aims and goals? Of course not. As Senator Bond did point out, the money to his campaign was delivered via individuals and PACs, not the companies. Right back to it - GM and porn? Nope.

And, oh, in case you're still reading and curious - Ms. Seligman's bio?

Naomi Seligman, Deputy Director Naomi Seligman serves as CREW's Deputy Director and Communications Director. Ms. Seligman has worked extensively as a communications professional developing and managing media strategies for campaigns, elected officials, and not-for-profit organizations. Most recently, Seligman was the communications director for Media Matters, a web-based, not-for-profit progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Prior to that, she served as the communications director for the Violence Policy Center, a gun control organization. She also has served as a press secretary in both the Senate and the House of Representatives and has functioned as director of outreach on the Small Business Committee.
Uh huh.


Posted by hln at March 23, 2005 12:52 PM | Anecdote | TrackBack

Sounds fair & balanced to me :-)

Posted by: Harvey at March 24, 2005 10:05 AM

That's been the problem all along... what is porn? Defining it is nearly impossible because everyone has a different definition. Some people consider anything more than a handshake to be porn and others only consider it porn if everyone sheds their clothes and starts having sex in the opening credits. However, I think Ms. Seligman is going to have an impossible job if she wants to cut out all sources of income that she thinks are porn related (especially given those you say she mentioned)... although it might just be amusing to watch her try (as long as you don't have to listen to her whine *grin*)

Posted by: Teresa at March 25, 2005 06:38 PM