Moran's Stiff Opposition to Sexual Innuendo Hard to Understand

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) has reintroduced legislation that would require the Federal Communications Commission to treat ads for Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs as indecent, meaning they could be legally aired only between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. In 2005, when he introduced a similar bill, Moran complained:

You can hardly watch primetime television or a major sporting event with your family without ads warning of the dangers of a "four-hour experience" airing every 10 minutes....They just push the envelope too far....There's just too much sexual innuendo.

Yet the Families for ED Advertising Decency Act makes an exception for "product placement or other display or mention merely of the trademarked name or generic name for such a medication." So a prime-time drama could slip in a Pfizer-sponsored, sexual-innuendo-saturated subplot in which Viagra saves a marriage, as long as no ads for the drug popped up during the commercial breaks. A sitcom could spring a joke about a chemically induced 12-hour boner. And since the FCC's indecency regulations apply only to broadcasting, cable and satellite channels would remain unleashed, free to air ads for erection-promoting drugs at any time of day.

Then why is Moran going to such lengths? As Moran explained in 2005, it's all about "exposing the hypocrisy of some of these religious-right extremists," who push the interests of pharmaceutical companies even though they know those companies help people have sex. At least, I think that's Moran's point. As for why the congressman has such a hard-on about Viagra and its various competitors, he said it was because the federal goverment was indirectly subsidizing advertising for such drugs by covering prescriptions for them under Medicare. 

Reason coverage of recent developments in FCC regulation of broadcast indecency here, here, and here. In 2003 I analyzed a Jim Moran boner that lasted less than a minute but had people talking for weeks.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Ah, the perfect opportunity to talk up my new Viagra and cocaine soda. It's called Heart Attack!

  • Forty-Two||

    "four-hour experience" airing every 10 minutes....They just push the envelope too far....There's just too much sexual innuendo.



    Much to the despair of Mrs. Moran, Rep. Moran is capable of maintaining sexual innuendo no longer than 30 seconds.

    Yet another example of a politician forcing their shortcomings into law.

  • ||

    Nor should we forget Batman and Joker's similar issue.

  • JB||

    This retard is my rep. He is really, really stupid, even for a Congress-creature.

    "...the simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it and they have an antipathy towards the means of redistributing wealth."
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJyS1WJNisM

    Since he made these comments I haven't seen him in person, and I really hope I don't. There is a good chance I will knock his teeth down his throat, take his wallet, and say 'I'm just redistributing the wealth, bitch'.

  • Mister DNA||

    With a name like "Families for ED Advertising Decency Act", it doesn't stand a chance. Doesn't Rep. Moran know any Dead White Girls whose names could be attached to the bill?

  • ||

    No, no, NutraSweet, sildenafil citrate lowers your blood pressure. You could call it Hard Charger, maybe? Line Up?

    "Well, something tells me you probably were never half man, half horse, but hell, what do I know? All I know is, you got a great attitude. So come on, you old son of a gun, and let Buster do a line off your boner."

  • JRD||

    Heh. Lengths.

  • ||

    Low Blow

  • ||

    Low Blow

    Excellent.

  • hmm||

    The title is disappointingly mediocre.

    I know for a fact that at least one station, namely the local Fox station, only runs the enzyte commercials after 10 pm. I'm not sure about other commercials. The station also opts out of some other Fox programming. I think they didn't air the Ozzy Ozborne special or show. DAMN THOSE SELF REGULATING BASTARDS!!!

    Stupid FCC.

    Ah, the perfect opportunity to talk up my new Viagra and cocaine soda. It's called Heart Attack!
    That and a hot/easy date would be a proper way to go out without your boots on. Or with your boots on...

  • Publilius||

    Isn't there a typo in his name? Doesn't he actually spell his name "Moron"?

  • Syd||

    If Moran succeeds, think of all those people who will die from buying Viagra online and never know about the dangers of a four-hour experience.

  • SpongePaul||

    and the increase in size, well that was nice too.

  • ||

    OK, this is my favorite post evar. Who would have thought so much innuendo would fit in such a small entry?

  • ||

    Priapism is no laughing matter. The arm cramps and blisters were excruciating.

  • the innominate one||

    Dagny - you just had to bring up anal, didn't you?

  • ||

    As for why the congressman has such a hard-on about Viagra and its various competitors, he said it was because the federal goverment was indirectly subsidizing advertising for such drugs by covering prescriptions for them under Medicare.

    Sadly, I expect Rep. Moron's* view that any industry that finds any money in its bank account that came from the federal government is thereby subject to unlimited arbitrary government regulation is widely held.

    *Query to the gallery: Is spelling his name "Moron" a violation of Joe'z Memorial Law?

  • ||

    I've got a message I'd like to *drive home*.

  • ||

    Low Blow

    Awesome!

    Anyone know the cure for priapism? There's either a needle or shunting involved or they can cut into your taint for drainage purposes. Of course, you don't go in for the cure your penis dies and must be amputated.

  • ||

    Talk about unintainted consequences!

  • ||

    The Delta Burke, Winona Judd, Chris Farley 3 way video cured my priapism.

  • ||

    the innominate one,

    And without a warning, even! Or anything to make it any less rough. I believe this is the kind of poor etiquette that Rep. Moran would like to ban.

  • hmm||

    Priapism is no laughing matter. The arm cramps and blisters were excruciating.

    Not to mention the cost of lubricant.

  • ||

    Oh, for crying out loud. Jim Moran was useless, tax-sucking idiot when he was a local politician in Alexandria, and it's only gotten worse.

    -jcr

  • ||

    This argument by Rep. Moran is quite similar to that made by several of the dissenting Justices in Fox v. FCC last week. They seemed disturbed that the FCC would allow Viagra advertisements but not fleeting profanities. None of them really seemed to agree that the FCC couldn't ban content (unlike, say, Justice Thomas), they just seemed to think that banning fleeting expletives but not Viagra ads was inconsistent and without rational basis.

  • Shecky The Jew||

    Innuendo? Isn't that the gay bar in the Vatican?

    Thanks folks, I'll be here all week. Remember to tip your waitresses and mohels.

  • ||

    Jim Moran is the kind of guy that would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach-around.

  • Nobody||

    The matter of salacious advertising, engorged with double-entendres, is no lauging matter. This matter has me at full attention, and I am overwhelmed by the urge to to hammer my point home for as long as it takes - yes, even all night and as often as necessary. We simply cannot allow such a tawdry taint to slip in through the back door. Who will rise to the occasion with me?

  • ||

    Anyone know the cure for priapism?

    Oh, I would think that just imagining Jim Moran's momma should do it for most people.

    -jcr

  • The Common Sense League||

    Dear Jim MORON,

    Knock it off.

  • The Viagra Marketing Board||

    Viagra® doesn't work for everyone. Some sufferers of limpdickus extremis will never be able to consummate their relationship with their favorite blow-up doll, and will resort to useless acts of impotent legislation to compensate.

    Representative Moran should seek competent medical advice. Our recommendation is a long walk on a short pier.

    Sincerely,

    Bob Dole's employers.

  • Ryan||

    Appropriately, the first thought I have every time I see this guy mentioned is the "Get a Brain, Morans" image.

  • Some Guy||

    As Moran explained in 2005, it's all about "exposing the hypocrisy of some of these religious-right extremists," who push the interests of pharmaceutical companies even though they know those companies help people have sex.

    Huh? There's plenty of religious right hypocrisy to go around, why the need to make a huge stretch on this?

    At least, I think that's Moran's point. As for why the congressman has such a hard-on about Viagra and its various competitors, he said it was because the federal goverment was indirectly subsidizing advertising for such drugs by covering prescriptions for them under Medicare.

    I don't like the bailouts of the auto companies. I don't think banning car ads during prime time would be a good solution to my anger.

  • Fluffy||

    In addition to all the other valid criticisms here, isn't it a few years too late to even bother with such an act?

    Seriously, is there anyone in America still embarrassed when these ads come on? If so, exactly how many fucking times do such people need to have the identical experience of embarrassment before it wears off and becomes no big deal?

  • Morris||

    Rabbi Jacob Sullum's Ashrei

    Happy are those who dwell in Your house
    they will praise You yet again, Selah.
    Happy is the people whose lot is such
    Happy is the people for whom the Market is God.

    (1) A psalm of praise by David:
    I will exalt You, my God, the King
    I will bless Your Name for ever and ever.
    (2) Every day I will bless You
    I will praise Your Name for ever and ever.
    (3) Great is the Market and very worthy of praise
    there is no probing His greatness.
    (4) One generation will acclaim what You have done to another
    they will tell Your mighty acts.
    (5) I will discuss the majestic glory of Your beauty
    and the instances of Your wonders.
    (6) They will talk of the power of Your awesome deeds
    I will relate Your greatness.
    (7) They will give expression to the memory of the amplitude of Your goodness
    they will sing of Your righteousness.
    (8) The Market is gracious and merciful
    long on patience and great in caring.
    (9) The Market is good to all
    His mercy is upon all that He has done.
    (10) All that You have done will give thanks to You, Market,
    and those who care for You will bless You.
    (11) They will talk of the glory of Your kingdom
    they will speak of Your might.
    (12) To make known to humanity His mighty deeds
    and the glorious majesty of His kingdom.
    (13) Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages
    Your reign is for each generation.
    (14) The Market supports all those who fall
    He stands erect all those who are bowed over.
    (15) The eyes of all look expectantly to You
    You give them their food in its proper time.
    (16) You open Your hand
    giving contentedness sufficiently to all living beings.
    (17) The Market is righteous in all His ways
    caring to all that He has done.
    (18) The Market is near to all who call on Him
    to all who call on Him in truth.
    (19) He does the will of those who fear Him
    He hears their cry and saves them.
    (20) The Market watches over all those who love Him
    He destroys all the wicked.
    (21) My mouth will speak the praise of the Market
    All animate beings will bless His holy Name for ever and ever.

    We will bless the Market
    from now unto eternity.
    Praise the Market!

  • the innominate one||

    epi - you sound bitter. firsthand experience?

  • gmatts||

    "Moran's Stiff Opposition to Sexual Innuendo Hard to Understand"


    I would have gone with "Hard to Swallow".

  • Paul||

    So what, the party of the first amendment, the little guy and the sexual revolution is now the party of corporate welfare, prohibition, censorship and prudishness.

    That about right?

  • ||

    epi - you sound bitter. firsthand experience?

    More like "nohand" experience.

  • Smiling Bob||

    Moran probably bought a two year supply of Enzyte.

  • ||

    Really? Lefiti again? Go away you useless cuntrag.

  • Robert||

    What about ads for contraceptives? Laxatives and anti-diarrheals? Drugs against urinary urgency? Don't they touch as much of the "indecent" subjects of making sissies, duties, and babies as do ads for ED aids?

  • the innominate one||

    can we also stop airing ads for feminine hygiene products? they squick me out.

  • ||

    "have a happy period"

  • ||

    Yeah, where's Moran when we want to get rid of Summer's Eve douche girls running through fields of flowing grain? (OK, so that commercial from the 70s is burned in my memory.)

    Viagra advertising is corny and distasteful, but that doesn't mean regulation is required. Don't we go down this road every month or so? A few years ago it was regulating annoyance with the misguided Do Not Call list. This feels like that.

  • Jeff P||

    Wait! I can still rub one out while watching the Magic Jack infomercial, right?

  • cuernimus||

    What about the people who get bitten by a South American wandering spider, huh? If it weren't for these public service announcements, how many men would know that a 4 hour erection requires immediate medical attention and is not some sort of gift from a divine being? If our Congress isn't thinking of the little weenies, who will!?

  • alan||

    Goddamn Viagra giving the rest of you the natural born powers of the Latin man.

  • alan||

    Wait! I can still rub one out while watching the Magic Jack infomercial, right?

    What is the one, the natural male enhancement commercial with the guy playing Santa and the cute short hair brunette with the curt bow shaped lips sitting on his lap, are we talking about the same one here? Yeah that's the little firecracker I think of doing while doing Jim Moran's mother.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Not to be overly obvious, but if it weren't for the FCC, Pfizer wouldn't have to stoop to innuendo in the first place.

  • ||

    The Delta Burke, Winona Judd, Chris Farley 3 way video cured my priapism.

    Imax is the only screen big enough for that.

    AAAAH! My EYES!!

  • Hacha Cha||

    medicare doesn't cover ED drugs anymore.

  • ||

    To hell with ideological purity, I say anything that gets rid of those annoying commercials is fine with me.

    And who can explain the continued existence of Enzyte? If the FDA doesn't stop an obvious fraud like penis-enlarging pills, what the hell do they do all day? Surely a medical fraud advertised for years on national television would rise to the top of their To-Do list? What's next, infomercials for the Nigerian Advance Fee money-making opportunity?

  • ||

    AAAAH! My EYES!!

    Wimp. It's not like he said Anna Nicole Smith, Rosie O'Donnell and Kirstie Allie.

    -jcr

  • ||

    anything that gets rid of those annoying commercials is fine with me.

    I've got something that does that. It's called a "remote" and it changes the channel on the TV.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Looking for things to be upset about seems to be a national past time with many in congress. I can turn the channel on my TV and get rid of the unwanted commercials, but it's not nearly as easy getting rid of the annoying politians. Anyone have a line on a good remote for that?

  • ||

    Regardless of government overstep/regulation, isn't all the Advertising for Viagra and the rest a collosal waste of money?

    Is there ever, in the history of modern man, been a product whose reputation spread by by word of mouth, etc?

    While I don't like Moran's legislation on the matter, it was a bit disturbing to hear my 6 year old singing "Viva Viagra!" last week- right after, comically enough, my 11 year old was singing "Budweiser- this is beer"

  • ||

    The UP side of Moran's legislation is that, if passed, the network evening news programs would no longer have any advertisers!

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I can't believe no one said "Get a brain, Moran!"
    Or did I just skip over it?

  • ||

    i hate those commercials. not because it isnt real sweet when they pop up, ha ha, while watching tv with say...oh...i dont know...my parents or whoever, but because they are too much. i also dont think any medical devices or drugs should be advertised at all on tv.

  • ||

    I wish these ads would go away because they are in such bad taste. The worst commercial is the one with the vacuum hose.

  • jtuf||

    People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.)allows his children to watch TV. I can think of half a dozen communities in my metropolitan area that would ostracize him for even owning a TV, much less letting his children watch one. Furthermore, he lets his children watch broadcast TV instead of tapes that he previewed to make sure they are modest. Some religious leaders would issue a religious prohibbition on having any contact with Moran on account of his comparatively lude lifestyle.

    I have more respect for those religious leaders than for Moran, because they stick to using persuasion instead of relying on government power. Legislating morality is tempting when you think your morality will be enshirned in law, but the down side of this policy becomes apparent when you imagine the prospect of going to jail for violating someone else's particular moral code.

  • ||

    He should be beaten to death with his own limp noodle.

  • ||

    I may not agree with how he is going about it but I agree with his point. I am dreading the day when my daughters ask me what erectile disfunction is. These adds don't embarrass me but they present material to my young children that is not appropriate for them as children. These adds are so frequent that even flipping through the channels from one cartoon to the next we have come across them during the day. My children are bright and astute and it is only a matter of time before these words become part of their vocabulary. I strongly believe that ads containing sexual innuendo (for medications or other products) should be be aired during the daytime. We wonder why our children are more sexually precocious with the passing years. I firmly believe having to explain erectile disfunction or even having her know those words at this age start the entire process.

  • ||

    I am dreading the day when my daughters ask me what erectile disfunction is. These adds don't embarrass me but they present material to my young children that is not appropriate for them as children.

    Yes God forbid our precious little ones get exposed to "inappropriate" material.


    "Daddy, What's erectile dysfunction?"

    "It's a medical problem some adults have -- nothing you need to worry about."

    So awkward!! There really ought to be a law that forbids anything that would force me to have an awkward conversation with my son.


    You know what makes television (or any media for that matter) really great?? When everything it airs is is sanitized and child friendly.

    As a parent I have a right to no ever be faced with uncomfortable moments when I have to actually explain things to my kids and have discussions about adult topics. That's not why I had kids. I had them so some else could help do some fucking chores around the house.

    Adult material is supposed to be learned the old fashioned way -- on the streets from other kids or from older siblings - not through discussions with parents. What kind of sick shit is that? What next, I'm gonna have my kid ask me about sex if that happens to come up in a TV program?

    Luckily though, until the government does it's job and bans these types of things, I have my TiVo (or any DVR) -- it allows the parent to FF through commercials and not have to deal with those uncomfortable moments.

  • ||

    Okay folks, knock it off with all the one-liners.

    I'm overloading on rimshots...oh crap.

  • the innominate one||

    alan - that's Enzyte, commercials starring Smiling Bob

    PapayaSF - Enzyte commercials advertise "natural male enhancement", which is vague enough that it doesn't mean anything actionable, probably. larger? harder? for longer?

    my fave is Levitra - great name, and I love the commercial where the guy throws a football through a tire swing. as a friend of mine remarked "why don't they just show a train repeatedly entering and backing out of a mountain tunnel?"

    I remember asking what rape was at a family gathering (I was bored and reading a Reader's Digest "Drama in Real Life"). Apparently, it's when a part of the body is cut off.

  • ||

    And who can explain the continued existence of Enzyte? If the FDA doesn't stop an obvious fraud like penis-enlarging pills, what the hell do they do all day? Surely a medical fraud advertised for years on national television would rise to the top of their To-Do list?



    Actually, the slow reach of the law has finally been catching up to the Enzyte makers. IIRC, the CEO is in jail, and they were trying to imprison his mother as well. The lawsuits started coming in 2006.

  • ||

    If I Only Had a Brain

    I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers
    Consultin' with the rain.
    And my head I'd be scratchin' while
    my thoughts were busy hatchin'
    If I only had a brain.
    I'd unravel every riddle for any individ'le,
    In trouble or in pain.
    With the thoughts you'll be thinkin'
    you could be another Lincoln
    If you only had a brain.
    Oh, I could tell you why The ocean's near the shore.
    I could think of things I never thunk before.
    And then I'd sit, and think some more.
    I would not be just a nothin' my head all full of stuffin'
    My heart all full of pain.
    I would dance and be merry, life would be a ding-a-derry,
    If I only had a brain.

    lyrics by EH Harburg

  • ||

    Let me know when they get penis reduction pills.

  • ZZ Top||

    He can't do this. It's against the law. It's called content neutral. You cannot ban commercials for one type of drug and not another. It'll never get out of Committee.

  • ||

    Wow. You mean there's actually a commercial that promotes a drug, one of the "unfortunate" side effects of which is a four hour erection???

    Damn. I'm gonna have to re-subscribe to TV.

    Been a while since I had even a three hour erection. At least my hand doesn't still suffer from chronic over-use "sin"drome..

  • impotence||

    Vigaplus Gives you harder erections that is Non stop love making for 4 hours with out side effects, because it is an herbal product.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement