Is Ashcroft Softcore?

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Greg Beato reported in our May cover story about the Justice Department's renewed crackdown on pornography. But some conservatives are nevertheless apparently distressed that John Ashcroft was soft on porn. Someone should tell him there's a pill for that now.

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  1. It’s official. NOBODY liked Ashcroft’s anti-porn crusade.

  2. I’m sure the FBI guys whose job description went from “read transcripts of phone conversations between Al Qaeda members” to “watch porn” enjoyed Ashcroft’s initiative quite a bit.

  3. Joe,

    Where can I get that job?

    WSDave

  4. Well, I’m sure there were Nazis who thought Hitler was soft on the Jews…

  5. Ashcroft’s peddling the same old crock of shit as the feminists, who feel that a lie that “serves the good” is fine and dandy. Or perhaps he and his minions are just too dumb to read through crappy covariate analysis, and know what a good study is. Here’s the quote from the article:

    “Clinical and experimental evidence show a correlation between exposure to sexually violent materials and an increase in aggressive behavior directed toward women,” Mr. Ashcroft told prosecutors. “Child molesters often use obscene material to seduce their prey, to lower the inhibitions of the victim, and to serve as an instruction manual. ”

    And here’s the unbiased reality:
    According to Professor Catherine Salmon, who did a wide-ranging meta-analysis of porn studies: “There is agreement in general the exposure to sexual violence has negative effects on viewers (Allen et al., 1995; Linz et al., 1987; Linz & Malamuth, 1993) but it is the violence not the sex per se that has the negative effects.”

    Salmon’s piece on porn can be found in the book, Evolutionary Psychology, Public Policy, and Personal Decisions. Fantastic book.

    The problem with lying to “serve the greater good”? The greater good is usually not what gets served. A case in point: all those “Take Back The Night” marches in college towns, which pointed funds (I would assume) and attention at an area where there wasn’t, statistically, a whole lot of rape — presumably taking it away from the inner city where poor women, especially poor homeless women, are at great risk of being raped (according to a study on violence against homeless women by public health researcher, Dr. Kevin Heslin.)

  6. “Take Back the Night” rallies were symbolic events meant to raise awareness of and induce concern about a society wide problem. The did not take attention or funds away from certain instances of rape. It’s not as if police were reassigned to “Take Back the Night” rallies, or as though the women participating would have otherwise been patrolling back alleys with mace.

    That’s a really bad example, which is too bad, because your press it into making a really good point.

  7. I liked the part about all the deeply religious people who became drooling hairy-palmed porn-addict zombies.

    They lost their jobs. Their families. Their ministries.

    “If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out.”

    So much more eloquent – so much more effective – than “Just say no”.

  8. Where to begin? This is like shooting fish in a barrell. If you would allow me to indulge:

    “Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican, worries about the explosion of pornography in recent years. “It takes over your mind,” he says. “There are a lot of people who are addicted to pornography.””

    “It takes over your mind”?? So porn is actually a malevolent, sentient entity that can control people’s minds? Am I reading this correctly?

    “I have seen where homes and lives have been ruined,” Mr. Hatch says. “I have seen dozens of marriages ? good, decent, religious people ? who have gotten into pornography, and their marriages have broken up.”

    So these are cases of casuation, not correlation? It’s not possible that these “good, decent, religious people” weren’t sexually repressed? Is there such a thing as “good, decent, religious” sex? I’m serious here.

    “Obscenity invades our homes persistently through the mail, phone, VCR, cable TV, and now the Internet,” Mr. Ashcroft told a South Carolina gathering of prosecutors in 2002. “This multibillion-dollar industry with links to organized crime has strewn its victims from coast to coast. Never before has so much obscene material been so easily accessible to minors.”

    This is vintage J. Edgar Hoover. I wonder if Ascroft wears a dress. Seriously, I can move a LITTLE BIT about porn finding its way into snail mail and e-mail. But all the other points are total and complete horse-shit. Cable TV has to be ordered by an adult, asshole. If some snotling sees a nudie flick on cable it’s the damn fault of the parents. And I’m not aware of porno VHS tapes (which can be only purchased by adults) jumping into VCRs on their own. Am I missing something here? Can someone clue me in?

    (Ascroft) cited statistics about how 9 out of 10 children between the ages of 8 and 16 have been exposed to obscene material on the Internet, usually while trying to do homework.

    Yeah, that’s an excellent point if a kid types in stuff like “pig fuck pics” into a search engine while he is doing his “homework” and a parent isn’t around to look over his shoulder, or use any of the widely-available monitoring or blocking software. Yep.

    “Clinical and experimental evidence show a correlation between exposure to sexually violent materials and an increase in aggressive behavior directed toward women,” Mr. Ashcroft told prosecutors.

    At the very lease they admit to CORRLATION, though they probably say that in a cynical belief that the common slack-jaw doesn’t know the difference between correlation and casuation. So, in the statement above, which is the cart, and which is the horse?

    Ascroft: “Child molesters often use obscene material to seduce their prey, to lower the inhibitions of the victim, and to serve as an instruction manual.”

    The perverts also probably use TVs, VCRs, DVDs, etc in seducing their prey. Let’s ban those, too.

    I swear, these stupid, hypocritical fucks really, really piss me off.

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