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« on: February 26, 2005, 10:48:11 PM »

Public Outcry, Threat of Prosecution -- Formidable Weapons Against Porn, Groups Say

by Jody Brown
February 25, 2005

(AgapePress) - Pro-family groups are hopeful that a cable provider's decision to yank hard-core porn from its offerings is an omen that others who are planning to violate federal obscenity laws will think twice.

The Denver Post reported on Thursday (February 24) that Adelphia Communications -- the fifth-largest cable provider in the U.S. -- is pulling triple-X pornography from its offerings after just a few weeks of making it available to subscribers. When the cable provider added the Playboy Enterprises-supplied hard-core porn in early February, several pro-family groups voiced their strong displeasure and launched a grassroots call for the federal government to consider intervention.

The Post report implied that one of those groups -- the Mississippi-based American Family Association (AFA) -- may have had something to do with Adelphia's decision. It noted the pro-family group's February 7 e-mail alert to supporters that encouraged them to contact President Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, suggesting they instruct the Department of Justice to "begin obscenity prosecution" of Adelphia. According to AFA, their alert resulted in more than 130,000 messages to the DOJ. Adelphia's announcement yanking the hard-core content came on February 10.

Randy Sharp   
AFA says it has since confirmed with Adelphia that the company recognized the concern voiced about such programming, and that it will remove it from all of its systems. Randy Sharp, AFA's director of special projects, says his organization's grassroots supporters did their job well.

"We made the Justice Department fully aware of Adelphia's hard-core pornography," Sharp says, adding that AFA does not know for sure if the Justice Department actually became involved. "[But] what we do know is that distribution of obscenity is a crime -- and Adelphia recognized that, too."

Another pro-family group confirms the effectiveness of such an approach. Concerned Women for America sees Adelphia's reversal as evidence that public outcry and the threat of federal prosecution works. In fact, the day before Adelphia's announcement that it had changed its mind, CWA's Jan LaRue issued a warning of sorts during an appearance on MSNBC.

"The lawyers at Adelphia ought to be advising the corporate heads that when you distribute triple-X hard-core pornography, it's the kind of porn that's prosecutable under the federal obscenity laws," the CWA chief counsel said. The Washington-based organization conjectures that it is likely Adelphia officials took that fact into account when making their decision.

    [Photo compliments of Concerned Women for America]
Bob Knight
Robert Knight, who directs the CWA's Culture and Family Institute, says Adelphia should not stop with the hard-core porn, but should clean house. "It's a good start," Knight says, "[but] they should get rid of the other pornography on their systems as well."

He argues for the sake of the family, he says. "Nobody who peddles porn cares a whit about women and children, or the men who get addicted and destroy their marriages and families. Those who profit from [pornography] are profiting from others' misery, disguised as 'entertainment'."

Sharp, like Knight, hopes Adelphia's move will spur others to do the same. "Hopefully, this decision by Adelphia will serve to warn others who are thinking about distributing illegal porn," the AFA spokesman says. "The [DOJ] needs to send a message loud and clear to these porn peddlers that every measure will be taken to protect our children from the dangers of pornography."

That fact that Adelphia even considered offering triple-X porn to its subscribers, adds Sharp, indicates the federal government needs to enforce obscenity laws more vigorously than in the past.


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