CHINA CRACKS DOWN ON PORN—AND POLITICAL SPEECH
First the good news: China cracked down on pornography this week.
But the bad news is that Chinese leadership is playing the anti-porn card as an excuse to continue its censorship of opposing political freedom.
Discussing the double-edge sword of censorship in China is Morality in Media President Robert Peters, who said, “China is to be commended for cracking down on Internet pornography,” citing the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1973 in the obscenity case, Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15, 34-35:
“[T]o equate the free and robust exchange of ideas and political debate with commercial exploitation of obscene material demeans the grand conception of the First Amendment and its high purposes in the historic struggle for freedom. It is a ‘misuse of the great guarantees of free speech and free press’…The First Amendment protects works which, taken as a whole, have serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value, regardless of whether the government or a majority of the people approve of the ideas these works represent. ‘The protection given speech and press was fashioned to assure unfettered interchange of ideas for the bringing about of political and social changes desired by the people’…But the public portrayal of hard-core sexual conduct for its own sake, and for the ensuing commercial gain, is a different matter.”
But Peters warns that a small but influential minority of moral anarchists in the U.S. and abroad push the view that all pornography should be protected from government interference, adding a common sense warning, “Most people understand the difference between a discussion or debate about pornography (which is protected speech in the U.S. and should be in China) and the depiction of sex acts for the purpose of arousing viewers.
During your interview with Robert, he would like to share with your audience that according to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center (“Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: 1987-2007”), 70% of adult Americans disagreed with the statement that “nude pictures and X-rated videos on the Internet provide harmless entertainment for those who enjoy it.” According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive in 2006, 73% of adults disagreed with the statement that viewing pornographic videos and websites is “morally acceptable.”
Viewing pornography, Robert Peters contends, has become an addiction for countless individuals of all ages. “The harms resulting include psychological damage to children, sexual exploitation of children, ruination of marriages, spread of sexually transmitted diseases, sexual assaults, and sexual trafficking, concluded Peters.
ABOUT ROBERT PETERS…
Robert Peter is President of Morality in Media. He has been a guest on many television programs including three times on Larry King. He has been a diligent warrior in the fight against indecency for over two decades.
Headquartered in New York City, Morality In Media (MIM) works through constitutional means to curb traffic in illegal obscenity. MIM operates the www.obscenitycrimes.org website, where citizens can report possible violations of federal Internet obscenity laws.
Established in New York City in 1962 to combat pornography, Morality In Media works to inform citizens and public officials about the harms of pornography and about what they can do through law to protect their communities and children. MIM also works to maintain standards of decency on TV and in other media. Contributions are tax-exempt.
Morality In Media works through constitutional means to curb traffic in illegal obscenity. It operates the www.obscenitycrimes.org website, where citizens can report possible violations of federal Internet obscenity laws.