‘sex and the media’

A Federal Court That Trusts People More Than Government

There’s a government agency in Washington whose job is deciding what’s “offensive” and should be kept off broadcast TV and radio—the FCC. Its policy is terribly, dangerously flexible. If material has to do with sexuality or excretory functions, it’s “offensive” if the commissioners decide it’s offensive. You don’t have the right to see or hear “offensive” material on broadcast TV. A federal court (including a judge appointed by President Bush) ruled this week that that’s just too vague, “creating a chilling effect that goes beyond the fleeting expletives at issue here.” That ruling is good news for parents, consumers, and…

Continue Reading
0 Comments

Congress Requiring Internet Filtering—Through the Back Door

Last week, the House agreed to a Senate amendment to a bill that funds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On the next-to-last page, it casually states: “None of the funds made available in this act may be used to maintain or establish a computer network unless such network blocks the viewing, downloading and exchanging of pornography.” Yes, buried in a bill (HR4899) that allocates $75,000,000,000 for the military, as well as for border security, veterans’ health, state education, and Haiti, Congress is preparing to require that all companies doing business with the federal government require internet filtering software. “Pornography”…

Continue Reading
0 Comments

Flibanserin Defeated; What Is Accomplished?

The big news in the world of sex is that Flibanserin, the drug that’s supposed to increase desire in some pre-menopausal women, has been rejected by the federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA). A group of activists is taking credit for pointing out the drug’s side effects, limited efficacy, and big-ticket marketing campaign. They also criticize the medicalization of female sexuality, accusing drug maker Boehringer-Ingelheim (B-I) of creating a disease where none exists. Despite clear evidence that the lobbying had no serious impact on the FDA process, these activists are now celebrating, having made the world safe for, um, low…

Continue Reading
0 Comments

Judge Dislikes T-Shirt, Jails Woman—and Media Play Coy

A woman observing a trial was arrested and jailed for 48 hours because she wore a t-shirt with a political slogan. Are you curious about the political slogan? Can this be legal? Would you agree that the specific slogan would be a crucial part of the news reporting this story? Now try this actual event, reported in the Chicago Tribune: “Jennifer LaPenta, 20, was jailed this week by Lake County Associate Judge Helen Rozenberg who held her in contempt for wearing a T-shirt in her courtroom emblazoned with the words: “I have the (slang for female body part) so I…

Continue Reading
1 Comment

When Music Turned to Sex—And Changed the World

They were impossibly young, tremendously gifted, and very, very attractive. Diana Ross was 20. Mick Jagger was 21. Brian Wilson was 22. Marvin Gaye was 25. The biggest star on stage, Lesley Gore, wasn’t old enough to drink or vote. It was October 29, 1964, at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. It was the T.A.M.I. show, and for two hours the heavens opened. The gods of the future poured out, strolled among us, and created magic effortlessly. After almost half a century the show has been released on DVD. You must see it. Stop reading this, go buy it or…

Continue Reading
0 Comments

Court Finally Limits Persecution of Teen Sexuality

Sexting has come of age—it’s on the front page of today’s New York Times. The good news is that our judiciary has finally told prosecutors enough is enough. A U.S. Appeals Court just upheld a preliminary injunction barring local prosecutors from filing felony child-porn charges against a teenage girl who took a topless photo of herself with her cellphone. Eighteen months ago, sexy shots of three Pennsylvania teen girls—one showing her breasts, the others in bra or bathing suit—were taken and sent to some friends via cell phone. School officials busted them and 13 other students who had the pictures…

Continue Reading
0 Comments