SANTORUM: ‘I Will Ban Hardcore Pornography’


NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The Republican presidential candidate and staunch social conservative wants to ban hard-core pornography. He calls it “toxic to marriages and relationships” in a new statement posted on his official website. “America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography,” the former Pennsylvania senator writes. “It contributes to misogyny and violence against women. It is a contributing factor to prostitution and sex trafficking.” He demands a crackdown on the distribution of hardcore pornography on the Internet, in addition to material on cable/satellite TV, hotel/motel TV, retail shops and through the mail. What qualifies as “hardcore” remains unclear. Santorum points to a “wealth of research” showing pornography causes “profound brain changes in both children and adults,” and rips President Obama for not doing enough. MORE

RELATED: Two giants in the industry contacted by msnbc.com scoff at the Republican presidential candidate’s claims that porn is causing “a pandemic of harm” in America and contributing to violence against women. Nonsense, says Hustler publisher Larry Flynt. Absolutely no proof, says Steven Hirsch, founder and co-chairman of Los Angeles-based Vivid Entertainment, one of the largest makers of erotic movies.Flynt notes that a 1969 commission set up by President Lyndon Johnson spent millions of dollars studying the impact of porn and concluded there was no evidence such materials were harmful. “You have guys like Santorum come along and they bring out the bogeyman every chance they get,” Flynt said. “You will be hard-pressed to find anyone that can point out to you a study that shows harm is caused to anyone exposed to porn materials.” “I find it ironic that Republicans (like Santorum) are out there wanting less government and government intruding into our lives, but when it comes to moral issues they want government to legislate morality,” says Hirsch. “It doesn’t work. It will never work.” MORE

FORBES: Here’s why Santorum should stop talking about porn. Porn is not going to go away. The porn industry is very careful not to violate laws protecting underaged boys and girls from being exploited for porn. If porn is made with underaged performers, those responsible for the project do get caught and do go to prison. Big porn producers like Vivid and Hustler go out of their way to keep underaged kids out of the business, and they work with the authorities to track down and prosecute anyone involved in pedophilia. They do so because they want to protect their legitimate business from government’s prying eyes. Any limits on the production of pornography in the U.S. will simply push the producers out of the U.S. and into countries that either don’t have such laws protecting children or don’t enforce them. Banning something generally is not a good way to reduce demand. It didn’t work with alcohol during Prohibition; it hasn’t worked with harder drugs ever since. Scarcity itself creates demand. But Americans don’t have a right to drugs. We do, however, have a First Amendment right to free speech and to peaceably assemble, even if the assembled people are naked and accompanied by a video camera. MORE

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