Will Mitt Romney crack down on porn?

Posted by David Konow

I think it's fair to say that many of us go through a porn stage in our lives. 



No, I don't mean a rite of passage like the first time we all looked through Playboy, but I think many of us have times in our lives where we rent or buy adult movies, have a favorite porn star or two, then kind of lose interest in the whole thing. 



And nowadays with the 'Net and high-speed connections, we can access adult sites a lot easier, and there's less of the thrill you may remember from going out to rent a DVD or waiting for one in the mail.
 
Years ago I went to a book signing for a big book on porn, The Other Hollywood, written by Legs McNeil, who penned one great book, Please Kill Me, which is the one essential work on punk music. 



A big book on the history of porn was long overdue, yet frankly Legs didn't deliver with his, but what he said at the book signing stayed with me ever since.

Basically, McNeil felt "the feds are gonna start crackin' down" on porn, and at the time I dismissed it as paranoid. Yeah, sure, them and what army, I thought. If they make it even more forbidden, the more people will want it, defeating the whole purpose.
 
So when I saw the headline that Republican candidate Mitt Romney was gong to crack down on porn, my first reaction was, "Is this a legit headline or is this a joke on The Onion?" I traced down the link, the story is on The Huffington Post, and it's not from April Fool's Day either. So apparently, along with fixing the economy, again, him and what army, Romney's also promised he's going to "vigorously" bring the hammer down on purveyors of porn.
 
Porn was recently under fire with mandatory condom use, which is perfectly fine by me, but the industry has balked at this and is threatening to leave Chatsworth over it. Now The Huffington Post tells us that indeed fighting porn will be a big priority if Romney wins the election.
 
Back in 2007, Romney said "We've got to clean up the water that our kids are swimming in," and this also included "the violence, the sex, the perversion that bombards them day in and day out." 

With the shootings in Colorado, I'm sure all movies, not just porn, will be a hot button issue this election, especially with many having the knee jerk reaction of demanding Hollywood tone down violent films. (Frankly the Batman films are good for kids of a certain age, because there's a lot of moral lessons in them, which right now is going over the heads of many people).
 
And perhaps with porn suffering in the recession the industry could indeed be vulnerable with these kinds of attacks, whereas before it was too big to hit.

Almost twenty years ago I interviewed porn legend Ron Jeremy when adult films were becoming really big business in the 90's. 

On the subject of censorship, he said: "You can't black-ball an industry. It's gonna go on whether it's legal or not. I was arrested twice state wise and I was almost indicted federally. They can't scare us. We've been through it before. Because it's entertainment, it has First Amendment protection. Adult movies are bigger than both of us."