Sunday, August 12, 2007

Frank Wolf and the Morality Police

This article ("Federal Effort on Web Obscenity Shows Few Results") is hilarious, in a warped kind of way. In short, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10) earmarked $150,000 to pay two retired cops to surf the web for porn. According to the article, "[i]n the last few years, 67,000 citizens' complaints have been deemed legitimate under the program and passed on to the Justice Department and federal prosecutors." Yet, "[t]he number of prosecutions resulting from those referrals is zero." That's right, Frank Wolf's anti-obscenity program has has nothing to show for it in the way of prosecutions or even arrests. Lame.

But it gets worse. It turns out that the program is run by an outfit known as Morality in Media, "a conservative religious group that has worked since 1962 to 'rid the world of pornography' and whose headquarters is, improbably, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan." Among other things, this group works to restrict the display of magazines like Cosmopolitan because there are references to - gasp! - SEX on their covers, Believe it or not, they're also on a crusade to prove that swearing or cursing can "break up a marriage," "lead to violence," "disrupt school order," and - worst of all, no doubt - "contribut[e] to an erosion of office etiquette." (so, that was the problem with my last job!)

No, this is not a joke. This is the group that supposed "moderate" Frank Wolf has tasked to be the morality police for America, to make sure we're all using nice language and not looking at Cosmo as we wait to pay for our groceries (or use the exercise bike in the gym). Boy, I can't wait to hear conservatives - who never miss an opportunity to rail against the "liberal nanny state" - defend Frank Wolf on THIS one. Also, it will be interesting to hear their argument about how Wolf's program is a proper use of government resources, especially considering that it hasn't led to a SINGLE prosecution or arrest.

Ah, Republican "leadership" at its finest.

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