Sponsored Content
« Merry Christmas: Kentucky Teacher Makes Claim To Second-Graders That Santa Doesn't Exist | Main | Oh Boy: Trump Says He'll Be Endorsing Someone -- Just After He Finishes Moderating Their Debate »
December 02, 2011

How Newt Gingrich Saved the Internet

Mother Jones attempts to sour social cons on Gingrich with a headline titled "How Newt Gingrich Saved Porn."

The article is about him blocking a massive censorship regime in the earliest days of the internet (back in 1995, 1996) that could have penalized someone who simply wrote one of the "seven dirty words" with two years in jail and a $100,000 fine.

Obviously, Mother Jones should be thanking Gingrich, as the leftist Mother Jones is obviously hostile towards that idea.

But of course Gingrich is the Designated Villain, as Gabe says, so the article gets an over-the-top hit-piece headline.

"Barbarian pornographers are at the gate and they are using the internet to gain access to the youth of America," warned Sen. Jim Exon (D-Neb.).

To fend off the barbarians, Exon introduced an amendment to the Communications Decency Act criminalizing the transmission of "indecent" materials over the internet. In case any stone remained unturned, it went after internet service providers as well: Email or distribute nude photos—or even just type one of the "seven words you can't say on television"—and you could face a $100,000 fine or up to two years in prison.

To illustrate the danger of internet porn, Exon compiled an album of graphic images he'd found on the web—including one of a man engaging in intercourse with a German shepherd—in a blue binder with a red "caution" sticker, and invited his colleagues to take a look.

Exon's measure passed the Senate with 86 votes. The appeal was clear: No elected official wanted to be seen as voting for smut. The Contract With America—Republicans' promise to voters in advance of their landslide win in the 1994 elections—had even contained a provision vowing to crack down on child pornography.

That's where Gingrich came in.

To the House speaker, the debate presented a clash between his desire to prepare America for the 21st century and his conservative values. Gingrich, by his own description, was a "conservative futurist." He envisioned honeymoons in space and laptops in every classroom; the Exon amendment, by casting such a wide net, threatened that future.

Gingrich was right that Exon's bill was extremely broad. As Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) pointed out in a particularly inspired floor speech, the law could even have criminalized the online distribution of Gingrich's first novel, 1945, in which a "pouting sex kitten"—who is also a Nazi—seduces a White House aide in order to extract classified information. It would also have prohibited most non-Will Smith forms of hip-hop.

"[The amendment] is clearly a violation of free speech and it's a violation of the right of adults to communicate with each other," Gingrich said at the time. "I don't agree with it…" In an interview with British journalist David Frost, he elaborated on his position. "I think there you have a perfect right on a noncensorship basis to intervene decisively against somebody who would prey upon children. And that I would support very intensely. It's very different than trying to censor willing adults."

That was previously a controversial position. That, too, has changed.

digg this
posted by Ace at 03:36 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Wolfus Aurelius [/i] [/b]: "[i]I am not sure why the touch bar gets so much ha ..."

Wolfus Aurelius [/i] [/b]: "[i]Wolfus Aurelius! Throughout the last day I have ..."

San Franpsycho: "Last night someone "involved in an assault" stole ..."

That Guy What Always Says Yeah Buddy TM: "Top o'the morning y'all Yeah Buddy. How goes ..."

Divide by Zero [/i]: " [i]We have the opportunity to wipe out trillions ..."

Blutarski, Gradually then Suddenly: "I missed this yesterday. FJB is fabling again. ..."

LTost In Space - Now Fortified with Ultra Maga Moon Beams: "Wolfus Aurelius! Throughout the last day I have be ..."

Thomas Bender: "@21 >>I am not sure why the touch bar gets so m ..."

Wolfus Aurelius [/i] [/b]: "Good morning, Pixy and all the satellites out in s ..."

Skip : "Better get coffee on before Krak shows up ..."

RadicalPapar News: "I'm not sure exactly why but this web site is load ..."

San Franpsycho: "The deprogramming has been a daily effort for the ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64