Well, it has been quite a while since the Meese Report. I still recall, it came out in July of 1986. And I am probably one of the few people on these boards old enough to remember it (I had just graduated from hs when it came out).
Anyways, the Meese Report was meant to disprove the earlier Johnson report, which said pornography per se was not harmful. That probably was its first flaw: it set out to prove (or disprove, if you will) something even before it was done. A govt. commission could set out to prove the moon was made of blue cheese. And they would probably succeed. Not because the moon actually is, but because that it was they set out to do. Get it?
And the report was rather far-reaching. Soft core pornography, it said, is but a gateway to hardcore. And hardcore is but a gateway to S & M, it further stated. It could have stopped right there. But furthermore, it said, some shows on tv at the time were pornographic (and realize this was the 80s–pretty tame even by today’s standards). And, as its prime example of this, it gave Miami Vice (on NBC at the time).
To be truthful, I rarely watched Miami Vice. The one show I did see, they did a raid of a porno dealer (note the portrayal of porn, on the show). But Miami Vice? Really? They were vice cops, after all. That would be right up their (the people in the report’s) alley. Wouldn’t it? Why was the report so hard on Miami Vice?
(FYI, I am a liberal and a libertarian, which means I support anything involving consenting adults.)
I’m not only old enough to remember it, I own a copy.
I was fascinated that the an agent of the government could spend time and money (and a whole committee’s time too) to essentially watch porn and write synopsis of the films. In the one or two examples they single out for full treatment, the “synopsis” goes on for tens of pages and details what is shown on screen so well that there’s no way it isn’t pornography itself.
The whole report is a pseudo-serious “examination” of every aspect of the sex/porn business world that never really looks beyond “this is what porn is and where you can find it”, all under the guise of wanting to stop it all.
It’s one of the most famous and clear examples of self-denial and public funding in the US in the last 50 years and it never fails to amuse me to consider it.
ETA: Oh yeah! :smack: I forgot to mention that you don’t have to buy it anymore; some helpful folks at the Community Defense Council posted the whole damn thing online.
The main controversy I remember around Miami Vice was its violent content, not anything sexually explicit, save for the ladies in the bikinis in the opening credits and sprinkled in liberally within the episodes. 10 year old me wasn’t allowed to watch Miami Vice initially… much too violent for little ol’ impressionable me.
Did the Report also mention Scarface? That movie probably had a much longer-term effect on glamorizing drugs/drug dealing/violence with some sex thrown into the mix in pop culture than Miami Vice ended up having.
I will always associate it with Howard Cruse’s “Creepy Snuff Porn” comics pages.
Here is a link to a relatively safe reference to it. The one panel displayed pretty much tells you what you need to know. (If it were the full image of the story, I would put up warnings and put the link inside a spoiler box for safety. This one image is not of that caliber.)
I also remember that the University of San Diego Law School quietly took down the plaques that they had mounted on the walls when Meese became Attorney General. He did so many really creepy things, the school where he studied law was ashamed of him.
That’s where you are wrong! They did because WordStar, WordPerfect, and Word had formating commands to do it automatically*, and word processors were still new and cool, by government standards. The typists I pity were the ones who had to do it before word processors, counting every letter and adding spaces as needed. The gummint has always loved full justification.
As for the report, like Jinx the Cat, I hate Meeses to pieces.
Remember soft hyphens? HTML still has them, but I always considered it a descendant of WordStar anyway.
I remember wondering how adult humans could spend thousands of hours watching pornography and then say, with straight faces, that watching pornography caused irreparable harm (but apparently only to other people).
“Porn” just means “somewhat more titillating than I will admit I like in public”. To the Meese Commission, a jiggly bikini clad boob on Miami Vice is porn. My god, there’s only layer of material between my eyes and her mammary! Then, they retire to their homes and peruse their VHS collections of gaping anus flicks.