Obscenity vs. Freedom of Expression: The John Stagliano Trial - Smock Media
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Obscenity vs. Freedom of Expression: The John Stagliano Trial

“When did women exchanging bodily fluids and a little light bondage become the most obscene thing in the land?” asks Constance Penley, a University of California at Santa Barbara professor well-known for her classes on pornography.

That question may be answered this week when porn producer John Stagliano’s federal obscenity trial enters its second week. Stagliano faces up to 32 years in prison for distributing the adult films Milk Nymphos, Storm Squirters 2: Target Practice, and a promo reel for a trailer for Belladonna’s Fetish Fanatic Five via his website for Evil Angel Productions (adults only).

(Full disclosure: Stagliano has been a donor to Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this website.)

Emboldened by the Stagliano trial, a group of anti-pornography organizations recently held an event to demand a new “War on Pornography.” “We have a war on pornography and we’re going to win it,” declares Patrick Trueman, a former Department of Justice prosecutor and leader of the War on Pornography Coalition. “The pornographers know exactly what they’re doing and they’re not going to respond to anything but the stick of the law,” adds Donna Rice Hughes, founder of Enough is Enough.

But Reason.tv speaks with others, including an adult film actress and fetish film director, who promise to resist the anti-porn crusaders. And there is a bigger issue at stake, says Marty Klein, author of America’s War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust and Liberty. “The right to see South Park, may actually depend on the right to watch Butt Busters 3,” says Klein. “If people want to have the right to do what they want to do, they have to protect the rights of other people to do what other people want to do.”

“Obscenity vs. Freedom of Expression” is produced and edited by Hawk Jensen, field produced by Dan Hayes, with camera work by Dan Hayes, Hawk Jensen, Alex Manning, Joshua Swain and Zach Weissmueller. Production Assistants are Sam Corcos and Jack Gillespie. Approximately 7.30 minutes.