1986 July 8

Attorney General Meese Releases Porn Commission Report

 

Attorney General Edwin Meese released on this day the report of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography. The Commission was part of the Reagan Administration’s conservative social agenda, which included an attack on pornography.

Announcing the release of the report, Meese stood under the statue, “Spirit of Liberty,” with her bare breasts fully displayed. Some comics referred to the picture as “T&A.” The report is often referred to as the Meese Commission Report.

The report’s very conservative position on issues stands in sharp contrast to the fairly liberal views of the earlier President’s Commission on Obscenity and Pornography report, released on October 24, 1970. The earlier report opposed censorship of sexually oriented materials and supported expanded sex education programs.

Photo of Meese and the statue: http://www.corbisimages.com/images/Corbis-U86232023.jpg?size=67&uid=95477637-8828-41ec-9d1d-7eb85ef7583e

For the civil libertarian perspective, read:  Nadine Strossen, Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight For Women’s Rights (1995)

Watch Meese release the report on C-Span: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-8kdgfhM8g

Watch an ACLU documentary on the report: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl9qYAtkB9E

Learn more about the myths and facts about pornography: Marcia Pally, Sense and Censorship: The Vanity of the Bonfires (1991), http://mediacoalition.org/files/Sense-and-Censorship.pdf

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