The Penn State Pro Porn Center

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Penn State’s College of Communications has a Center for the First Amendment. The predominant focus of the Center is apparently to interview pornographers and pornography performers, and then use these interviews to produce “legal scholarship” about pornography. Below are some samples of their work:

STOPPING THE OBSCENITY MADNESS 50 YEARS AFTER ROTH V. UNITED STATES

FREE EXPRESSION, PORNOGRAPHY & THE MAINSTREAMING OF ADULT ENTERTAINMENT: MARK KULKIS AND THE NEW VOICE OF THE ADULT VIDEO INDUSTRY

GAY PORNOGRAPHY AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT: UNIQUE, FIRST-PERSON PERSPECTIVES ON FREE EXPRESSION, SEXUAL CENSORSHIP, AND CULTURAL IMAGES

Media Maestro Makes Inroads for Adult Free Speech

Porn in Their Words: Female Leaders in the Adult Entertainment Industry Address Free Speech, Censorship, Feminism, Culture and the Mainstreaming of Adult Content

Articles I can’t find links to, but appear to continue in the same mode are: The Inside Perspective of the Adult Entertainment Industry and Defense Attorney Louis Sirkin, 14 Vill.Sports & Ent. L.J. 233, 243-84 (2007) (including comments by defense attorney Louis Sirkin and adult industry figures including Larry Flynt, Max Hardcore and John Stagliano); Clay Calvert & Robert D. Richards, Adult Entertainment and the First Amendment: A Dialogue and Analysis with the Industry’s Leading Litigator & Appellate Advocate, 6 Vand. J. Ent. L. & Prac. 147, 149-68 (2004) (centering on an interview conducted with adult entertainment industry defense attorney Paul Cambria); and The Free Speech Coalition & Adult Entertainment: An Inside View of the Adult Entertainment Industry, Its Leading Advocate & the First Amendment, 22 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J. 247, 257-302 (2004) (examining the work of the Free Speech Coalition on behalf of the adult entertainment industry, and including interviews with adult entertainment industry defense attorney Jeffrey Douglas and former Free Speech Coalition head and chief lobbyist Kat Sunlove). Let me add, for anyone readying to launch the entirely predictable and false accusation that I am trying to censor anyone, that I have linked to each of the articles I could find links for, and will add any new links to the unlinked articles that anybody sends me. Read them, and make up your own mind about their scholarly legitimacy.

Any scholars that write press releases and propaganda for pornographers disguised as law review articles, and rely on pornographers for legal analysis are unlikely to be taken very seriously by anyone with much intelligence, and indeed it doesn’t appear that they are. What I find surprising is that Penn State would fund a Center so utterly without balance. It appears to be run by three white men who are utterly smitten by pornography, but completely disinterested in any traditional academic research on the issue. They function like PR mouthpieces for pornographers. Additionally, the distortions and misstatements in their writings are myriad. I will address some of those later, in the context of questioning why some student editors of law journals decline to do even basic fact checking of some of the articles they facilitate publication of. The question I have for now is where the funding for this Center comes from, and you might already anticipate my best guess.

–Ann Bartow

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