November 30, 2010

Is The LA Weekly Anti-Porn?

When Los Angeles’ adult industry was rocked by a positive HIV-test result in October, the media wasted no time in condemning the industry. The sole voice offering a full view of the case was Barbie Davenporte at AfterDark LA, an LA Weekly blog. But more interesting than her breakdown of key players in the case, perhaps, is Davenporte’s description of how an unnamed reporter responded when she reached out to assist him with information from the adult industry:

But I was rudely dismissed and told that he had in fact called [the Adult Industry Medical (AIM) Healthcare Foundation's attorney, Jeffrey] Douglas, who was hesitant to discuss AIM’s matters on the record. That call resulted in what appears to be a last-minute, “Oh yeah we’d better get comment from the other side in there” cut-and-paste of a general statement regarding AIM’s stance on condom use in porn.

Using quotes she had included in her piece from said reporter, we hit up Google, looked up “HIV porn bullshitty” and turned up another LA Weekly blog: The Informer. The piece suggested AIM was refusing to report the HIV case to government officials, citing a need for a more comprehensive test to be performed, which the reporter called “bullshitty.”

It’s a very firm position to take. Being a blog, the author is not subject to exercising any semblance of impartial reporting. Nevertheless, considering the industry is usually left to be reported on by news organization’s bloggers, one would imagine the topic would be approached with a little more data and a little less judgment.

We clicked on the porn tag in the blog to look over other posts on the porn industry and found thirteen for this year.

The first one, announcing the positive test result in early October calls the adult industry “the smut trade.” In reporting that lobbying group AIDS Healthcare Foundation had called on the adult industry to cease production, the blog writes: “No more muscley boys and jiggly girls in flagrante? The horror.” The next article reporting that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation called on the city to stop sanctioning porn opens with the following:

That hardcore stuff you watch when your wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend isn’t looking? It’s actually permitted by the city of Los Angeles. You hear that right: What would be prostitution if the cameras and lights weren’t on is actually a municipally sanctioned sport.

The same blog chides Councilman Richard Alarcon, chair of the jobs and economic development committee that oversees film permits, when he stated the city had no plans to stop issuing the adult industry permits, saying: “Wow. From a council willing to shut down a vast majority of the state-legal pot dispensaries in town, this comes off as a real crock…. The city has no balls when it comes to this industry.”

Other articles on the topic liberally cite the lobbyist group AIDS Healthcare, without much (if any) feedback from anyone in the adult industry. Any occasion that the adult industry does make a comment, words like “bullshitty,” “crock,” “B.S.,” and “bullcocky” are employed.

Other articles include one about porn director Axel Braun suing some 7,000 people for illegally file-sharing his Batman porn parody, and an article pimping former porn star Shelly Lubben’s new book The Truth Behind The Fantasy of Porn that “promises to expose porn as degrading.”

But nothing says more about the blog’s position on pornography than their most recent article telling the porn industry to take comfort in the fact that at least they’re not “smut peddlers in China,” where freedom of expression is virtually non-existent and people are punished for producing and spreading “vulgar” information.

The LA Weekly‘s Informer is decidedly against the adult entertainment industry. AfterDark LA, their “nightlife” blog, is decidedly in support. That’s one way to keep things balanced. Unless you take into account that AfterDark LA’s post defending the adult industry’s position during the HIV scandal doesn’t show up in LA Weekly‘s search results as the Informer’s posts do.

In fact, that post doesn’t even show up in AfterDark LA’s own search results.

Is that an unfortunate coincidence or has the LA Weekly taken a position on the industry as well?

AV Flox

Your humble editrix-in-command.

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  • http://www.swingersattic.com/ Mrs Mira

    Sounds very anti porn to me, but isn’t that to be expected?
    It isn’t healthy to take a pro-porn stance if your readership isn’t mostly pro porn or at least pro erotica.
    People that are for porn are used to being called bad so they wont complain much and even if they do it can’t come to anything.

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Sex and the 405 is what your newspaper would look like if it had a sex section.

Here you’ll find news about the latest research being conducted to figure out what drives desire, passion, and other sex habits; reviews of sex toys, porn and other sexy things; coverage of the latest sex-related news that have our mainstream media's panties up in a bunch; human interest pieces about sex and desire; interviews with people who love sex, or hate sex, or work in sex, or work to enable you to have better sex; opinion pieces that relate to sex and society; and the sex-related side of celebrity gossip. More...