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Meese Report on Pornography

July 20, 1986

I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am by your editorial (July 10), "Not Smut, Just Trash."

The editorial conveys an attitude that is not only irrational, but violently partisan and overly emotional. It's as if you not only wish to convey your opinions, but rather make dagger thrusts, and declare the document a corpse before anyone has had a chance to digest it.

You state that, "The commission's scholarship is ludicrous, its conclusions unsupported, its methodology zany," all without any evidence of scholarship on your part. What would The Times know about scholarship? By what yardstick do you make these judgments? Your editorials, and letters to the editor, in my opinion, are routinely skewered to fit your own views. The only scholarship you people seem to support is that which supports your own position.

Commission Chairman Henry Hudson is criticized by you for, "Waging war on adult businesses . . . " as a prosecutor in Virginia. Because of this you assume that he is not a valid choice to head the commission. Whether Hudson was chosen to head the commission or not, you'd made up your mind about the report before it was even issued. Perhaps Hudson was exactly the right choice.

If I didn't know better I'd suspect that you were fighting for pornography instead of against it. Perhaps you would rather Hugh Hefner ran the commission, anybody who would mirror your own opinions.

Perhaps the reason for your vitriolic editorial is that The Times somehow believes that the commission report will ultimately violate the First Amendment, as the Times sees it. As a history major, I honestly doubt that our Founding Fathers would have ever considered pornography to be a legitimate expression of free speech.

It is long past time something was done about pornography. Let's get started before it's too late.


Santa Barbara

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