The Sporadic Beaver

The Rabbi, the Weiner, and the Porn Industry

June 23, 2011

Tags: Anthony Weiner, Rabbi Irving Kula, pornography, Beaver Street, Huffington Post

I’d like to share with you two paragraphs from an essay published on The Huffington Post about Congressman Anthony Weiner, by Rabbi Irving Kula, titled “The Roasting of Weiner and the Public Good.” The rabbi makes the same point here about the porn industry that I make in Beaver Street. But it’s a point that can’t be made often enough.

“Tweeting sexually suggestive texts, including highly inappropriate images, to seven women was stupid, tasteless, and crude as well as narcissistic and sexually immature. But Weiner is a teeny issue that we have blown up to avoid confronting something deeply wrong in contemporary America. We pounced on Weiner for lying about his tweets, which he did out of a justified sense of embarrassment, all the while that we lie about the sexual eccentricities/pathologies of our own culture, which surely embarrass us. Weiner is the tip of the iceberg of our sexual issues. Estimates are that the porn industry in this country is a fourteen billion dollar industry that reaches into our finest corporations. Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company pulls in more than 50 million dollars from adult programming. You will not read in it their annual reports but all the nation’s top cable operators, from Time Warner to Cablevision, distribute sexually explicit material to their subscribers. Same with satellite providers like EchoStar and DirecTV, which may make as much as five hundred million dollars off of the adult entertainment business. Then there are our big hotel chains: Hilton, Marriot, Hyatt, Sheraton and Holiday Inn, which all offer adult films on in-room pay-per-view television systems. And they are purchased by a whopping 50 percent of their guests, accounting for nearly 70 percent of their in-room profits.

“But wait there is more. According to a CBS News 60 Minutes report 89% of porn is created in the U.S. $2.84 billion in revenue was generated from U.S. Internet porn sites in 2006. $89/second is spent on porn. 72% of porn viewers are men and 260 new porn sites go online daily.”

Weiner 2: The Making of a Sleazeball, 2011

June 13, 2011

Tags: Anthony Weiner, Jon Stewart



In this video, from Real Time, Bill Maher and Glee star Jane Lynch perform a dramatic reading of Congressman Anthony Weiner’s Facebook exchanges with Lisa Weiss, a Las Vegas blackjack dealer. The most shocking thing about Weiner’s sexting is the sheer banality of it, typifying the worst kind of hackneyed porn writing you’d find in the sleaziest adult magazines. If a writer had submitted this “dialogue” to me when I was an editor, I’d have rejected it for being unoriginal and clichéd.

I think the least we can expect from our elected representatives, especially a liberal Jew from New York who was once Jon Stewart’s roommate, is witty repartee.

The Teabagging of Orrin Hatch

June 10, 2011

Tags: Orrin Hatch, pornography, Anthony Weiner, The Daily Beast, Tea Party, Elisa Florez, Missy Manners, politics

All has been quiet on the Orrin Hatch porn-investigation front for the past few weeks. Perhaps the embattled Utah Senator, who thinks “pornography is a cancer on our society,” can blame Congressman Anthony Weiner for providing more pornographic distraction than any concerned citizen can handle.

The other day, however, The Daily Beast ran a piece that explains Hatch’s strategy, porn-wise. It seems the senator is a target of the Tea Party—they think he isn’t conservative enough, and want to replace him with somebody even more right wing. Clearly, Hatch’s call for the Justice Department to launch a vigorous porn investigation is his attempt to show the Tea Party that he can be as idiotic as any politician.

But is the Tea Party even aware of Hatch’s relationship with Elisa Florez, who became the porn star Missy Manners after working for Hatch? Not that I’d ever want to do anything to help the Tea Party, but really, Teabaggers, if you want to run a politician out of Utah, all you’ve got to do is point out his links to the porn industry. It’ll work every time.

Weiner

June 9, 2011

Tags: Anthony Weiner, Beaver Street, A History of Modern Pornography

As the author of Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography, and the subject of an experiment in participatory journalism called “The $5 Blowjob” (which I describe in the book), I feel I should offer a few words of advice to Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York.

Congressman, if you have an uncontrollable impulse to show pictures of your erect penis to strangers on the Internet, find another line of work. May I suggest pornography? You won’t even have to change your name.