We've already devoted some discussion to the flap surrounding Yales U's annual Sex Week, with more conversation to ensue anon, but in there's a bit of back-story here that merits specific attention.
Back in September a line producer for ABC's Nightline contacted Nina and specifically invited her to participate in one of the Ron-Jeremy-vs-XXX-Church debates, to be presented at Ohio State University with no less a media mighty than Martin Bashir himself moderating. The discussion was then to air on Nightline.
A ticket was provided (although the promised reimbursement check for lodging has mysteriously never appeared) and Nina flew off to participate in the OSU panel. According to her, it went pretty well. You can see a bit of it on YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpTW3kQ1sJ4) but you will note the conspicuous absence of Bashir. The line producer called at the last minute to inform Nina that "due to a breaking news story" Nighline wouldn't be covering this particular event after all. However, said producer promised, the show would arrange another debate in which Nina would be included and that would play on ABC sometime soon.
So, this morning, I found this on www.avn.com: avn.com/index.cfm?objectid=2DC65C51-oB83-7410-8625D724BB0EEAD.
Now maybe this is just a coincidence, or a matter of scheduling for the busy folks at Nightline, but I've been at this too long, both as a pornographer and as a journalist, to accept that explanation at face value. My own suspicion is that at the time Nightline ditched the OSU gig, the producers already knew of the "debate" planned for the much flashier Yale venue and decided that it would make better TV. After all, we're talking about the whole Sex Week circus at the Ivy's second most famous campus. As a producer, I might have made that same call myself.
However, I would have made good on my promise to get Nina on that stage one way or another. Why? No knock intended on either Ronnie or Monique Alexander, who I'm sure was perfectly well-spoken and charming, but neither has the years or the chops Nina has when it comes to defending porn. Both are entertainers more than they are advocates or activists and with just the two of them up against the dudes from XXX church, the more serious and significant issues surrounding porn that Nina could have addressed in greater depth were unlikely to get a significant airing. Nonetheless, Bashir did show up to ringmaster that circus and I have no doubt it will run in the near future.
I guess the idea of having a "serious" representative of our community in the mix just didn't fit whatever framework the producers had already erected within which to spin their story. I don't have to strain my imagination much to picture how the final cut will play. I'm sure it will start out on a light and farcical note, then turn 180 to present the "dark side of porn," with various familiar talking heads from the anti crowd given plenty of airtime to denounce the event itself, the manner in which it demonstrates the "pornification" of the culture, and the general "porn - threat or menace" POV that mainstream coverage of this type always takes in the end. That way, during sweeps week (doubtless when this reportorial gem will show up on our screens), the network can take full advantage of the most sensational aspects of the topic without opening themselves to significant criticism for "advocating" porn by making sure porn's most effective advocates are denied a level playing field on which to confront their opponents.
This is all just business as usual in infotainment, and I'm undoubtedly especially pissed about it because it slights Nina, but the fact remains, contrary to Gail Dine's loud protestations that she's been "completely silenced ... completely!," those who are really silenced in the MSM are the individuals best equipped to make a fact-based case for porn's right to exist to rebut the lies and distortions routinely circulated as evidence of the porn's innumerable "harms" and "evils."
So far, Nina hasn't had a single significant network appearance since Oprah put her on way back in the Nineties. I can't say I've seen much of any of the other most influential opinion makers from our side - Tristan, Carol, Susie, Violet, Candida (it's not like there's a shortage of brainpower to call upon) on the box anywhere other than in late-night cable puff pieces intended to provide some justification for showing a lot of skin. If you have something serious to say in defense of porn, don't expect to be treated as newsworthy by the decision-makers at any of the major MSM outlets. It's just not going to happen. You might get on with Tyra Banks for 45 seconds, to be followed by the host's expressions of disdain for you and everything you stand for, but that's where your media access will hit the wall. Unlike Gail Dines, you won't get a stand-up on Fox to tell your side of the story, virtually unchallenged by talking-head-in-charge.
As Bob Dylan says, "I've never gotten used it it, I've just learned to turn it off." But I don't have to like it and I don't.
But wait, there's more. Even the carefully-chosen "good=guy porn" contingent from Vivid couldn't get through the Yale Sex Week presentation without being chopped off at the knees. Director Paul Thomas brought one of his films to show as part of the program (I can't even figure out which one from ace job of reporting to which I'll link momentarily), but an audience of students, there by choice, weren't even allowed to view the entire production because the content so skeved out the the event organizers they pulled the plug half-way through. Having seen the products Vivid releases, I can't imagine how mild the images must have been that caused such alarm to the supposedly open-minded folks who put this thing together, but I seriously doubt it would have caused much of a stir if those in charge hadn't been so nervous about all the APF "critics" spitting fire at them from the moment the whole thing was first announced.
But I forget, it's the APFs who have been silenced, not us.
So read this and see if you can a) make heads or tails of what it was that caused the aggro, and b) whether or not college students should be allowed to make their own judgments regarding the content of the film that caused it:
I think I'l got take a long, hot shower now to see if I can wash away the feeling of having been slimed once again.