In Los Angeles of all places, free speech is on trial this weekend, with a verdict expect Monday morning when the jury returns after a week long trial. Normally you think of Los Angeles as being a bastion of freedom as well as artistic liberalism, but prosecutors are hoping to tighten the noose on free expression with the case against an Online fetish porn dealer, Ira Isaacs, who likes to deal in shock value porn. His material is way beyond normal mainstream hardcore produced by the major porn producers. But, trash or art, Isaacs trial has a lot to say about government these days.
The state of California and the federal government both claim to be deeply in debt, cutting more and more essential government services such as education or health care for the needy, yet one small time dealer in bizarre fetish porn has been targeted by an expensive government war to stop him. Certainly, many of the films offered by Isaacs are absurd in premise if not outrightly disgusting in content. But, free expression is on trial here, where any ruling against Isaacs means that the Bill Of Rights means a little bit less than it once did before free speech was put on trial.
It’s important to note that every film sold by Isaacs featured consenting adults involved in outrageous sex acts. Government is hoping to say that there are some sex acts so far out that government has the right to step in and put someone in prison for the portrayal of some things. And the fact that this trial is taking place in Los Angeles, a place near where many movies of all types are produced is equally shocking as well.
The defense for Isaacs compared what the government is attempting to do here to what happens in the Islamic world when religious law is applied to artists and cartoonists who somehow offend the faith. Further, does government have any legitimate role in promoting the “culture war” that some religious leaders are pushing as a political issue. Should taxpayer money be spent for government to promote religion like this? The bottom line is that some people think that what Isaacs promotes is offensive or immoral, and some in government look with disdain on the Bill Of Rights and seek to promote their own religious agenda into law.
The prosecution of Isaacs actually started back as far as 2004, when the Bush Administration made a political; payback to some conservative Christian pressure groups by singling out some claimed obscenity producers for prosecution, and unfortunately his continued prosecution has only continued during the Obama Administration as well, where new charges have been added for at at least three more films, some of which featuring the outrageous Japanese porn performer, Mako, who does very bizarre and extreme material. But, given the origins of his prosecution, Isaacs prosecution has easily been traced to efforts to enforce religious law into public law. The American Taliban lives.
BTW, a judge presiding over the Isaacs case stepped aside and was replaced after he was discovered to have posted some pornographic content of his own Online on a site that he didn’t realize was accessible by the public. One of the photos strangely included a nude woman on all fours painted to look like a cow? What’s up with that?