Triple Exthnics: Nathan Abrams on Jews in the American porn industry,
"A story little told is that of Jews in Hollywood's seedier cousin, the adult film industry. Perhaps we'd prefer that the 'triple exthnics' didn't exist, but there's no getting away from the fact that secular Jews played (and still continue to play) a disproportionate role throughout the adult film industry in America. Jewish involvement in pornography has a long history in the United States, as Jews have helped transform a fringe subculture into what has become a primary constituent of Americana. These are the 'true blue' Jews. Smut peddlers
Jewish activity in the porn industry divides into two (sometimes overlapping) genres: pornographers and performers. Though Jews make up only two percent of the American population, they have been prominent in pornography. Many erotica dealers in the book trade between 1890 and 1940 were immigrant Jews of German origin ...
In the postwar era, America's most notorious pornographer was Reuben Sturman, the 'Walt Disney of porn.' According to the US Department of Justice, throughout the 1970s Sturman controlled most of the pornography circulating in the country ... By the mid-80s he owned over 200 adult bookstores ... It was said that Sturman did not simply control the adult-entertainment industry, he was the industry.
Eventually he was convicted of tax evasion and other crimes and died, disgraced, in prison in 1997. His son, David, continued running the family business. The contemporary incarnation of Sturman is Steven Hirsch, a 43-year-old Jewish Clevelander who has been described as the 'Donald Trump of porno.' The link between the two is Steve's father, Fred, who was a stockholder-cum-lieutenant to Sturman. Today Hirsch runs the Vivid Entertainment Group, which has been called the Microsoft of the porn world, the top producer of 'adult' films in the US. His specialty was to import mainstream marketing techniques into the porn business. Indeed, Vivid parallels the Hollywood studio system of the 1930s and 1940s, particularly in its exclusive contracts to porn stars who are hired and moulded by Hirsch ...
Jews accounted for most of the leading male performers as well as a sizeable number of female stars in porn movies of the 1970s and '80s. The doyen of the Hebrew studs is Ron Jeremy ... [H]e's the nebischy, fat, hairy, ugly guy (an image from his web site opens this article) who gets to bed dozens of beautiful women. He presents an image of a modern-day King David, a Jewish superstud who supersedes the traditional heroes of Jewish lore ...
As probably the most famous Jewish male porn star, Jeremy has done wonders for the psyche of Jewish men in America ... Seymore Butts, aka Adam Glasser, is everything that Jeremy is not: young, handsome, and toned ... Within a few years, 'Seymore Butts' -- his nom de porn which is simultaneously his sales pitch -- became one of the largest franchises in the adult-film business ... [H]e is today probably the most famous Jewish porn mogul ...
Glasser employs 12 people, including his mother and cousin ... Gertzman (Jay Gertzman, author of Bookleggers and Smuthounds: The Trade in Erotica, 1920-1940) explains that 'Jews, when they found themselves excluded from a field of endeavor, turned to a profession in which they sensed they could eventually thrive by cooperating with colleagues in a community of effort' ... The adult entertainment business required something that Jews possessed in abundance: chutzpah .. Of course, the large number of Jews in porn were mainly motivated by the desire to make profits ... As Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the ADL, commented, 'Those Jews who enter the pornography industry have done so as individuals pursuing the American dream" ...
Sturman ... identified as a Jew -- was a generous donator to Jewish charities -- and the performer Richard Pacheco was once interviewed to be a rabbinical student ... Is there a deeper reason, beyond the mere financial, as to why Jews in particular have become involved in porn? There is surely an element of rebellion in Jewish X-rated participation. It's very taboo and [its] forbidden nature serves to make it attractive.
As I have written in these pages before, treyf signifies 'the whole world of forbidden sexuality, the sexuality of the goyim, and there all the delights are imagined to lie ..." (Reel Kashrut, Jewish food in film, JQ 189, Spring 2003) According to one anonymous industry insider quoted by E. Michael Jones in the magazine Culture Wars (May 2003), 'the leading male performers through the 1980s came from secular Jewish upbringings and the females from Roman Catholic day schools.' The standard porn scenario became, as a result, a Jewish fantasy of schtupping the Catholic shiksa ...
Extending the subversive thesis, Jewish involvement in the X-rated industry can be seen as a proverbial two fingers to the entire WASP establishment. Some porn stars viewed themselves as frontline fighters in the spiritual battle between Christian America and secular humanism.
According to [Luke] Ford, Jewish X-rated actors often brag about their 'joy in being anarchic, sexual gadflies to the puritanical beast'. Jewish involvement in porn, by this argument, is the result of an atavistic hatred of Christian authority: they are trying to weaken the dominant culture in America by moral subversion ...
Al Goldstein, the publisher of Screw magazine, said (on lukeford.com), 'The only reason that Jews are in pornography is that we think that Christ sucks. Catholicism sucks. We don't believe in authoritarianism." Pornography thus becomes a way of defiling Christian culture and, as it penetrates to the very heart of the American mainstream (and is no doubt consumed by those very same WASPs), its subversive character becomes more charged ...
It is a case of the traditional revolutionary/radical drive of immigrant Jews in America being channeled into sexual rather than leftist politics. Just as Jews have been disproportionately represented in radical movements over the years, so they are disproportionately represented in the porn industry. Jews in America have been sexual revolutionaries. A large amount of the material on sexual liberation was written by Jews. Those at the forefront of the movement that forced America to adopt a more liberal view of sex were Jewish ..
Overall, then, porn performers are a group of people who praise rebellion, self-fulfilment, and promiscuity. What are we ashamed of? This brief overview and analysis of the role and motivations behind pornographers and performers is intended to shed light on a neglected topic in American Jewish popular culture. Little has been written about it."
[Nathan Abrams is a Lecturer in Modern American History at the University of Aberdeen. He has just completed a book on neo-conservatism in the United States.]
"Towering Men and Stout-Hearted Sisters": Book review of Jewish scholar Jay Gertzman's Bookleggers an Smuthounds
Jerusalem Post, March 9, 2000
"A great many of the publishers and peddlers of what was variously called flagitious, pornographic, or erotic literature were Jews, and most of those were German Jews who had learned the printing trades in the old country.
This fact of course fed right into the animosity of anti-smut crusaders who constantly decried the 'foreign, radical, corrupting' character of the smut peddlers. The main protagonists in this battle for the soul, if not the groin, of America were the patrician John Saxton Sumner of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, and Samuel Roth, a writer, poet and genuine man of letters and an equally authentic purveyor of sleaze. Roth, for example, not only published (and often pirated) works by Lawrence, Joyce, Miller and legitimate classics, but also printed and peddled flip books, pornographic playing cards, albums of 'French postcards' and the vulgarities known as 'Tijuana Bibles.'
Just to compound matters, during his various stints in prison Roth wrote works like Jews Must Live, a book of rabid anti-Jewish sentiment that Gertzman says still circulates in anti-Semitic circles today ... Gertzman himself acknowledges towards the end of his book that his uncle once ran the most notorious 'dirty bookshop' in Philadelphia. For that matter, Sam Roth's grandson is none other than Prof. James Kugel, the eminent Bible scholar at Harvard University. If there's a more complicated and surprising tribe on earth, I've yet to hear about it."
"Porners Must Live." San Francisco Bay Guardian, October 25, 2000
"The story of the Web's most influential pornophile is nearly unbelievable: the son of an Australian Christian evangelist, Ford converted to Orthodox Judaism in 1993 - a 'porn-again Jew' in Fordspeak - under the theological influence of right-wing Jewish talk-radio demagogue Dennis Prager (whose Web site Ford also runs).
As a result, Ford's site is not really a porn site at all. It's a daily chronicle of how devout Judaism and devout pornology play themselves out in one man's endless public arguments with himself. The basic premise: how can someone devote his professional life to an industry he believes is, in Ford's own words, 'profoundly destructive and hence immoral ... another form of rebellion against God.'
Ford is a religious Jew, not a cultural one, yet it is cultural Jews - 'non-Jewish Jews,' he calls them - with whom Ford's site is most invested, specifically all those non-Jewish Jews who get it on and buy and sell the getting-it-on in the porn industry. Like all of his polemics, Ford's essay on these Jews is a rambling collage of theories, interviews, and uncited historical references that never really coalesce into an identifiable argument.
Ford is less of an opinion maker and more of an archivist-chronicler, his agenda always buried beneath layers of deferral and ambiguity. In the piece, Ford turns the Jews-run-Hollywood riff into a Jews-run-porn riff, listing off the secret Hebraic roots of all the key players - Randy 'Andy Abrams' West, Barbara 'Stacy Mitnick' Dare. He also feeds the age-old anti-Semitic connection that Hitler turned into grounds for genocide in Mein Kampf - Jews as dirty, parasitic merchants of smut, disease, and moral pollution - by emphasizing the high number of Jewish porn publishers throughout smut's history."
Jews in pornography. 2001
"Secular Jews play a disproportionate role throughout the sex industry ... Jews accounted for most of the leading male [pornography] performers of the 1970s and '80s ...
If the Torah [Pentateutch] command Jews 'to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation,' and Judaism strongly opposes porn, why do Jews dominate porn? ... Pornographer Seymore Butts attributes the large number of Jews in porn to the desire for profits. Jews gravitate towards money ...
I have not yet met a Jewish guy who wasn't horny as a rabbit,' says [Jewish porn star] Nina Hartley, 'Culturally it's OK for Jews to act and for WASPs its different ... Plus, they get to have sex with all these beautiful blonde women ... Where else are you going to get a succession of shiksas [non-Jewish women] to bed you down?'"
Of Fraud and Sex.com. The Industry Standard, November 29, 2000
"Sex.com is one of the more lucrative properties on the Web. InternetNews cited 'some industry experts' as estimating its worth at $250 million. Reuters went with a guesstimate by 'lawyers' of $100 million, and added that court documents indicate that the site's former owner, Stephen Cohen, who had been running the site since 1995, took home $17 million in salary and holds stock options worth $100 million.
In the court case, filed in 1998, Gary Kremen accused Stephen Cohen of stealing the domain name that he, Kremen, had first registered in 1994. Cohen, who all the stories noted has done prison time for fraud, allegedly forged a letter that persuaded Network Solutions (dossier) to transfer the name to him in 1995. Cohen then built sex.com into a destination that attracts 25 million visitors a day, according to Reuters.
All the reporters noted that the judge had ordered Cohen to pay $25 million into a court-controlled fund until damages (if any) are determined, because the court feared that Cohen was hiding his assets offshore."
[Stephen Cohen should not be confused with BENJAMIN Cohen, of England, who, at 18 years of age, became a millionaire with the founding of JewishNet and has since founded cyberbritain (featuring huntforporn.co.uk and dotadults.com).
As mere sampling, other premiere Jewish Internet porn moguls include Seattle-based Seth Warshavsky, called "the Bill Gates of Smut" by the Los Angeles Times [Ehrman, M. 6-13-99, p. 26; read The Prince of Porn at wired.com] ; Jonathan Silverstein, the president of Cybererotica [Chairman: Ron Levi]; Peter Asher, the president of Vivid Entertainment Group (the "world's leading producer of adult films and videos" -- founded by Steven Hirsch and David James; read about the VEG porn team in Silicone Valley: When Porn Goes Public at the Industry Standard); and Danni Ashe, one of the major women entrepreneurs in the online porn field -- read the The Brains Behind the Boobs, at wired.com]
The Sordid Saga of Sex.com. wired.com, April 15, 1999
"Never mind the porn on Sex.com. If even half the allegations that [Gary] Kremen makes are true, the tale behind Sex.com is the most sordid in the short history of the Internet economy
[Stephen] Cohen was convicted in 1991 for posing as a lawyer in a bankruptcy court in a scheme to bilk an elderly woman's creditors out of $200,000. According to court records, Cohen assumed the identity of several attorneys, forged phony deeds and cashier's checks, and attempted to hide the woman's assets. Cohen was sentenced to 46 months. It was his second conviction. In 1975, he was found guilty of grand theft and check kiting ... Within eight months of his prison release, Cohen controlled the Sex.com domain name.
Cohen allegedly pulled off of the domain heist with a forged letter, dated 15 October 1995, to Network Solutions, the Net's registrar ... In an early interview, before Kremen raised his allegations, Cohen claimed that he had been using the Sex.com name since 1979, as part of The French Connection, an electronic bulletin board he founded for 'swingers, nudist camps, and alternative lifestyles.' BBSs were the primary source of digital porn before the Web. Back then, he said, Sex.com stood for 'Sex Communications ...
By the late '80s, Cohen had set up a real-world meeting place for French Connection swingers at a home in Orange County, California. Hundreds of couples met at 'The Club' on Friday and Saturday nights to swap partners. After neighbors complained, police arrested Cohen in 1990 on charges of operating a sex club in a residential zone. Cohen moved The Club elsewhere, and the charges were dropped ...
In late 1995, with Kremen temporarily stymied in his attempts to regain the domain, Cohen and four Orange County entrepreneurs dreamed up big plans for Sex.com. The grandest plan had little to do with the Internet. In January 1996, the group unveiled its bid to buy a Nevada brothel called Sheri's Ranch and transform it into a $100 million 'adult fantasy resort.' Named Wanaleiya, the Polynesian-themed resort would feature 500 exotic women who 'would not hesitate to see to your comfort and pleasure.'"
Criminal Enterprises: Pornography. Department of Criminal Justice and Police Studies, Eastern Kentucky University.
"Of the individuals indicted by the federal government in the MIPORN [Miami Pornography] operation, [Jewish porn mogul] Reuben Sturman was clearly the most important. Sturman presided over his business enterprises from his Sovereign News Company, headquartered in Cleveland.
Sovereign News was housed in a three-story, red-brick building, surrounded by chain-link fences and barbed wire and protected by the most modern and sophisticated electronic surveillance devices money can buy (Potter, 1986; Satchell, 1979). Sturman controlled pornography distribution warehouses in Baltimore, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Denver, Milwaukee, Buffalo, Toronto, Los Angeles, and Detroit. In addition, he was the principle owner of between 300 and 800 retail pornography stores around the country (May and Hosenball, 1981).
Sturman's Sovereign News Empire dominated the pornography industry and created an environment in which smaller operators and their distributors were dependent upon Sovereign News for their survival. A confidential FBI memorandum on the pornography industry said that [Sturman's business practices] have included the strong-arm shakedowns of other dealers, distributors, and suppliers throughout the United States, particularly on the West Coast."
Business Booms in Jail for Our Top Pornographer, Sydney Morning Herald [Australia], January 30, 1995
"An American criminal, David Sturman, whose father was once the largest distributor of hard-core pornography in the world, has been able to gain a substantial slice of the Australian pornography industry while serving a jail sentence in California. By using Australians to act as owners of his businesses in Sydney and Canberra, Sturman avoided probity checks which are essential in gaining a licence to operate. Two years ago, Sturman and his American partner, Mark Franks, set up a group of companies to control the importation, sale and distribution of pornographic videos from outlets such as the Adam and Eve shop in Canberra."
Ruined Reps. Salon.com, June 7, 2000
"Israeli porn producers are hiring actors who look like Egyptian stars ... According to the Nasserist Al-Arabi weekly publication ... film producers are tracking down actors who look like current Egyptian stars, and using them to shoot porn flicks in Israel. The films are then imported to Egypt and screened for paying customers.
Appeal is broad for such materials, because Egyptian cinema is the most popular in the Middle East. Al-Arabi said the goal of the porn films was to 'tarnish the reputation of Egyptian film stars.' The original actors are, of course, not pleased with the alternative personas that have been handed to them ... Yusra Alawi told reporters she is asking her attorney to obtain copies of the films and to pursue legal action against those responsible."
Ron Jeremy: Porn Buddha. Austin Arts Downtown, May-June 2001
call Jeremy addicted (to food), a tightwad, a clown, a spotlight
hound and a man who can maintain an erection longer than any man in
pornography. He claims not to use Viagra. He was born Ron Hyatt into a
Jewish family who don't seem too put off by his ultimate career choice,
although after the first porn film, his dad told Ron not to use his last
name ... We are talking about a man who can count a film called Blow it Out
Your Ass, as a typical title among the 1600 or so films he has appeared in."
Meet A Nice Jewish Porn Star Ron Jeremy looks more like your Uncle Moe than a sex god, By Naomi Pfefferman, Jewsweek
"'I'm just a nice Jewish boy with one vice,' says Queens native Ron Jeremy. 'Twenty-three years of porn films.' Scott J. Gill's documentary 'Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy,' which opens in select cities this month, chronicles the life and times of the unlikeliest Jew in the world - and the unlikeliest porn star.
The 48-year-old Jeremy dotes on his family. They dote on him. His dad's a physicist. His brother's a Harvard-educated executive. Most everyone else in the family has at least a master's degree. Jeremy earned his master's in special education from Queens College in part to help his disabled mother.
He looks more like your Uncle Moe than a sex god. But while he's not so easy on the eyes (he's nicknamed 'The Hedgehog' because he's short, fat and hairy), he's been paid huge sums to bed more gorgeous women than James Bond. Gill's hilarious film - in which Jeremy fans jubilantly declare, 'He's Jewish!' - stands apart from other movies on the porn biz that have emerged in the past decade ... At its core, the flick poses the question, 'How did a hammy kid from Flushing become the most recognized male figure in adult film?'
Answers begin to emerge when the documentary shows home movies of the young Jeremy (born Ron Jeremy Hyatt) mugging for the camera while opening Chanukah presents. 'He's always been a performer,' says his sister. 'From the time he was in elementary school ... he always wanted to be the center of attention' ...
His family wasn't thrilled with his career choice, but staunchly supported his First Amendment rights when a film-related bust forced him to fight in court (it was illegal then to film porn in Los Angeles). 'Jewish families tend to be more liberal than Christian ones,' says the performer, citing the preponderance of Jewish men in porn. 'They aren't obsessed by the fear of the devil or going to hell' ...
The garrulous Jeremy - who hopes to wed his girlfriend in a synagogue and raise their kids Jewish - is momentarily silent when asked how he'd feel if he had a daughter who wanted to do porn."
Rebel without Clothes. New Haven Advocate.
"To many people, Nina Hartley would appear to be the embodiment of contradiction: a feminist who's also a veteran porn star and damn proud of it. Further confounding stereotypes, she's a public speaker as comfortable in a college lecture hall as on a strip club stage and a politically aware progressive -- a 'third-generation socialist,' she called herself in a wide-ranging 1989 interview in Shmate, a now-defunct progressive Jewish journal.
She's a 1985 graduate of San Francisco State University with a B.S. in nursing. Magna cum laude, at that. She entered the sex business in 1982, working as a stripper at a San Francisco club while she was in college. Hartley, who estimates she has appeared in 360 movies or videos, made her first film in 1984 ... Hartley's emergence as one of porn's top stars coincided with a burgeoning public debate over the medium ...
The opinionated and articulate Hartley entered the fray and has become the foremost spokesperson for women working in the porn industry.
Jerusalem Post, July 6, 2000
"Brazilian police continued to surround the Israeli consulate in Rio de Janeiro in the belief that Israeli vice-consul in Rio Aryeh Scher, wanted on suspicion of running a child pornography ring, had taken refuge there.
However Foreign Ministry officials said Scher has been en route to Israel for the past two days. Scher, who was at one point consul-general in Rio, was declared a fugitive by Brazilian authorities after a search of his apartment on Tuesday yielded what police officials described as evidence it was used for the manufacture of pornographic material, some of them involving underage girls ...
Brazilian authorities notified the Israeli embassy of plans to revoke Scher's diplomatic immunity on Tuesday, prior to the search. By the time police were able to obtain a warrant to search Scher's penthouse, the vice-consul was already on his way back to Israel, where he will face a Foreign Ministry inquiry ...
The investigation that culminated in the search of Scher's apartment began when a 17-year-old girl accused Georges Schteinberg, a 40-year-old Hebrew teacher of using her as a model in pornographic pictures and of distributing them on the Internet. Photographs of nude minors posed on a car with diplomatic plates were discovered in a search of Schteinberg's residence earlier in the week, in addition to massive quantities of pornographic material. Police then traced the car in the pictures back to Scher."
Brother Posts Bail in Porn Case, San Ramon Valley Times, January 5, 2002
"FEDERAL OFFICIALS SUSPECT A WALNUT CREEK MAN OF BEING A MAJOR DISTRIBUTOR OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY FROM RUSSIA.
A Walnut Creek man accused of being the 'best customer' of Russian child pornography kingpins is now himself suspected of being a 'major distributor' of illegal sexual materials, federal officials disclosed Friday.
As the investigation of Seth Bekenstein, 39, continues to evolve, authorities are diving deeper into the world of a man they believe trafficked in vast amounts of kiddie porn, said Elise Becker, an assistant U.S. attorney. 'At this time, we do actually think he is a major distributor both in the United States and abroad,' Becker told Magistrate Wayne Brazil during a bail hearing Friday in U.S. District Court in Oakland. 'This has been his life for the past year.'"
Jewish Porn, World Union of Jewish Students
"After things like Jewish calendar, Jewish singles, Jewish dating, and Jewish festivals comes 'Jewish porn' in the list of top search keywords that GoTo.com provide. That is to say that 1000s of people are searching for Jewish porn. Why? ... Sam Stern is a guy. A guy who went on Young Judea year course in the early 90s. He lives in LA, spends his time making porn movies starring himself, and selling them on E-Bay. The guy is quite philosophical about his calling. Talks a lot about the strangeness of making porn on Yom Kippur, bits of guilt in the background, that sort of thing. Although mostly it really does seem that he is just kind of glad that he can make a living and have sex with porn stars. So, for circumcised hard-core porn, with a Jew in, find Sam."
Former N.J. Rabbi Admits Having Child Pornography, Newsday, February 26, 2002
"The former rabbi of a Morris County synagogue pleaded guilty Tuesday to having child pornography on his temple computer. Juda Mintz Jr., who now lives in Georgia, faces 27 to 33 months in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 ...
Mintz admitted that at that time he had at least 10 computer files containing photographs of minors engaging in sexual activity, including some images of children under 12. The synagogue said it cooperated with authorities. 'We deplore his actions and, indeed, relieved him of his duties because of them,' according to a statement released by synagogue vice president Jonathan Ramsfelder. 'During his tenure, (Rabbi Mintz) was viewed by many congregants as a warm, generous and dynamic rabbi and teacher. This was a loss.'"
Former Little League Administrator Faces Child Porn Charges, KFWB, March 6, 2002
"A former Long Beach Little League administrator is facing federal child pornography charges, according to the FBI. Signal Hill police and FBI agents arrested Laurent Blumenthal Tuesday after he was indicted on charges of possession of child pornography. Court documents allege the 65-year-old placed a hidden camera in his bathroom to secretly record young boys. The allegations were in an affidavit filed in support of a search warrant executed at Blumenthal's Signal Hill home on Jan. 14. Investigators also seized a computer at Blumenthal's home which allegedly had child pornography on the hard drive, according to the FBI."
Czechs Nix Plan to Shoot Porn Film at the Site of Terezin Transit Camp, JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency), March 25, 2002
"Czech officials have quashed plans to shoot scenes from a porno film at the former wartime transit camp of Terezin. Officials banned the use of video cameras at Terezin after reports that a porn movie would be shot there.
'I did the only thing I could do,' Jan Munk, director of a monument to Terezin victims, said. Munk´s move came after the Czech tabloid Super reported Saturday that the film, starring top Czech porn star Robert Rosenberg, who is also the film´s producer, is set at the end of World War II and will tell the story of how women at the camp were raped by Nazis.
The ban might be too late, however, since Rosenberg has already filmed some parts of the camp. The paper that printed the original article on the film, which also printed a collage of a semi-naked woman posing in front of a picture of Terezin, said the film's working title is 'How it Was.'"
Porn Upsets Palestinians, The Advertiser, March 31, 2002
"Porn movies and programs in Hebrew are being broadcast by Israeli troops who have taken over three Palestinian television stations of Ramallah, irate residents of the besieged West Bank town have told AFP. The offices of three local television and radio stations were occupied by soldiers yesterday morning, a few hours after tanks and hundreds of troops stormed the town in Israel's biggest offensive against the Palestinian Authority and its leader Yasser Arafat.
The soldiers started broadcasting the porn clips -- considered extremely offensive by most Muslims -- intermittently this afternoon from the Al-Watan, Ammwaj, and Al-Sharaq channels, the residents said. 'The pornographic movies started on Al-Watan television at around 3:30 pm,' one 34-year-old Palestinian mother named Reema told AFP. 'I have six children at home, they have nowhere to go with what is going on here and can't even watch TV,' she said angrily. 'It's not healthy really. I think the Israelis want to mess with our young men's heads,' she said.
Anita, a 52-year-old mother of three children, complained about "the deliberate psychological damage caused by these broadcast.'. 'I am furious, these are the people who are shooting at us that also play this disgusting trick on us,' she said. 'We are desperate for news and constantly flipping channels and get these terrible pictures instead,' adding that videos of the intifada were also shown backwards with 'ideal terrorism' written in red across the screen. 'Luckily, there is no electricity in half of Ramallah,' she said from her house in east Jerusalem where the channels are also available.
A fourth local station, whose premises were not seized by the army, ran a written message across its screen letting people know it was the Israelis who were behind the graphic scenes. 'Anything currently shown on Al-Watan and other local TV channels has nothing to do with Palestinian programs but is being broadcast by the Israeli occupation forces, we urge parents to take precautions,' the message said. The Israeli military denied that it had anything to do with the pornographic programming and instead blamed the Palestinian leaders."
How David Asimov, the Biggest Child Porn Processor in California Skated Away from Federal Prison with a Little Help from His Friends, News Making News, March 29, 2001
"David Asimov, of Living Oak Court, Bennett Ridge, Santa Rosa, the son of the late science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, was sentenced on March 28, 2001 to six months' home detention with electronic monitoring and three years federal probation for possessing child pornography.
U.S. District Court Judge Maxine M. Chesney sentenced Asimov after reviewing a series of sealed psychiatric reports, one of which was ordered by the court. Asimov who was charged with four federal counts of possession of child pornography with each count carrying a five year sentence, pled guilty to two counts in a plea bargain deal.
There was no forfeiture of any of Asimov's assets in this case, despite his owning a home in Santa Rosa purchased in 1996 for $375,000, and despite his receiving $3,000 per month from his father's estate.
How did Asimov, who possessed one of the largest stashes of pornography in California, skate away from federal prison? A look at the players yields the answer. Asimov's child porn stash was so big many child victims and perpetrators would have taken a fall, had Asimov been zealously prosecuted at trial."
Two actors face child porn charges, Salon.com, Nov. 16, 2002
"A year-old pornography investigation has led to the filing of criminal charges against two Hollywood actors: Paul Reubens, best known as Pee-wee Herman, and veteran character actor Jeffrey Jones of 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off.'
Reubens was charged with one misdemeanor count of possessing materials depicting children under the age of 18 engaged in sexual conduct, said Ana Garcia, a spokeswoman with the City Attorney's office. He surrendered to authorities Friday and was released on $20,000 bail ... Reubens, 50, and Jones, 56, are acquaintances and both cases stem from the same police investigation, said Los Angeles County District Attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons. ...
Reubens pleaded no contest to an indecent exposure charge in 1991 after he was arrested in Sarasota, Fla., for allegedly exposing himself in a movie theater. After that plea, Reubens' long-running 'Pee-wee Herman Show' was canceled and his star faded, although he has had supporting roles in a number of films since, including 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Blow.'"
Jewish Films To Watch at Sundance, [Jewish] Forward, January 17, 2003
"Andrew Jarecki brings to this year's Sundance [Film Festival] a new kind of legend - an indie who has already made a million ($388 million, to be exact, which is what AOL paid for his company, Moviefone, in 1999, keeping him on as CEO). The multitalented mogul, who has also penned and performed songs for the WB's late, lamented 'Felicity,' is showing his documentary 'Capturing the Friedmans,' one of several offerings topping the list of must-see films with Jewish themes ...
Buzz for 'Friedmans' is strong. In 1987, New York Newsday broke the story of Arnold Friedman, an upper-middle-class high school teacher from Great Neck, Long Island, who was arrested as part of a federal sting operation against mail-order pornography. Friedman's wife ran a childcare center from their home; Friedman was also a buyer of child pornography. As detailed in 'Capturing the Friedmans,' during the arrest agents began to suspect that children who came to the Friedmans' home for day care and after-school computer classes were being abused. Jarecki was given surprising access to the family's home videos, which he uses to sort through the various versions of the truth regarding the charges.
The Lady Is a Pornographer. Salon.com, June 26, 2000
""I'm the kink controller here at Click + Drag, which means I have to keep people in line,' says the 40-year-old [Abby] Ehmann. 'I make sure that nothing gets out of control -- just kinky' ... Ehmann has many titles in addition to kink controller. She is the 'editrix' of Extreme Fetish magazine -- dubbed 'The best alternative sex publication in New York' by TimeOut magazine. She is on the board of directors of Feminists for Free Expression, an organization that fights restrictions on free speech, and she is a writer and a performer. But for all her roles, Ehmann has only one mission: to satisfy the appetites of New Yorkers who are not sated by polite and sterile living ... She started a fanzine called Porn Free with the idea of giving away pornography. 'I thought, hey, there's a niche that no one is filling. Of course, it wasn't very profitable.' Ehmann gave up Porn Free after being approached in 1997 by D&L Enterprises, a publishing company, to be the editor of a fetish magazine. It was Ehmann's goal to create a sex publication that would provide fetishists with content suited to their needs. Each monthly issue of Extreme Fetish has a particular theme, such as latex, shoe fetishes or musclebound divas."
The Law of Return [from Israel: Whose Country Is It Anyway?, by well-known Jewish lesbian feminist Andrea Dworkin, 1990 [posted here at igc.org]
"You have to see it to believe it and even seeing it might not help. I've been sent it over the years by feminists in Israel--I had seen it--I didn't really believe it. Unlike in the United States, pornography is not an industry. You find it in mainstream magazines and advertising. It is mostly about the Holocaust. In it, Jewish women are sexualized as Holocaust victims for Jewish men to masturbate over.
Well, would you believe it, even if you saw it? Israeli women call it 'Holocaust pornography.' The themes are fire, gas, trains, emaciation, death ... . Monitin is a left-liberal slick monthly for the intelligentsia and upper class. It has high productions and aesthetic values. Israel's most distinguished writers and intellectuals publish in it. Judith Antonelli in The Jewish Advocate reported that Monitin 'contains the most sexually violent images. Photos abound of women sprawled out upside-down as if they have just been attacked.'
Or, in a magazine for women that is not unlike Ladies' Home Journal, there is a photograph of a woman tied to a chair with heavy rope. Her shirt is torn off her shoulders and upper chest but her arms are tied up against her so that only the fleshy part of the upper breasts is exposed. She is wearing pants--they are wet. A man, fully dressed, standing next to her, is throwing beer in her face. In the United States, such photographs of women are found in bondage magazines. For purists, there is an Israeli pornography magazine. The issue I saw had a front-page headline that read: ORGY AT YAD VASHEM. Yad Vashem is the memorial in Jerusalem to the victims of the Holocaust. Under the headline, there was a photograph of a man sexually entangled with several women. What does this mean--other than that if you are a Jewish woman you don't run to Israel, you run from it?"
Desmond embroiled in £8m tax wrangle, Media Guardian (UK), September 24, 2002
"Richard Desmond [also Jewish], the owner of Express Newspapers, is in dispute with the inland revenue over a £8m tax bill. His argument with the taxman began after a 1993 business deal when United Newspapers agreed to buy 10 of his magazines, resulting in a £12m windfall for the pornography publisher ... The Money Programme revelations could not come at a worse time for Mr Desmond, who is desperately trying to shake off his 'porn baron' tag. Only 10 days ago he went on the BBC's Ten O'Clock News to protest against the use of the word 'pornographer'. Demonstrating for the first time he is embarrassed by the P-word, Mr Desmond said of his critics: 'They use the word pornography... they use all sorts of nasty words.' Mr Desmond, who, according to his arch-rival David Sullivan, owns 50 top shelf titles and three porn TV channels, carried on: 'We don't publish pornography, we publish adult magazines.' He has been trying to sell his porn empire for the last two years but there have been no takers. The Money Programme confirms MediaGuardian.co.uk reports that Mr Desmond was also spurred into action by a Guardian investigation into one of his pornography websites that offered live lesbian sex as well as other images portraying pregnant women and women as old as 78. Deric Botham, who ran Mr Desmond's Fantasy Channel for five years, explained how within 24 hours of the article appearing he 'decimated' the site to prevent further media opporobrium."