WaPo Whines About Attempt to Prevent Porn Screenings on Public College Campuses

<p>To the Washington Post editorial board, restrictive campaign finance measures are perfectly valid, constitutional exercises in protecting the public, but heaven forbid a state lawmaker would want to prevent the taxpayer-subsidized screening of porn on public college campuses. </p><p>In <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/11/AR200910... target="_blank">&quot;Rated XXX,&quot;</a> the Post's editorial board today declared obscene a mild measure aimed at preventing -- but not banning -- porn on campus.</p><p>You may recall that earlier this year, a student committee that selects films for screening at the University of Maryland's Hoff Theater picked a XXX skin flick as part of its repertoire. Following <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/02/AR200904... target="_blank">scrutiny by legislators</a>, University of Maryland administrators forbade the ticketed screening of the entire film, although a student group was <a href="http://www.diamondbackonline.com/2.2795/pirates-ii-students-revenge-1.27... target="_blank">permitted to screen a small portion</a> of the film as part of a panel discussion on obscenity and free speech.</p><!--break--><p>As a result of the controversy, the University System of Maryland has required every state university and college to submit for approval its own guidelines &quot;on the use of public higher education facilities for the displaying or screening of obscene films or materials.&quot;</p><p>To parents who pay tuition bills, as well as taxpayers and Maryland alumni, this would be a reasonable request to ask of a public, taxpayer-subsidized academic institution. Not so to the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/11/AR200910... target="_blank">Washington Post</a>, which lectures that state legislators &quot;are not entitled&quot; to &quot;keep other adults -- even young, college-age adults -- from consuming such material [porn] if they so choose.&quot;</p><p>But even the Post even admits that the policy guidelines will not ban private or even public viewing of pornography on Maryland college campuses. Still, the paper's editorial board scolds, the political &quot;intimidation&quot; from a legislator threatening reduced state funding is an affront to &quot;what should be a bastion of free thought and expression.&quot;</p><p>&quot;[I]f they had any courage,&quot; the Post sniffs, college administrators &quot;would refuse&quot; to submit the required homework demanded by the University System of Maryland's Board of Regents. &quot;This is one case where earning an 'incomplete' would be a badge of honor,&quot; the Post editorial board concludes its holier-than-thou sermon on free speech. </p><p>The Post is perfectly free to editorialize in its editorial section, but its editorial choices speak something about its radical liberal bent. The Post has only three slots for expressing its corporate opinion every day, yet it decided to spill ink defending this of all controversies in the news. </p><p>While perhaps not the chief reason for dwindling circulation, today's editorial helps to illustrate one reason average Americans are giving up on print media: the huge gulf between the values and pressing political concerns of the general public and those of newspaper editorial staffs. </p>

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters