Thursday, May 11, 2017

Pedo Radio

You can't make this stuff up. If you haven't heard the story, I can give you the short version. Paul Lotsof, the owner of 97.7 KAVV (Cave-FM) in Benson, AZ has been broadcasting a PSA for 2 years with the theme of hiding child porn, and proposing shorter sentences for child pornographers. Just to complete the stereotype let me also note that KAVV is a country music station. You don't need the audio, the transcript is from an alternate universe. More here and here.
"Nearly every day, somebody gets arrested for violating Arizona's child pornography law. Arizona's child pornography law is the most stringent in the nation in that it prescribes a mandatory 10-year prison sentence for each photo that you have of a naked juvenile in a sexually-suggestive pose. That means that if you're caught with six such pictures of somebody under the age of 18, you go to prison for 60 years... If you have such material, you can save yourselves and your family a ton of grief and save the taxpayers a lot of money by never storing such pictures on the hard drive of your computer. Always use an external drive and hide it where nobody will ever find it. Likewise, never keep paper pictures, tapes or films of naked juveniles where anybody else can find them.""
So what kind of town is Benson, AZ? It lies in South East Arizona, and sports a population of only about 4,700. It's in the desert plains so it's dry, hot and rarely rains. People stay in doors a lot in Cochise County.  To their credit, the town isn't tone-deaf on the issue. Sheriff Mark Dannels opened an investigation to determine if the PSA is illegal enough to file charges. However, he did wait almost two years to do that. But Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre decided that Lotsof was protected by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment safeguarding free speech.  This seems doubtful since incitement to comit a crime is usually a crime in and of itself. FYI: hiding evidence is a crime.

It was only after KPHO-TV 5 (CBS) ran a story on the problem and contacted Lotsof that the wheels of justice began to turn. More here. Paul Lotsof defended himself poorly in the interview.
"Please take notice that the PSA in question does not condone child pornography in any way; it merely points out that the penalties for possession of child pornography are draconian, to the extent that the real victims are the people serving these incredibly long sentences. The suggestion that anyone in possession of such material be warned to get rid of it or take steps to avoid prosecution serves to emphasize that the penalty provisions of the law – calling for 10 years’ imprisonment per image – are so extreme that the greater harm is in the enforcement of the law. The PSA does provide factual information and that information is perfectly accurate and important."
Lotsof clearly thinks he's trying to accomplish something. But I doubt he's actually is. I recall that it was pornographer Larry Flynt that won a notable first amendment victory in 1988. Free speech advances can come from unexpected quarters. But tt is one thing to be a First Amendment crusader, or a incarceration reform crusader... but Mr. Lotsof has written a few editorials on his own website, and he cannot seem to explicate himself even in his own forum.
“Judging by the posts on Facebook and other web sites it is clear that a lot of people have managed to misunderstand what I said in my one minute announcement. Many people seem to think that I have expressed the opinion that child abuse is fine and dandy. I never said that. These same people think I said that production of child pornography is fine and dandy. I never said that. Others think that I believe that dissemination of child pornography is fine and dandy. I never said that. Still others think that I’m telling people to break the law. I never said that. Some conclude that I must be a pedophile. I am not a pedophile and I don’t have any child pornography in my possession and have a hard time understanding why anyone would want it. But I do understand that there are some folks out there who do like this material and I feel some sympathy for their plight.”
I don't think anyone cries tears over the plight of pedophiles except Mr. Lotsof. Nonetheless after his advertisers revolted he stopped running the PSA.

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