Obscenity and free speech


Pepperdine University’s Barry McDonald, a free-speech scholar and former clerk for William Rehnquist, debates government regulation of pornography and obscenity laws with adult entertainment director, producer and distributor John Stagliano.

  • 1

    John Stagliano says anecdotes aren’t enough to paint adult entertainment as an industry rife with abuse. Barry McDonald says the government needs to use all available tools to rein in the industry.

  • 2

    Barry McDonald says we shouldn’t be so sure that the economic benefits of porn justify its social costs. John Stagliano replies that he’s afraid of what happens when any business is overly regulated by the government.

  • 3

    John Stagliano says the uproar of Judge Kozinski’s picture collection exposes the public’s reluctance to accept human sexuality. Barry McDonald replies that Kozinski did the right thing by recusing himself from an obscenity case.

  • 4

    Barry McDonald details the legal tests and reasoning behind the enforcement of obscenity laws. John Stagliano says no one should be sent to prison for distributing images others don’t like.