21 September 2015
Legality of Child Pornography
Child pornography has always been a taboo to the public, one which Jacob Sullum, Senior Editor for Reason magazine and Reason.com, would agree upon; however, he argues in his article, Glee, The Simpsons, and Virtual Child Porn, that the Parents Television Council and similar groups are taking child pornography to unreasonable levels by accusing individuals who own child pornography as potential sex offenders. This debate was argued in two separate occasions: GQ's photo spread of Glee actresses in provocative poses and Steven Kutzner's case on mere possession of Simpson pornography. Sullum argues these two cases unfairly accuse the individuals on trial for sex offending crimes that they may or may not even commit in the future (Sullum 365). He does so by relaying his opponents’ arguments through the rhetorical elements: sarcasm and naïve syllogism in order to challenge the audience’s perspective on what are even considered child pornography and the punishments given to those who possess child pornography.
When GQ released photos of two Glee actresses, whom are both 24 years old but play 17 year olds in the show, in very provocative poses, the Parents Television Council believed portraying the actresses in this way was inappropriate since the target audience for the show ranges from teenagers to young adults (Sullum 364). By releasing these provocative images of the young actress in a men’s fashion and style magazine, the PTC feared the photos would create a bad image and reputation of the actresses for the young audience and tempt GQ’s male (and even female) consumers. But the council was not able to legally argue that GQ actually committed a crime due to the Ashcroft vs. Free Speech Coalition. The coalition “overturned a ban on ‘virtual’ child pornography” or any productions without real children in pornography as a violation to the First Amendment and since neither...