Meese Commission

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The final report of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography (sometimes called The Meese Report for U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese) is the result of a comprehensive investigation into pornography ordered by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. It was published in July 1986 and contains 1,960 pages.

These people comprised the commission (nicknamed The Meese Commission):

  • Henry E. Hudson, chairman.
  • Diane D. Cusack
  • Park Elliott Dietz
  • James Dobson
  • Father Bruce Ritter
  • Frederick Schauer
  • Deanne Tilton-Durfee
  • Judith Becker
  • Ellen Levine

The report is divided into five parts and thirty-five chapters and details most aspects of the pornography industry, including the history of pornography and the extent of First Amendment protections. The report also documents what the committee found to be the pornography addiction and/or harmful effects of pornography and connections between pornographers and organized crime. The report was criticized by some of the scientists whose research was utilized; they claim that their results were distorted and are incongruent with the final report. Some believe that Meese minimalized evidence indicating that pornography is not dangerous, and others regard the commission members as a pre-selected cohort of anti-pornography campaigners [1]. The report was criticized by many inside and outside the pornography industry, calling it biased, incredible, and inaccurate. One member of the commission - Bruce Ritter - later made payments for sexual favors to male prostitute and adult movie actor Kevin Kite using funds earmarked for the Covenant House charity.

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