Tennessee state Senator Doug Jackson says he is working on a bill to make the advertising of Girls Gone Wild videos on television illegal.
The bill would criminalize "advertising or promoting the sale, production, distribution, exhibition, or display of obscene materials in this state." It also holds cable or TV station employees liable for soliciting such advertising.
The language is general, but the target is clear. Appearing on Fox News Channel Thursday, Jackson said he believes a Tennessee jury would rule the videos obscene according to community standards. He said he had seen one of them (a Girls Gone Wild video) and that it contained "ultimate sex acts" and lacked literary and artistic value.
The bill was actually introduced last week, but was delayed from consideration by the Tennessee Commerce Committee until next week while Jackson tries to answer some questions posed by other senators, according to a Jackson staffer.
Dan Jaffee, executive VP of the Associatin of National Advertisers, points out that there are already laws in place against obscenity, and that advertising for illegal products is already unprotected. Given those laws against obscenity and the FCC's power to punish indecency in advertisements or entertainnment programming, regulators already have a powerful hammer. "Giving them two hammers seems unnecessary," he said. But he also pointed out that people can't just claim content is obscene then go after the advertisements. "They have to establish the underlying facts."
That would be tough. One veteran First Amendment attorney suggested it would be highly unlikely that a court would uphold an obscenity finding against the tapes, or that such a finding would survive appeal.