I wanted to resist writing about the Kozinski porn “scandal”. I simply saw no reason to add fuel to the fire. Feminazis, big surprise, threw a hissy fit, saying: “He is not ethically competent to hear obscenity cases.” (source)
Of course, a “real” professor, Lawrence Lessig, explains the facts simply enough that even a critical victim studies theorist can understand (but rest assured, they’ll still scream that the world is flat).
Here are the facts as I’ve been able to tell: For at least a month, a disgruntled litigant, angry at Judge Kozinski (and the Ninth Circuit) has been talking to the media to try to smear Kozinski. Kozinski had sent a link to a file (unrelated to the stuff being reported about) that was stored on a file server maintained by Kozinski’s son, Yale. From that link (and a mistake in how the server was configured), it was possible to determine the directory structure for the server. From that directory structure, it was possible to see likely interesting places to peer. The disgruntled sort did that, and shopped some of what he found to the news sources that are now spreading it. (source)
In other words, the boneheads in the media and at Feminist Law Profs are purposely trying to mislead the public into believing that Kozinski was “publishing” a porn website. (much to the delight of the disgruntled litigant who started this whole mess) This wasn’t a “website,” it was a “directory.” Nevertheless, it really doesn’t matter. Kozinski had as much right to have those images on in this directory (and frankly, on a public website, if he so chose) as he had a right to have a six pack of beer in his refrigerator. They are perfectly legal. Attorney Gill Sperlien asked: “Should a judge who owns a car and operates it lawfully be disqualified from presiding over a trial where a car was used unlawfully (e.g. DUI, reckless driving, vehicular homicide)?”
Indeed, Judge Kozinski’s familiarity with internet erotic content makes him more, not less, competent as a judge in an obscenity case. He would be more familiar with the community standards, what is available as comparable material, and likely in a better position to bring a dose of reality to the trial. First Amendment attorney Gary Edinger said, “We let crazy zealot Southern Baptist born again judges preside over obscenity trials wherever they spring up. The press never suggests that those Jesus freaks are incapable of being neutral and impartial dispensers of justice.”
Professor Dave Fagundes made a great observation:
A very puritanical person who had a strong bias against anything even remotely sexually explicit would be very likely to have no pornography on their computer, but this certainly wouldn’t mean such a person was objective. If anything, a judge who has a strong stomach for all kinds of material might be better suited to evaluate whether the highly context-sensitive First Amendment standards for obscenity apply to a particular work. Very rough analogy, but wouldn’t you rather have a bibliophile evaluate the literary merit of a given novel than someone who had never read a book?
Fagundes also questioned whether the Kozinski material was accurately called “pornography.”
It’s more just crude, kind of bizarre, sexually themed humor-the kind of stuff a college sophomore might find hilarious and send to his frat buddies. So I think there’s a foundational difference between Koz’s motivations (which I think were merely to share bawdy laughs with others, however lame the jokes may have been) and the aims of the defendant in the trial (which were presumably to generate sexually explicit material to arouse whoever viewed it).
I’ve gone through most of Kozinski’s images, trying to figure out what all the fuss was about…. They are nothing more than a collection of stupid images that most of us get sent to us at one time or another by that annoying friend who cant keep his finger off the “forward” button.
For example, the press describes one of the images as “of contortionist sex.” Technically, it is, but it is accompanied by a spoof of the “for everything else there is master card” ad campaign. The “bestiality” content? That was the famous “donkey rapes man” video (shown at the bottom of this post).
And so on… In fact, if you look in my “deleted items folder,” you’ll find most of those images in there too. Most were forwarded by friends who seem to think that I would find them funny. Some are funny, most are just dumb and out-dated internet memes. I don’t bother to save them, because I know that someone else will forward it to me in a week.
The feminazis seem fixated on one image of two nude women painted as cows – whining that it is “degrading” because the women are positioned as if to say “come milk me” or “come fuck me”. This is somehow evidence that Kozinski is a misogynist.
I’m not sure that it is proper to lay our personal moralities over any of the depictions. I may be lacking in imagination, but neither “come milk me” nor “come fuck me” came to mind when I saw it. Perhaps the author of the work was trying to make a comment about how women are portrayed in the media. I don’t know what was in the author’s mind any more than I know what is in the collector’s mind. However, the thought police over at feminazi law profs, they know exactly what is in Kozinski’s mind… and they want it re-educated right now.
Here’s Kozinski’s “bestiality” video.