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I’ve read Pornland by Gail Dines but was unaware of her online presence.  Porn is not an easy topic for TV producers and it appears Ms.Dines had been down this road before as she relates her experience of almost getting on the Melissa Harris Perry Show to talk about the effects of pornography on women.  The first 3 paragraphs are here, I suggest you follow the link back read the rest of this fantastic article.

 

When a Feminist Gets Bumped for a Pornographer
by GAIL DINES

Last week, midway through a leisurely Saturday afternoon, I got an email from MSNBC asking me to be on the Melissa Harris Perry Show a week later (July 7th). I was delighted to accept, as MHP is not your usual American journalist. A professor of political science at Tulane University, she is an outspoken African American feminist and a progressive voice in a media landscape dominated by right-wing talking heads. MSNBC is a rare media oasis in the U.S. where one gets to hear some actual critical analysis, so I—mistakenly, it turned out—thought this was going to be one of the few positive experiences I’ve had working with corporate-controlled media. In all honesty, after many years of being on talk shows in the U.S., I have come to expect very little in terms of integrity from the media. Their job is to boost ratings by making stories entertaining and light, and God help anyone who gets in their way.

I spent a long time on the phone with MHP’s producer talking about my research on the harms of porn and the ways women in the industry—especially women of color—are financially exploited and physically and emotionally dehumanized and debased. Given MHP’s feminist politics and her scholarly work on the representation of African American women in U.S. history, I was excited to do a show with an interviewer whom I expected would be engaging and thoughtful, in contrast to the usual adolescent sniggering I get from the male journalist who suddenly finds himself in the awkward position of interviewing a feminist who doesn’t think porn is fun.

But by the middle of the week things started to go very wrong. My last conversation with the producers was on the Sunday before the show, and I was told that I would get a call by Tuesday to confirm my travel details. Wednesday came, and no call. On Thursday, I got an email saying that the “segment is changing,” so they won’t need me. “Changing”… not canceled. To the uninitiated this might seem like splitting hairs, but I am an old hand at dealing with the media, and I have been in this position more times than I can count.

Let me explain how it often plays out: I get a call from a producer to do a show about porn, and in our pre-show discussion the producer is shocked to hear about what really goes on in the porn industry. He or she had no idea that hardcore porn (called “gonzo” by the industry and fans) is now mainstream on the Internet, that choking with a penis, slapping, hair pulling, and verbal abuse is the norm. The producer is horrified to hear that women in porn suffer repeatedly from rectal prolapse (because of pounding anal sex), and get diseases such as clamidia of the eye, gonorrhea of the throat, and fecal throat infections (because of the ATM act in which the penis goes from the anus to the mouth without washing). As we talk, I know exactly what is going on in the producer’s mind: they see their fun, hot-ratings-driver segment going down the tubes, and they are suddenly in the not-so-fun territory of cruelty, violence, and economic exploitation.

Go to Counterpunch for the rest of the story.

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