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     Limits to Freedom: Oklahoma's Private Values and Public Policies on
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<v Announcer>This is Limits to Freedom: Oklahoma's Private Values and Public Policies <v Announcer>on the Right to Read. This program is sponsored by the Public Library Systems of Oklahoma <v Announcer>and supported in part by a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities Committee and the National <v Announcer>Endowment for the Humanities. <v Announcer>The views and opinions expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of <v Announcer>either this station or the sponsoring agencies. <v Speaker>[Jazzy music plays] <v Narrator>The frankest, most explicit movie on this subject you'll ever hope to see <v Narrator>opening soon at theaters everywhere. <v Woman>Andrea is like no one you'll ever meet. <v Woman>But she's like every woman you'd like to meet. <v Narrator>This book says it all beyond your wildest imagination.
<v Narrator>It shows you how to do things you've only dreamed of doing. <v Advertiser>Because of the sensitive nature of this film, we are unable to reveal its name in <v Advertiser>our advertisements. Call this number for the shocking details. <v Narrator>Is this what the United States Supreme Court had in mind when they gave local communities <v Narrator>control of pornography in 1973? <v Narrator>X-rated movies at the neighborhood theaters, girlie magazines at the supermarket checkout <v Narrator>stands? Did those nine men in Washington mean to open the floodgates of obscenity <v Narrator>in cities from New York to California? <v Narrator>Is this what has happened during the past two years? <v Narrator>From the offices of many Oklahoma district attorneys, from the homes of outraged parents, <v Narrator>comes a resounding yes.
<v Narrator>According to these forces, court decisions have tied the hands of law in fighting <v Narrator>pornography, and indecency now holds the upper hand in films, books <v Narrator>and magazines. <v Narrator>But what about the other side of the coin? <v Narrator>The people who feel that the court decisions have done nothing more than reinforce <v Narrator>American democracy? And what about the growing number of Americans who no longer worry <v Narrator>about pornography and perhaps find the whole controversy surrounding it a little silly? <v Narrator>To them, pornography, though distasteful, has a place in any free <v Narrator>society. These Americans, many of them Oklahomans, might never <v Narrator>want to look at dirty books or go to high priced porno movies, but they have no objection <v Narrator>if their neighbors want to. <v Narrator>The controversy between these two groups is what this program is all about. <v Narrator>For years, pornography has been making headlines. <v Narrator>Now it's time to ask some serious questions about how Oklahomans really feel about the <v Narrator>subject of adult access to pornography.
<v Woman on the Street>I think it's a very poor influence inso far as children are concerned. <v Woman on the Street>It's an influence they can well do without. <v Woman on the Street>It's setting a fairly poor example for them. <v Man on the Street 1>If you want to go see, you go see it. <v Man on the Street 2>Well, I feel that you can't suppress it or that if you do suppress it, you're you're <v Man on the Street 2>asking for trouble. Because it's like putting a lid on the pressure cooker. <v Man on the Street 2>After a while, it's gonna explode. <v Man on the Street 3>Oh, I think it's ridiculous. <v Man on the Street 3>Most definitely. The police should be much more strict, much tougher than they are. <v Man on the Street 4>Don't the police have other things to do besides go around looking for people who are <v Man on the Street 4>looking at nude bodies? <v Man on the Street 5>And I just think it's too expensive, you know? <v Man on the Street 6>Definitely leads to increase in crimes of passion. <v Man on the Street 6>I think it should be regulated. There should be certain places where you can get <v Man on the Street 6>pornography, just like you can get a drink or other vises. <v Woman on the Street 2>Oh, wow. It's boring. <v Announcer>To begin with, pornography is not new. <v Announcer>Pornographic drawings can be found in many ancient cultures. <v Announcer>The centuries old religious Kamasutra of India as a pornographic classic
<v Announcer>and the biblical song of Solomon is not only a glorious tribute to the love of God, but <v Announcer>in the eyes of many, erotic literature. <v Announcer>The urge to create pornography seems to be even older than the urge to repress it. <v Announcer>Fifty years before the first recorded obscenity case in the United States, Benjamin <v Announcer>Franklin was writing pornographic essays for the private enjoyment of his friends. <v Announcer>As might seem obvious from this example, sexual pornography is not always occupied the <v Announcer>same worrisome place in the American consciousness as it does now. <v John Pickard>Concern over pornography is simply the latest <v John Pickard>in a series of overriding concerns in, let's say, American <v John Pickard>civilization. And these concerns have had different historic phases. <v John Pickard>The earliest phase in the United States was in the area of <v John Pickard>heresy and blasphemy. The church then carried out the suppression of these <v John Pickard>ideas that it felt dangerous. <v John Pickard>Later, after the revolution, after the establishment of a national state,
<v John Pickard>if the state felt attacked, it tended to suppress ideas <v John Pickard>on the basis of sedition or treason, or even at the <v John Pickard>latest phases, un-American activities. <v John Pickard>And this sort of a focus on a particular area that is controversial <v John Pickard>is now with us in the form of overriding concern with pornography. <v John Pickard>Already we can see another area emerging. <v John Pickard>First, the term pornography of violence is coming into use. <v John Pickard>Perhaps violence itself will now take the place of pornography. <v Announcer>That was John Pickard from Central State University expressing what is beginning to be a <v Announcer>popular notion among many American intellectuals. <v Announcer>That notion that pornography is just one of a series of many American concerns is <v Announcer>backed up in this discussion between OSU professors Peter Rollins and the LOOKI. <v Professor 1>The general animus of those who wish to set up standards of repression <v Professor 1>or restriction or censorship - the general motivation is they are,
<v Professor 1>according to themselves, aware of the values by which we should live. <v Professor 1>And it is their job to make sure that these values are upheld and preserved <v Professor 1>and that certain things work as an acid to break them down. <v Professor 2>But now, doesn't that really sound rather silly when you apply consistently? <v Professor 2>Because most people, I would suppose, would imagine face to face <v Professor 2>intercourse between husband and wife as not being immoral, and <v Professor 2>certainly not illegal, what have you. <v Professor 2>And various other forms of embrace, kisses which might last a minute, you <v Professor 2>know, there have been films that have been censored because the kiss last too long. <v Professor 2>Things like that wouldn't normally be regarded as immoral, but they're requently <v Professor 2>classified into the realm of pornography. <v Professor 2>But things which obviously are out and out regarded as immoral - <v Professor 2>one person shooting another, killing another, beating another over the head with a brick <v Professor 2>or whatnot, which are frequently shown in, you know, John Wayne films all the way through <v Professor 2>to something else - are relished in all the time.
<v Professor 2>Now, if you're really consistent in applying the principle that you are <v Professor 2>not going to show what is regarded as bad, well, we violate that all over the <v Professor 2>place. You can't take that principle seriously. <v Professor 2>You have to say, well, that's obviously not what you mean. <v Professor 2>You must mean something else. But it's never very clear what is meant by this. <v Announcer>Well this somewhat historical approach the importance of pornography is under violent <v Announcer>attack from other Americans. <v Announcer>They claim that pornography, whether airbrushed playboys or hardcore imports, <v Announcer>must occupy a special place because of the harm they believe it wreaks on society. <v Singer>"Let me entertain you, let me make you smile. <v Singer>Let me do a few tricks. <v Singer>Some old and some new tricks.
<v Singer>I'm very versatile." <v Announcer>The further one is removed from real pornography, the more permissive he is likely to be. <v Announcer>Those are the words of Monsignor Joseph Howard, executive secretary of the now defunct <v Announcer>National Office for Decent Literature. <v Announcer>Monsignor Howard believes that only those who never come in contact with pornography can <v Announcer>call it harmless. That view is shared by Oklahoma City Baptist Minister Jack Courtney. <v Jack Courtney>For years, literary people, good judges, <v Jack Courtney>lawyers, educators have told us that good literature <v Jack Courtney>lift up people or elevates people. <v Jack Courtney>I believe that it's logical to conclude that it's good literature if it lifts up <v Jack Courtney>people and elevate them. <v Jack Courtney>That bad literature, literature which appeals to the <v Jack Courtney>base nature of an individual will have the opposite <v Jack Courtney>effect. It will tend to depress the goodness
<v Jack Courtney>in man. Since pornography appeals to the base nature <v Jack Courtney>of an individual, a nature which I believe is affected, <v Jack Courtney>has a bent towards the end and that which is wrong and evil, then <v Jack Courtney>it is going to encourage the promotion <v Jack Courtney>of crime, whether it be in the moral area <v Jack Courtney>or in other areas. <v Announcer>Moral decay, the impact of pornography on juveniles, its contribution to sadistic <v Announcer>crime, its general impression of immorality - all of these are cited by those <v Announcer>who wish to suppress pornography. <v Announcer>But one by one, each of them was refuted by a presidential commission on pornography <v Announcer>appointed by President Lyndon Johnson. <v Announcer>This blue ribbon panel concluded that there is, and we quote, no evidence that exposure <v Announcer>to or use of explicit sexual material plays a significant role <v Announcer>in the causation of social or individual harms such as crime, delinquency, <v Announcer>sexual or non-sexual deviancy.
<v Announcer>The commission's findings were overwhelmingly rejected by both Congress and President <v Announcer>Richard Nixon. But another Oklahoma City Baptist minister, Reverend Gene Garrison, <v Announcer>says he has come to believe they are true, even though the report surprised him at the <v Announcer>time. <v Gene Garrison>I have frankly searched somewhat diligently at time to find some statistical <v Gene Garrison>evidence that pornography is related to the incidence of sex crimes <v Gene Garrison>and violence. To my knowledge, there has never been a study <v Gene Garrison>to substantiate this. I would think that there would be, you see, and I think the <v Gene Garrison>average mind does. I mean, you just draw some conclusions that if a person looks <v Gene Garrison>at at the naked human body or <v Gene Garrison>pictures of of sex acts, that that person is going to be <v Gene Garrison>motivated to go out and do something violent or to do something, um, <v Gene Garrison>sexually. As I said, I have not found and I have really looked at times <v Gene Garrison>because I have preached on issues related to this matter and I have done papers
<v Gene Garrison>on them and I have never found anything to substantiate that. <v Speaker>[Upbeat music plays] <v Peter Rollins>There are many ways to restrict circulation of books, <v Peter Rollins>of films, of ideas other than strictly judicial <v Peter Rollins>or legal processes. Boards of supervision, boards of examination. <v Peter Rollins>Now, what in particular case occurred in Stillwater when Last Tango <v Peter Rollins>in Paris was here? There had been a gentlemen's agreement <v Peter Rollins>not to bring X-rated films into Stillwater. <v Peter Rollins>A few new theaters had been constructed and their business was not going <v Peter Rollins>very well. They brought this film in. <v Peter Rollins>They had a tremendous audience. They also had a set of picketers outside <v Peter Rollins>complaining about the intrusion of this film into the community. <v Peter Rollins>And what happened was judicial proceedings were not
<v Peter Rollins>initiated by the district attorney because he felt that this was a waste of his staff <v Peter Rollins>time and effort. However, new gentlemen's agreement was engaged in <v Peter Rollins>between the mayor and the distributor to keep X-rated films out of this particular <v Peter Rollins>town. And there has not been another X-rated film in this particular town <v Peter Rollins>since then. <v Announcer>Oklahoma State University Professor Peter Rollins has just given a classic example of how <v Announcer>most censorship is handled in this country - through community pressure. <v Announcer>Nearly all small Oklahoma towns have strict anti-obscenity laws on the books. <v Announcer>But according to a survey by Oklahoma City University Professor Duane Cummins, these <v Announcer>statutes rarely need to be enforced. <v Announcer>Bookstores, for instance, tend to exercise a form of prior censorship. <v Announcer>Books or magazines, which might be offensive are simply not stocked. <v Announcer>Or in the case of soft-core magazines like Playboy or Penthouse, they <v Announcer>are hidden under the counter and must be requested by the customers. <v Announcer>The same is true of movie theaters. X-rated movies may try to come to a town like <v Announcer>Stillwater, but they are soon driven out by community pressure.
<v Announcer>Newspapers, radio, and TV stations often refuse to carry advertising for pornographic <v Announcer>books or films; even in large cities like Oklahoma City. <v Announcer>A major newspaper will not print advertising for X-rated movies. <v Announcer>All of this is accomplished without ever calling on the law, although the threat of legal <v Announcer>prosecution is always present. <v Announcer>As one resident of Woodward, Oklahoma puts it, many of our laws are not written. <v Announcer>They are just felt like a sixth sense. <v Announcer>This kind of community pressure is the most effective, least costly and in many ways <v Announcer>the best form of censorship. <v Announcer>But something is going wrong with the idea. <v Announcer>Community pressure no longer seems to work in our big cities and it is even beginning to <v Announcer>fail in places like Woodward and Stillwater. <v Announcer>Oklahoma City University Professor Peter Dement points to the changing meaning of <v Announcer>community and explaining what is happening. <v Peter Dement>Most often you find that communities in the past <v Peter Dement>have been able to run their own show without law. <v Peter Dement>The average community was small, reasonably
<v Peter Dement>cohesive. Most people belong to the same church or belong to <v Peter Dement>a church. People who ran the town were familiar with each other <v Peter Dement>and shared common viewpoints, especially about sex and things of that sort. <v Peter Dement>Now the problem came when the small community disappeared <v Peter Dement>and in its place, the dominant structure, social structure in the country <v Peter Dement>became much more massive. <v Peter Dement>What was really happening is that the large community was was in fact <v Peter Dement>a multiplicity of communities and <v Peter Dement>it defied the old means of social control <v Peter Dement>because no longer did you have a consensus about how things ought to be. <v Peter Dement>You had a multitude of ways of expressing a multitude of ways of thinking. <v Peter Dement>Consequently, those people who maintain the old notions <v Peter Dement>of what was proper and what was not sought
<v Peter Dement>means outside of their own community to exercise <v Peter Dement>control. And the result of that was law. <v Peter Dement>So the laws that we have today and increasing numbers and increasing attempts <v Peter Dement>to make law stem from inability of elites <v Peter Dement>to control in a community that is uncontrollable because there is no <v Peter Dement>longer a community at all. <v Speaker>[Jazzy music plays] <v Announcer>"I can't define it, but I know it when I see it." These plaintive words were uttered <v Announcer>by Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart in 1964 as he wrestled with a thorny problem <v Announcer>of defining pornography and its relationship with the law. <v Announcer>Since that time, the court has basically decided on a three prong legal test for <v Announcer>pornography. Taken as a whole, the material involved must appeal to <v Announcer>the prurient interest, be patently offensive, and lack serious literary,
<v Announcer>artistic, political or scientific value. <v Announcer>All three of these parts must be present for the material to be judged pornographic. <v Announcer>That unwieldy definition doesn't bear much resemblance to the simple dictionary <v Announcer>definition of pornography as something calculated to arouse sexual desire. <v Announcer>And most attorneys find it so difficult to apply that pornography cases simply stacked up <v Announcer>on the Supreme Court docket. <v Announcer>But that wasn't all. Oklahoma City attorney Steve Swenson says the court complicated <v Announcer>matters still further with their controversial community standards ruling in 1973. <v Steve Swenson>At the present time, the court <v Steve Swenson>interprets the law through a case called Miller vs. <v Steve Swenson>California, which did away <v Steve Swenson>with the standard of the- national <v Steve Swenson>standard of pornography. <v Steve Swenson>And now each community is allowed to apply their own standard <v Steve Swenson>of values to what they consider pornography. <v Steve Swenson>The court has never defined exactly what they mean by community.
<v Steve Swenson>They have indicated that it does not mean a national standard. <v Steve Swenson>It may, at some times, be validly <v Steve Swenson>enforced to use a standard of a city or <v Steve Swenson>county or a state. And there are decisions in the books where all three of those <v Steve Swenson>communities have been used by the court in their instructions to the jury. <v Steve Swenson>It's a game that the court <v Steve Swenson>plays, that there is no way of being intellectually precise. <v Steve Swenson>And it is one of those situations in the law where you don't <v Steve Swenson>know whether you've committed the crime until after it's already been done. <v Announcer>So that's where the legal situation stands now. <v Announcer>But it's a pretty shaky stand. <v Announcer>For in tossing the hot potato of pornography back to the local community, the Supreme <v Announcer>Court raised more questions than it answered. <v Announcer>The 1973 Miller decision opened a veritable Pandora's box of questions. <v Announcer>The most ticklish of words, says LSU Professor Peter Rollins, is the question, "what
<v Announcer>is a community?" <v Peter Rollins>This has been the most difficult thing in applying the Miller decision. <v Peter Rollins>It basically said that communities could bar from <v Peter Rollins>their areas things which were objectionable to the mores of that particular community. <v Peter Rollins>Well, then the question becomes by community, do we mean the university campus? <v Peter Rollins>Do we mean the non-campus portion of the town in which <v Peter Rollins>the campus exists? <v Peter Rollins>Do we mean the county or the state or the region or <v Peter Rollins>the hemisphere? What- what do we mean? <v Peter Rollins>Definition? What is the community? <v Peter Rollins>Is the community a small town of 300 people in Oklahoma? <v Peter Rollins>Or is the community Tulsa or Oklahoma City? <v Peter Rollins>A different sort of community entirely, and different sets of values. <v Peter Rollins>Or perhaps a community so complicated that you could not say, these are its <v Peter Rollins>values. <v Announcer>Part of the problem may be that community standards change, even within an identifiable
<v Announcer>community. Many attitudes are in a state of constant flux. <v Announcer>And what is dirty one year may be acceptable two years later. <v Announcer>A recent case in point is this summer's decision allowing nude dancing and Oklahoma City <v Announcer>clubs. Ten years ago community pressure might have kept the clubs from opening. <v Announcer>Three years ago successful prosecutions were the rule. <v Announcer>But by 1975, a public attitude survey showed 64 percent of Oklahoma <v Announcer>City residents did not consider nude dancing in a private club to be offensive. <v Announcer>Attorney Steve Swenson, who commissioned that survey, says it all means that no lasting <v Announcer>legal definition of pornography is possible. <v Steve Swenson>There does not seem to be any way to get a definition that will be lasting or universal. <v Steve Swenson>But you should be aware also that this is not <v Steve Swenson>peculiar only to the question of obscenity. The whole history of the law <v Steve Swenson>is full of situations which were at one time illegal <v Steve Swenson>or criminal and later were not. <v Steve Swenson>The law follows generally a pattern of about 10 years
<v Steve Swenson>behind contemporary community standards, and I feel that in most respects <v Steve Swenson>the application of the law is an application of standards that were <v Steve Swenson>in effect 10 years ago. <v Speaker>[Jazzy music plays] <v Announcer>In any discussion of pornography, the issue of privacy eventually surfaces. <v Announcer>The traditional view is that society as a whole will benefit from repressing <v Announcer>pornography and therefore it is society's business to censor what its citizens read <v Announcer>or see. But as the controversy rages over whether pornography is actually <v Announcer>harmful, more and more people are beginning to believe that the decision to view <v Announcer>pornography should be a private one. <v Announcer>Oklahoma City University Professor Peter Dement says it's simply a question of democracy. <v Peter Dement>I'm a firm believer that the First Amendment did <v Peter Dement>prohibit law from entering the bedroom and the <v Peter Dement>private area of people's lives.
<v Peter Dement>And as long as I believe that, I think anything that- that permits law <v Peter Dement>to be there is unconstitutional and ought to be challenged. <v Peter Dement>I think you sacrifice, necessarily, democracy if you want to <v Peter Dement>imply impose this kind of arrangement. <v Peter Dement>It's a total sacrifice, seems to me. <v Peter Dement>You either have democracy or you do not have democracy. <v Peter Dement>Yes, we're going to have times when we're going to be upset. <v Peter Dement>Yes, they're going to be times when people don't like what other people are reading, <v Peter Dement>doing and saying. But it is not my right to impose <v Peter Dement>what I think is disgusting or- on another, nor is it the right of another <v Peter Dement>to prohibit me from viewing and seeing - as <v Peter Dement>long as I harm no one else - from viewing what he may or she may <v Peter Dement>consider disgusting and pornographic. <v Announcer>This view is obviously not accepted by all Oklahomans. <v Announcer>As we mentioned earlier, the question seems to hinge on how harmful you feel pornography
<v Announcer>is to those who view it. <v Announcer>Those who believe that access to pornography leads to crime feel a responsibility to <v Announcer>limit its availability for the same reason that machine guns are illegal. <v Announcer>Some who believe that pornography is harmful only to the individual would still want to <v Announcer>limit it in the same way that drugs are available only by prescription. <v Announcer>But others who agree that pornography may be damaging to the individual believe, along <v Announcer>with Peter Damon, that society cannot and should not attempt to censor the private <v Announcer>desires of its citizens. <v Speaker>[Upbeat music plays]. <v Announcer>We've looked at the still unsettled question of what harm there might be in pornography <v Announcer>itself, but how much harm to society might there be in trying to suppress it? <v Announcer>Baptist Minister Gene Garrison says a great deal of harm. <v Gene Garrison>I don't think that it's harmful enough to justify censorship because <v Gene Garrison>to me the dangers involved in censorship far outweigh
<v Gene Garrison>the dangers of pornography. Therefore, I have my own personal <v Gene Garrison>fears that unbridled pornography would <v Gene Garrison>lead to further moral decay and corrosion in our country. <v Gene Garrison>But my fear of that is offset by <v Gene Garrison>my fear of censorship, which to me is a violation of <v Gene Garrison>the principles upon which our nation was founded. <v Gene Garrison>And I would oppose censorship. I really would. <v Announcer>Attorney Steve Swenson is less concerned about the philosophical issues involved in <v Announcer>repressing pornography. He says pornography prosecutions are simply not worth <v Announcer>the amount of public time and money they take from more important cases. <v Steve Swenson>I do not think that the prosecution of pornography justifies <v Steve Swenson>the problems that it presents. <v Steve Swenson>To prosecute a case costs thousands of dollars. <v Steve Swenson>You have to tie up several lawyers, court clerks, <v Steve Swenson>sheriff's deputies, at least one judge, and usually several if there's
<v Steve Swenson>a conviction and the case is appealed. <v Steve Swenson>By the time it's over with, you have hundreds, even thousands of hours. <v Steve Swenson>Man hours of police time, attorneys' time, district <v Steve Swenson>attorney's time, court costs, court reporters expenses. <v Steve Swenson>And the average pornography case that's been prosecuted in Oklahoma County - the book <v Steve Swenson>cases - cost the state thousands of dollars. <v Steve Swenson>That they cost a more dear penalty in that <v Steve Swenson>the courts are already crowded and there is only a limited amount of time in which to try <v Steve Swenson>cases. And when you try pornography case, you have to put some other case <v Steve Swenson>aside. <v Speaker>[Upbeat music plays]. <v Announcer>The issue of whether pornography or censorship is more dangerous is probably the central <v Announcer>question in any serious discussion of limiting access to sexual materials.
<v Announcer>Almost no one really likes pornography and very few would dismiss it as totally <v Announcer>innocuous. The problem is whether we can rid ourselves of its age old presence <v Announcer>without restricting necessarily freedoms. <v Announcer>Reverend Jack Courtney says yes. <v Announcer>In fact, he claims it is essential that society not be exposed to the influence of <v Announcer>pornography. <v Jack Courtney>I feel that it would have an overall degenerating effect upon that <v Jack Courtney>society. I think offensively that crime would be increased <v Jack Courtney>is rape against the person. <v Jack Courtney>Some of the crime even that are beginning to be spoken of today as <v Jack Courtney>crimes that do not bring any harm to individuals. <v Jack Courtney>And yet overall, these crimes would have a basis <v Jack Courtney>for generating effect on our society. <v Announcer>But Professor Peter Dement says he would not fear its presence even as all limits were <v Announcer>removed. <v Peter Dement>I'm willing to allow society to move beyond <v Peter Dement>what I experienced as a youth, and I'm not going to be afraid of it because I have
<v Peter Dement>ultimate trust in the dynamic of people being <v Peter Dement>allowed freedom to make mistakes at times, but to to <v Peter Dement>change. I think that in some they're going to end up <v Peter Dement>healthier, better people. <v Peter Dement>And we're gonna live in a better society. I'm optimistic. <v Peter Dement>I'm very optimistic. <v Announcer>Wherever you stand on this issue, there is still a final important point to consider on <v Announcer>how decisions are made in Oklahoma. <v Speaker>People who do not voice their opinion are left out. <v Speaker>If a vocal minority feels very strongly about something even organises <v Speaker>itself well, if it gets itself press exposure, it can frequently <v Speaker>carry a weight against a indifferent or uninterested majority. <v Speaker>We have come back full circle to the community. <v Speaker>How do we make community decisions here in Oklahoma? <v Speaker>Is there even a community? <v Speaker>And if there is, should control of pornography be in the hands of that community as a
Limits to Freedom: Oklahoma's Private Values and Public Policies on the Right to Read
Episode Number
No. 1
Producing Organization
Oklahoma. Department of Libraries
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Episode Description
This is Episode One, "Pornography". In this broadcast, the host talks to Oklahoma residents, academics, pastors, lawyers, and other community members about their thoughts on pornography and when, where, and how it should be permissible. They also discuss the legal issues and foundational court cases on the subject of pornography, as well as the implications of relying on judicial enforcement versus community pressure for enforcing social mores.
Series Description
"The LIMITS TO FREEDOM' radio series explores Oklahoma's 'community standards' on the right to read. The four tapes explore the questions of what limits, if any, Oklahomans believe should be placed on access to materials about sex, politics, religion and minors/minorities. "Each tape uses music, dramatized episodes and extensive interviews with a number of different citizens to demonstrate the many different attitudes Oklahomans have on each of these issues and to explore the value systems underlying these attitudes. Each interview is balanced by another with a person whose basic perspective is different. Both interviews and narration define issues, present historical and constitutional contexts, and focus on Oklahoma community standards. "Each full track tape is 29.25 long and has been played at least 24 times on 20 different Oklahoma radio stations."--1975 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Producer: Rosenthal, Deborah
Producing Organization: Oklahoma. Department of Libraries
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
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Chicago: “ Limits to Freedom: Oklahoma's Private Values and Public Policies on the Right to Read ; No. 1; Pornography,” 1975, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “ Limits to Freedom: Oklahoma's Private Values and Public Policies on the Right to Read ; No. 1; Pornography.” 1975. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: Limits to Freedom: Oklahoma's Private Values and Public Policies on the Right to Read ; No. 1; Pornography. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from