I'm no fan of crude bodily jokes, but...

Posted by Mitchell - July 27, 2003 (entry 71)

...this can't be good:

Case could redefine TV morality

Sunday, July 27, 2003
By Doug Guthrie
The Grand Rapids Press

Offensive or innocuous, the case of an amateur television producer -- who displayed a joke-telling penis on Grand Rapids public access cable TV -- could redefine television morality.

Now awaiting an appeal in Kent County Circuit Court, Tim Huffman's misdemeanor indecent-exposure conviction draws precedent-setting legal boundaries for performance art and declares your television screen to be a public place, according to legal experts.

Huffman's prosecution in Grand Rapids District Court in January apparently was the first in the nation won by claiming a televised image recorded earlier on videotape and shown as part of a comedy show was an indecent act, rather than an expression or performance protected by the first amendment.

And the woman who complained about being offended when she saw the show on GRTV while channel surfing in her living room was watching not just a television set, but a device that viewers have come to accept as a public forum.

The concepts used by the Kent County Prosecutor's office to convict Huffman can't take on the status of legal precedents unless they are affirmed by higher courts, but legal heavyweights have stepped in, and some say this fight might not end until it reaches the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read the whole article here.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this website are those of the individual members of Chicago Media Action who authored them, and not necessarily those of the entire membership of Chicago Media Action, nor of Chicago Media Action as an organization.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.