So who's guilty of pushing obscene material here?
LOS ANGELES - What violates community obscenity standards in the nation's reputed pornography capital? Federal prosecutors think they have a case.
Ira Isaacs readily admits he produced and sold movies depicting bestiality and sexual activity involving feces and urine. The judge warned potential jurors that the hours of fetish videos included, and many of them said they don't want to serve because watching would make them sick to their stomachs.
"It's the most extreme material that's ever been put on trial. I don't know of anything more disgusting," said Roger Jon Diamond — Isaacs' own defense attorney.
The guy who made it just offers it, right? People are free to sample it or not. It's the prosecutors who are forcing people to watch it. I think setting local standards for obscenity is not a bad approach. But if I remember the Supreme Court case correctly, the idea was that communities would actually set those standards. Not federal prosecutors. (I know, I know. It's actually the jury, in how it votes, that will set the local standards. But the potential line is draw by whoever brings the case.)
Alex Kozinski is more accustomed to appearing on lists to fill U.S. Supreme Court vacancies than headlines involving pornographic scandals.
But on Wednesday, the chief judge of the country's largest federal appeals court was forced to suspend an obscenity trial he was presiding over after sexually explicit images posted to his personal Web site became public.
The Los Angeles Times reported on its Web site that Kozinski had posted sexual material on his personal Web site and then blocked access after being interviewed about it Tuesday evening.
Kozinski, 57, told the Times he thought the material on his site, which included a video of a man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal, couldn't be seen by the public. The judge said he didn't believe any of the images were obscene.
Oops. If the judge of the obscenity trial doesn't such things are obscene, doesn't that say something about what the community's standards might be?