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Obscenity

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NEWS
October 5, 1990
We have heard the lyrics of the rap group 2 Live Crew's album, "As Nasty as They Wanna Be," and they are indeed disgusting, appalling and, yes, even obscene. But obscene or not, we reject the idea that anyone, anywhere, should be prosecuted and convicted for writing songs, singing songs, selling records -- or doing anything else that falls within the ambit of the freedom to speak or perform.This week in Florida, a record store owner was convicted, and faces a jail term, for selling 2 Live Crew's records.
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NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | April 22, 2013
Anne Arundel County prosecutors have dropped the more serious of two charges against a former Broadneck High School teacher and basketball coach that were related to an alleged relationship with a male student. A charge of soliciting child pornography was dropped Friday against Erin Nicole Thorne, 28, of Arnold. The remaining count is displaying obscene material to a minor. "As the investigation continued after charges were filed, it was determined that the misdemeanor charge was the more appropriate count on which to move forward," said Kristin Fleckenstein, spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office.
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NEWS
By ANTHONY COLAROSSI and ANTHONY COLAROSSI,ORLANDO SENTINEL | October 9, 2005
ORLANDO, Fla. - Authorities have arrested a Lakeland, Fla., man on obscenity charges after investigating his graphic Web site, which has gained international attention for enabling U.S. soldiers to post pictures of war dead on the Internet. The charges against Christopher Michael Wilson, a former police officer, are likely to reignite the debate about obscene material in the Internet age. It also raises questions about whether the federal government played a part in motivating the prosecution.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun | April 14, 2011
Baltimore County police say they quickly found the connection between an assault at a Timonium restaurant and a crash at a gas station in Hunt Valley early Thursday morning. Officers responded to an emergency call at An Poitin Stil on York Road about 2 a.m., only to find that the assailant had fled. Police said the restaurant staff identified the man as an intoxicated patron who had been asked to leave. When two workers escorted the man from the restaurant, he assaulted them, police said.
NEWS
By Fort lauderdale News and Sun-Sentinel | October 4, 1990
Depending on who is asked, the conviction of a Florida record-store owner for selling an obscene record is either the death of the First Amendment, a victory for anti-pornography forces, or something in between."
NEWS
September 13, 1990
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A bill heading toward Senate floo action would require the National Endowment for the Arts to recoup federal funds from grant recipients convicted of violating obscenity laws.The measure, approved yesterday on a 15-1 vote by the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, also would extend the embattled NEA's life for five years, with $175 million in spending authority in the first fiscal year, starting Oct. 1.Arts supporters predicted that the bill's broad support by committee liberals and conservatives, including Sens.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | January 29, 2004
WASHINGTON - The top enforcer of broadcasting's decency standards told Congress yesterday that regulators are trying to stop profanity and obscenity on the airwaves. But skeptical lawmakers questioned the vigor of those efforts and promised to pass legislation that would increase fines for violations tenfold. Broadcasters who use the airwaves "are not treating these licenses as a public trust, but as mere corporate commodities, and they air content replete with raunchy language, graphic violence and indecent fare," said Rep. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, the highest-ranking Democrat on the House telecommunications subcommittee.
NEWS
March 15, 2006
A photograph published yesterday with an article about the court-martial of a guard at Abu Ghraib prison showed a book cover that contained an obscenity. The obscenity went unnoticed during editing and should not have been published. Publication of the photo violates The Sun's guidelines. The Sun apologizes for the oversight.
NEWS
August 28, 1995
Repulsive Citadel CadetsI feel bad for Shannon Faulkner. She was just an inexperienced, young person who was misguided by her parents, her lawyers and the courts. They took no thought whatsoever for her health and they made her look foolish.Jack RoyceEdgewoodWe worry these days about obscenity on the Internet. Yet the Associated Press photo of cadets rejoicing at Shannon Faulkner's withdrawal from The Citadel strikes me as obscenity (defined as repulsive or offensive) a lot closer to home.
NEWS
By The New York Times | October 24, 1990
EN ROUTE to acquitting the rap group 2 Live Crew of obscenity charges, jurors in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., asked and received the judge's permission to laugh aloud at evidence.The testimony had them in stitches: prosecutors and detectives reciting, in dull monotone, raunchy lyrics from the performance that got the band arrested.The trial shows the hazards of bringing obscenity laws to bear on speech. Speech is slippery and mutable; meanings change, depending on the speaker, the audience and, as this trial showed, the passage of time.
NEWS
By Laura Smitherman and June Arney and Laura Smitherman and June Arney,Sun reporters | February 28, 2008
State lawmakers are considering a moratorium on foreclosures stemming from unpaid water bills, a move that faces stiff opposition from Baltimore City officials who say that many property owners would not pay without the threat of losing their homes. Sen. James Brochin called Baltimore's tax-sale system under which homeowners face foreclosure over unpaid water and sewer bills "absolutely obscene." He said the city should rely on other means of leaning on residents who don't pay their bills, such as shutting off service or assessing late charges and liens that must be paid when a property is sold or refinanced.
NEWS
By Boston Globe | July 15, 2007
The National Science Foundation is paying more than $200,000 for a study whose results might be unprintable. The grant's title, "Expressive Content and the Semantics of Contexts," doesn't sound exciting, until you figure out what "expressive content" means. Christopher Potts, a linguist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, will catalog and analyze the use of obscenities, vulgarities and racial epithets, as well as titles and honorifics. All are words or phrases that express emotion, or whose absence can convey an emotion, such as disrespect.
SPORTS
By Don Markus and Don Markus,Sun reporter | December 2, 2006
What Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick did Sunday couldn't be switched off as if it were a video game. He couldn't do a retake as if it were one of those high-tech television commercials he has starred in over the years. Although Vick has been in the spotlight since his sophomore season at Virginia Tech, when he led the Hokies to the national championship game, the scrutiny has never been more intense than it is this week after his obscene gesture in the aftermath of Atlanta's 31-13 home loss to the New Orleans Saints.
SPORTS
By JEFF ZREBIEC and JEFF ZREBIEC,SUN REPORTER | August 11, 2006
A Major League Baseball official confirmed yesterday that the league fined Miguel Tejada, who was caught by television cameras making an apparent obscene gesture to a fan during the Orioles' 4-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre on Wednesday. The amount of the fine was undisclosed, but both league and Orioles officials considered the gesture out of character for Tejada, who is regarded as one of the most fan-friendly players in baseball. "I want to apologize to everyone, especially to the Orioles fans and the fans in Toronto, for my action in Wednesday's game," said Tejada in a statement released by the Orioles yesterday.
NEWS
By CAL THOMAS | March 22, 2006
ARLINGTON, VA. -- Not so long ago, in a country that now seems far, far away, Ronald Reagan told the nation: "We don't have deficits because people are taxed too little. We have deficits because big government spends too much." He uttered those words in a year when Democrats controlled the House (the body in which spending legislation originates) and the national debt, according to the Bureau of Public Debt, was $2.3 trillion. Last week, a Republican Senate voted to raise the debt ceiling to nearly $9 trillion.
NEWS
March 15, 2006
A photograph published yesterday with an article about the court-martial of a guard at Abu Ghraib prison showed a book cover that contained an obscenity. The obscenity went unnoticed during editing and should not have been published. Publication of the photo violates The Sun's guidelines. The Sun apologizes for the oversight.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Lyle Denniston is The Sun's legal correspondent in Washington and makes his base at the Supreme Court | October 28, 1990
Nothing in the law ever seems to be truly settled once and fo all, so it is folly to draw final conclusions about the meaning of the latest jury verdicts in the unending legal-moral conflict over obscenity. But this much is clear: This has not been a good month for the morals police, and there just might be good reasons why.In seeming tribute to the memory of Anthony Comstock, the founder of the New York Society for the Prevention of Vice -- America's all-time champion obscenity-basher -- prosecutors here and there occasionally rediscover their zeal to go after the more vivid forms of sexual expression.
FEATURES
By Eric Siegel and Eric Siegel,Sun Staff Correspondent | September 18, 1990
Washington National Endowment for the Arts Chairman John E. Frohnmayer said yesterday that last week's report by an independent study commission and a favorable Senate committee vote "suggest that cooler heads may prevail" in the bitter debate over the reauthorization of the embattled federal arts agency.L The commission report, which opposed content restrictions onNEA-funded art, but recommended major changes in the agency's grant-making procedures, contained "much wisdom" for "the majority of Congress who want to solve this problem" of government funding of controversial art.But Mr. Frohnmayer, speaking to reporters at the National Press Club, said he would not rescind his requirement that grant recipients sign an anti-obscenity pledge despite the bipartisan commission's recommendations that he leave judgments about artworks' obscenity to the courts.
NEWS
By ANTHONY COLAROSSI and ANTHONY COLAROSSI,ORLANDO SENTINEL | October 9, 2005
ORLANDO, Fla. - Authorities have arrested a Lakeland, Fla., man on obscenity charges after investigating his graphic Web site, which has gained international attention for enabling U.S. soldiers to post pictures of war dead on the Internet. The charges against Christopher Michael Wilson, a former police officer, are likely to reignite the debate about obscene material in the Internet age. It also raises questions about whether the federal government played a part in motivating the prosecution.
NEWS
By Adam Rosen and Adam Rosen,SUN STAFF | July 7, 2004
Internet users at Baltimore County's public libraries may notice something different on the computers: a new program designed to filter pornography. In the past few weeks, the county library system has installed the filters on its 350 public computers. The system is doing this in response to a Supreme Court ruling last year that tied some federal funding for libraries to the use of the filters. The ruling was widely criticized by free speech advocates and library directors, who say the problem of library patrons visiting obscene Web pages is overstated.
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