The local TV station sent reporters to the library and filmed guys watching porn on the web. They only had to ask the librarian to unlock filtering software. Out in the open. Kids might see it. TV news led with the story.
County Executive Maggie Brooks saw the report and hit the roof! She had no idea, she said, and blasted that library director to shape up or risk losing county funding (70% if the library's budget!) Why should taxpayers fund porn?
But the next day the ACLU appeared. That library had better not cut off the porn, they countered. What about freedom of speech? What about the slippery slope? What about the lawsuit that they might file?
It wasn't the one sided issue Tom Wheatandweeds thought it might be. Lots of people took issue with Maggie. Wasn't she just grandstanding? So Wheatandweeds, that pillar of virtue, wrote City! newspaper.
Maggie Brooks is shocked over internet porn! What's wrong with that?
We're not dealing with freedom of political speech. We're not dealing with freedom of religious speech. We're not even dealing with freedom of body-beautiful artistic speech. We're dealing with hardcore internet porn, which delights in graphic copulation, sadomasochism, and bestiality, often via streaming video. Historically, patrons visited seedy places for such material, where they sought out secluded spots in which to masturbate. Must we really have our public libraries offer free competition?
Surely, internet porn is not that make-or-break issue upon which all our constitutional rights depend. That slippery slope can't be that slippery.
When the library settled matters a few weeks later, though, they paid Wheatandweeds no heed. No one ever does. They vowed business as usual, with a few minor tweaks so as to safeguard children.
Moreover, the next City! issue featured another letter rebutting Wheatandweeds! Its author had read between the lines, and was alarmed that Wheatandweeds seemed to be decrying, not just child-accessible porn, but....gasp....porn itself. People like porn, he observed, from which fact he concluded that it must be fine.
Wheatandweeds, the stubborn ox, would have none of it. "People like fast food, too," he spattered at me between bites. "That's why we all weigh 300 pounds!"
Moreover, they also liked Don Imus, that foulmouthed radio jock. How long had he been a mainstay morning guy? His mouth spawned many a tempest, but he weathered them all. Until last week when they finally canned himfor racially charged remarks about nappy headed ho's. The local radio guy, Bob Lonsberry, wondered if the library free-speech people would come to Don's defense.