Who is Edwina McCombs and why is she under attack? She's a Tennessee resident who was visiting California in the summer of 2006 when she booked into a Value Lodge motel with her two daughters, aged 8 and 9. Tired after a long journey, she put her little girls in front of the room's television so that they could watch a children's show while she took a quick bath.
Instead of innocent cartoons, they were immediately confronted with hardcore pornography with, according to Ms McCombs, "close-up images of people engaged in various sexual acts." The girls were traumatized and their mother is suing the motel.
Her objection is not that hotels provide pornography, but that this motel did not regulate what was available on its television sets and made no attempt to block out material that would be offensive, that no warning signs were provided and that there were no channel guides.
This is not, however, about one family and one hotel. Not even about television porn and certainly not about rights and "democracy and stuff."
It's about a fundamental shift in societal expectations and assumptions, where the freedom of some pathetic soul to play with himself while watching broken, robotic people pretending to enjoy loveless sex is considered more significant than the freedom of a mother to trust that her young children can turn on the TV and not be abused.
Which leads us to ask why almost all hotels offer so much of the stuff. The answer is that it makes them money. And money is far more important than morality to lots of powerful and wealthy people.
How interesting it is that as increasing numbers of hotels refuse to continue the time-honoured tradition of placing Gideon Bibles in their rooms, hardly any are removing hardcore pornography from their televisions.
Edwina McCombs is being painted by some media commentators as an extremist and a zealot and for all I know she may be both or neither.
It is irrelevant. What is relevant is that the rights of the international sex industry, an entity that exploits women and breaks up families, are being defended by people who seem incredibly angry that a young mother didn't want her vulnerable kids to be exposed to filth.
The world has gone mad. Absolutely, X-rated mad.
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