From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The final report of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography (usually referred to as (the) Meese Report, for U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese) is the result of a comprehensive investigation into pornography ordered by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. It was published in July 1986 and contains 1,960 pages.
The following people comprised the commission (nicknamed The Meese Commission):
- Henry E. Hudson, chairman.
- Diane D. Cusack
- Park Elliott Dietz
- James Dobson
- Father Bruce Ritter
- Frederick Schauer
- Deanne Tilton-Durfee
- Judith Becker
- Ellen Levine
The report is divided into five parts and 35 chapters and details most aspects of the pornography industry, including the history of pornography and the extent of First Amendment protections. The report also documents what the committee found to be the harmful effects of pornography and connections between pornographers and organized crime. The report was criticized by some of the scientists whose research was utilized; they claim that their results were distorted and are incongruent with the final report. Some believe that Meese minimized evidence indicating that pornography is not dangerous, and others regard the commission members as a pre-selected cohort of anti-pornography campaigners. The report was criticized by many inside and outside the pornography industry, calling it biased, incredible, and inaccurate.
The "Meese Report" was preceded by the report of presidents Lyndon B. Johnson's and Richard Nixon's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, which was published in 1970 and recommended loosening the legal restrictions on pornography.