It was once the province of seedy men sneaking in to even seedier cinemas in the worst parts of cities around America. Then the VCR was invented and porn went suburban -- videos hidden in the back of TV cabinets.
But now porn is coming out of the closet. With Playboy about to celebrate its 50th anniversary, porn has established itself firmly in the center of the American mainstream.
This week porn actress Traci Lord is blitzing the news talk show. CNN was so excited about her interview Tuesday with Larry King that the self-proclaimed "trusted news leader" hyped it throughout the day.
Traci's big news? The blonde sexpot has written an autobiography detailing how she was drugged on cocaine when she made 19 films before aged 18 -- films that are now banned as child pornography.
Elsewhere on TV, porn superstar Jenna Jameson has appeared on NBC sitcom Mr. Sterling and hosted shows on the cable channel E!.
The Fox network is planning a prime time soap opera called Skin about characters in the porn industry and starring former porn actor Ron Jeremy as a producer.
Cable channel Showtime is pulling in viewers with a reality show called Family Business about the porn star and film producer who goes by the name of Seymore Butts.
Meanwhile, Vanity Fair features porn stars as models, Val Kilmer will star in the movie Wonderland as porn legend John Holmes this September and, of course, your average teenage pop star wears clothes that would put pioneering porn star Linda Lovelace to shame.
The pervasiveness of porn is not just a cultural phenomenon. With an estimated US$10 billion to US$14 billion in annual sales, over 700 million video rentals a year, the adult industry is big business meeting a surging demand from ordinary Americans, not just cliques of sexual perverts.
Companies have realized that they cannot afford to ignore this booming sector. Reputable, squeaky-clean firms like Marriott International Inc, Hilton Hotels Corp and satellite and cable operators Comcast Corp and AOL Time Warner Inc send hard core movies to hotel rooms and homes all over the US, while Web portals from AOL to Yahoo host Web sites run by communities that feature a cornucopia of sexual imagery.
"Porn doesn't have a demographic -- it goes across all demographics," said Paul Fishbein, 42, the man who founded Adult Video News, a journal that employs some 70 people to rate adult films and track news developments in the industry.
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has fully vaccinated 90 percent of its eligible adult population within just seven days, the Bhutanese Ministry of Health said on Tuesday. The tiny country, wedged between India and China and home to nearly 800,000 people, began giving out second doses on Tuesday last week in a mass drive that has been hailed by the UN Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) as “arguably the fastest vaccination campaign to be executed during a pandemic.” Bhutan grabbed headlines in April when its government said it had inoculated about the same percentage of eligible adults with the first dose
MISINFORMATION: The digital giant said there were ‘numerous’ offending videos that were removed from the channel, which has 1.85 million subscribers Sky News Australia has been banned from uploading content to YouTube for seven days after contravening its medical misinformation policies by posting numerous videos that denied the existence of COVID-19 or encouraged people to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin. The ban was imposed by the digital giant on Thursday afternoon, the day after the UK’s Daily Telegraph ended Alan Jones’ regular column amid controversy about his COVID-19 commentary, which included calling the New South Wales Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant a village idiot on his Sky News program. YouTube has not disclosed which Sky News program the videos were from, but said there
African nations should build capacity to produce vaccines on the continent and work with pharmaceutical companies to ensure that the raw materials needed to produce the inoculations are available, WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said. While a waiver on the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights that is being discussed at the WTO is seen as a way to improve the supply of COVID-19 vaccines to the world’s least inoculated continent, Okonjo-Iweala said that only a handful of African countries have the capacity to produce the life-saving drugs. “There [are] a handful of countries — maybe Tunisia, Morocco to some extent,
CAUSE FOR ALARM: The virus has spread through 14 provinces in just a few days despite high vaccination rates, as authorities ramp up containment measures China is confronting its broadest COVID-19 outbreak since the pathogen emerged in late 2019 after the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant broke through the country’s defenses, with cases now in 14 provinces. While the overall number of infections — more than 300 so far — is much lower than outbreaks elsewhere, the wide spread indicates that the variant has been on the loose for some time and is alarming officials who wield the strictest containment measures in the world. It is the biggest challenge for the world’s second-largest economy since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December