I am back from my Washington DC adventure covering the trial of former Vegas show producer John Stagliano for obscenity. The charges arose from his day job as a director and distributor of pornography. I was working for the libertarian magazine Reason who allowed me to cover the trial as well as reveal the essential fact to readers that I was friends with John Stagliano. Honestly, I would not have written a word differently if it were my worst enemy on trial. What happened was wrong on many levels from conception to basic competence.
The films Stagliano distributes all contain only consenting adults (as verified by government paperwork Stagliano maintains as required by the law: a fact not disputed in this case). The films were special ordered on DVD by an FBI Agent who had been doing national security work before finding his job spending tax payer money purchasing “Milk Nymphos.” Feel free to read my Reason coverage (all of which I’ve linked to in this item). But suffice to say the LAPD, the FBI, the Justice Department and the Judge all engaged in behavior that they should be embarrassed by at various points in the trial. And, the best that can be said about this hugely expensive fiasco of taxpayer dollars going after a person who no one seriously believed committed a crime is it’s over.
I want to extend my total gratitude to Reason for their many kindnesses: good food, constantly stimulating conversation, picking up every check, and allowing my companion, Aurora Snow, to share the excellent (Bellagio worthy) accommodations Reason provided. Further, Aurora was writing about the trial, too, for an adult industry trade publication. A lesser group than Reason might have seen her as competitive coverage. But in fact they generously absorbed Aurora into all the social invitations extended to me and even linked to her trial coverage.
Reason’s staff really believed, as I do, that the prosecution of John Stagliano needed maximum media attention. I think a decade in Vegas has left me totally out of touch with the concept that the Federal Government spends a fortune looking into porno movies! Then to watch as the trial and prosecution case turned into a totally nutty and incompetent farce….
I do have one serious question: This was the Justice Department D team or something, right? I mean, they do have better, more competent and, I hope, more honest prosecutors when the real bad people go on trial, right? (photo: Lanie Crossman)