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Sunday Late Nite: Mitt’s P0rn Problem

The thing about the rabid theocratic base of the GOP is that you can’t just be against sin: pornography, gayz, and abortion. You have to actively work to stamp it out. If you are in a position to actively work to stamp sin out, and it doesn’t go away, then you are not protecting children, families, and fetii. You are, in fact, enabling sin.

So what to make of a GOP PrezCandi who not only didn’t stamp out sin in his midst, but served for ten years on the board of directors of a company — Marriott — that profits mightily from pornography every year?

Companies like General Motors, Marriott and Time Warner are now making millions selling erotica to America.

Especially when another hotelier — Omni — no longer carries porn because its leadership feels porn doesn’t sit well with their values. If some chains don’t carry porn, why should Marriott? The Mormon church’s hometown paper has the goods on Willard “Mitt” Romney:

Romney caught a bit of flack last week because he spent nearly 10 years on the Marriott board and yet never tried to reverse the company’s policy of providing pornography on demand, something J.W. “Bill” Marriott Jr., defended in a 2000 letter as being economically important. The corporation controls only a few of the hotels with its name on them.

For a presidential candidate who has railed against pornography, this is not entirely insignificant. Even if the subject never came up at a board meeting, one can argue that at least part of the $25,000 plus stock he was paid annually for his board membership came from the money some hotel guests paid for access to the films.

And there is something the Mittster could have done, something other hoteliers have done:

Interestingly, several hotel chains have decided to forego the extra money out of a sense of moral obligation. The Web site helps travelers locate these. The site includes what it calls, “The Clean Hotels Pledge.”

I’m not entirely opposed to pornography. We have not taken The Clean Hotels Pledge here at chez TSF. But it’s important that the folks in Iowa know that the Mittster’s not just profited from it — he’s been in a position to do something about it and hasn’t. And, look! Some important American Talibangelical leaders are making sure that Iowans do know about the Mittsters’ problem:

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a leading conservative group in Washington, said: “They have to assume some responsibility. It’s their hotels, it’s their television sets.”

Actually, not all Marriotts have porn. The fancy ones don’t:

Ritz-Carlton, the hotel name synonymous with luxury, also does not offer in-room pornography even though it is owned by Marriott International.

But pornography really doesn’t harm anybody, does it? Ooops, Willard thinks it does:

“Pornography and violence poison our music and movies and TV and video games,” Romney said May 5 during a commencement address at Regent University, the evangelical Christian school run by Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson.

“The Virginia Tech shooter, like the Columbine shooters before him, had drunk from this cesspool.”

So, Willard (named after the Marriott founder): this cesspool you’ve profited from at Marriott, is it a problem in Iowa, where social conservatives play a large role (my bold)?

President of the Iowa Right to Life Committee Kim Lehman, who had not heard about the growing controversy, said if true, it would have negative consequences for Romney’s campaign. “If he had the opportunity to protect families and didn’t take the opportunity, he’s going to be viewed as a hypocrite,” she said. “If it’s true if he could have, but chose not to … and to say you’re for families and for children, when you have a tremendous opportunity to take, these are all issues he’s going to be faced with.”

Maybe the Talibangelicals now have a reason other than Mitt’s Mormon religion to oppose him. Since it wouldn’t be Christian, would it, to make a candidate’s religion an issue. It’s that he may have profited from pornography they don’t like. And the he didn’t stop it. Yup, that’s the ticket:

“My attitude toward board members is that they are fully responsible,” John Harmer, President of the anti-pornography group The Lighted Candle Society, told [Christian Broadcasting Network reporter and Meet the Press panelist David] Brody. “They knew exactly what they were receiving. I don’t think any board member under any rationale could claim ignorance. You’re either a board member or not. I can’t imagine a board member going a full year and not receiving a revenue report from the company.”

John Harmer was Ronald Reagan’s lieutenant governor in California, so this is the closest thing to GOP Received Wisdom. Guess it’s okay to hate on the Mittster now, Xtianists, since you aren’t hating on him for his “wacky religion.”

(h/t to The Right’s Field which you really want to bookmark and read every day!)

PS On a semi-related note: Dianne Feinstein non-fan, one-time Hunter S. Thompson employer, and pornography impresario Jim Mitchell passed away at 63, of an apparent heart attack, at his home in western Sonoma County.

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