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Dangers of Porn addition
Aired November 22, 2006 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GLENN BECK, HOST: Tonight, it`s the greatest hits from our pornography series with a look at the dangers of porn addiction.
Then it`s the future of porn in the digital age. I like to call it science friction. Don`t ask.
And as adult material becomes more and more mainstream, I`m going to tell you tonight about the truth and the dangers, plus the consequences.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: The following program contains unobjective, unbiased news, except for the next 60 minutes, which are basically the opinions of a crazy, conservative fat guy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: If you watch this program, you know that just about every night I tell you, I`m a conservative. Get over it. But you know what? First and foremost, I`m a guy. And let me tell you something, there ain`t something better than looking at a hot, naked chick. And I`m sorry for being so sexist, but if I can look at them 24 hours a day, I would. I`m just being honest.
Let me tell you, I walk -- I was going to say, I walk the streets here in New York, but that was probably a bad term. I walk to work over here to the Time Warner Center. And as I walk there are so many beautiful women everywhere, and all I hear in my head is, "No, Glenn, don`t look there. Look there." I struggle over and over and over again, and the one thing that can snare me like nothing else is pornography. It is everywhere and it is bad.
Tonight, I hope to explain why it`s bad, as we revisit a few of the most riveting stories from our pornography series. Because the skin industry is just that, it is riveting.
Think about it. When you add up all the magazines and the movies and the Internet content, the adult industry generates over $12 billion a year. That`s with a "B." That`s more than Hollywood, Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NFL combined.
Obviously, this -- this material is being consumed. Being consumed by a lot more than just the sketchy looking guys in the trench coats. But let me make it very, very clear. Our irrational exuberance is a bad thing on this.
I am no moderate when it comes to porn. Yes, I am a conservative. I do place my faith and my family values way above the allure of the almighty dollar and the hot looking woman, or at least I try. Pornography and the culture surrounding it are tearing at the very fabric of our society.
But it`s a product that is hard to resist and even harder to avoid. At least it`s just me, but maybe I`m the weakest among us. Who hasn`t clicked on seemingly innocent looking e-mail only to be taking down a rabbit hole into a cyberworld full of images that would make R. Kelly blush?
So with that in mind, let`s begin to take a look at just how huge this business has become.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take it off! Take it off!
BECK (voice-over): Porn, it`s a lusty, busty business. And let me tell you, unfortunately, business is good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like my outfit?
BECK: The adult entertainment industry generates about $57 worldwide. Here in the U.S., it`s a $12 billion industry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do your parents know what you`re doing?
BECK: Let me put it to you this way: porn revenue is larger than all of the combined revenues of professional football, baseball and basketball.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, as they say, sex sells.
BECK: Bill Asher (ph) heads up Vivid, the largest adult entertainment company in the world. He says business is booming because, well, there`s a demand for it. And because of the technology out there, it makes it incredibly easy for people to get their hands on it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty, 30 years ago it was all about magazines. About 20 years ago, the VCR came along, and we helped push the VCR and the VCR helped push our industry. Soon thereafter it was DVDs, and now, of course, there`s the Internet and cell phones and every other way you can get adult movies.
BECK: As a matter of fact, many in the adult entertainment industry claim they`ve been integral to much of the technology we use today. From the VCR to streaming video, even the Internet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People have said that, you know, would there be an Internet without adult content? And well, certainly, although it would still be around, it wouldn`t probably be as pervasive, and certainly we wouldn`t have been able to be as successful without the Internet.
BECK: There are more than 4.2 million pornographic web sites today. That accounts for about $2.5 billion in revenue. To put that into perspective, sales of music downloads generated less than half of that, around $1 billion last year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have been 10 years worth of content out there. That`s always available to anyone, 24/7.
BECK: Lane Thrasher (ph) heads up a soft core porn company called Danny`s Hard Drive. It`s a company based on digital content, and they`re constantly looking for a way to get to you and have you buy their product.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re basically converting all our videos into mobile friendly formats. So you can buy adult content, theoretically, on your cell phone and just purchase them almost like video on demand, as a la carte offerings.
BECK: Oh, yes, that`s right. Soon America may be able to get porn on the cell phone. One research form projects in three years porn on cell phones will make companies around $200 million a year.
But here`s what they`re not telling you. All this accessibility means anyone can see the stuff. One estimate shows that the average age for a kid to see porn for the very first time online is 11. Eleven years old.
But companies like Vivid and Danny`s Hard Drive say they have protections in place to make sure that kids don`t see their products.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re very committed to the whole aspect in general of keeping content way from the wrong hands. We`re a member of the global organization that prevents against child pornography.
BECK: They may be committed to keeping kids away from the sites, but their real bottom line is to make big bucks and create the technology they need to stay ahead of the game.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the end of the day, you know, free market rules all. If there`s a demand, people will make it. As long as you stay above and beyond what the law requires, I see nothing wrong with it.
BECK: You know, I`m a free market guy. And the free market does rule. But in the case of porn, the free market should stop consuming it.
And what you saw is just the half of it. Even traditional companies like hotel chains and cable operators are making huge dollars off -- off of pay-per-view porn. One recent figure suggests half of all hotel guests buy porn in their rooms, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of their profits. Unbelievable.
Now, Paul Fishbein, he is the president of "Adult Video News".
What is that, like the porn "Variety" magazine?
PAUL FISHBEIN, PRESIDENT, "ADULT VIDEO NEWS": Yes, exactly. The trade publication for the adult entertainment industry.
BECK: How proud you and your family must be.
Tell me about the hotels. Because the hotels, how much money are they making off of this?
FISHBEIN: Well, they`re making, you know, half a million -- I`m sorry, half a billion dollars off of adult movies. And by the way, these movies are consumed by adults in the room, not by children. So it`s adults...
BECK: We`ll look into that tomorrow.
FISHBEIN: Adults making -- adults making personal choices.
BECK: We`ll look into the -- we`ll look into the stats of who`s actually viewing porn online a little bit tomorrow. We`re talking about the business of it tonight.
Time Warner, AT&T, Marriott. These are all blue chip kind of companies with some real name recognition behind them. How much is -- how much is Comcast making a year off of this?
FISHBEIN: You know, these major companies don`t release the specific numbers to adult. When they release their numbers, they just release whatever they have to for their shareholders.
FISHBEIN: But let`s say that DirecTV has six hard-core channels, that the cable systems, Time Warner, AT&T, Comcast, they all have multiple hard core explicit productions. That`s what their customers want. And they provide them protected where adults have to access them and they keep it away from children. So...
BECK: When did you people turn the corner? When did you become legitimate? What happened? When did that happen?
FISHBEIN: Well, I think -- I think you have a First Amendment which, in essence...
BECK: I`m all for the -- I`m all for the First Amendment. What I`m talking about is you`ve gone from a sticky floored theater into people`s homes, and now people don`t have a problem with porn. When did that happen?
FISHBEIN: Well, it`s technology. It`s the invention of the VCR and, in the late 1970s, people getting VCRs for their home for the first time and then wanting to see an adult movie and not having to go out in public and not having to have their neighbors see them. I mean, sex is a very private thing.
FISHBEIN: If you can watch it -- you can watch it in the privacy of your own home and led by technology. And as your piece stated, it went from VCRs to DVD to Internet to mobile phone to cable television and every kind of new technology available.
BECK: Got it. Do you have children?
FISHBEIN: Yes, I do.
BECK: Male or female?
FISHBEIN: I have a young daughter.
BECK: You have a young daughter.
FISHBEIN: I have -- I have...
BECK: How proud she will be. Are you going to share this business with her?
FISHBEIN: You know what? She -- while she is a child, no, I will not. And when she`s an adult, over the age of 18, she will be well educated, well brought up...
BECK: That`s right.
FISHBEIN: She will be able to make her own decisions.
BECK: That`s great. Bringing the family together. Paul, thank you very much.
BECK: You know, when I -- when I said that we were putting this porn series together, guys would come up to me and say, "Come on, Beck, what`s the big deal? It`s something that both me and my wife like to watch together!"
Right. Don`t lie to a liar, guys. I get it.
And you know what? It does make a difference. That`s why we decided to title this series "Porn: America`s Addiction." That`s exactly what it is, a powerful, dangerous, soul-threatening addiction. Just like drugs or alcohol, cigarettes, pornography is wildly addictive, and perhaps the most insidious temptation of them all.
Think about it. You`ve got to be 21 to buy alcohol, 18 to buy cigarettes. All drugs are illegal. But with just a few key strokes, anyone with access to Google can start surfing the dark waters of hard-core pornography. It`s that kind of immediate access that lies at the heart of this problem, to say nothing of the readily available movies and magazines, increasingly titillating television.
You can even sign up to have explicit material now sent directly to your cell phone. That`s what I`m looking for.
It`s no wonder that some studies have revealed that an estimated 10 percent now of adults are addicted to porn. By the way, how many are addicted to alcohol? Just under 7. With porn addicts outnumbering alcoholics, it is no wonder that the couple you`re about to meet barely beat the odds.
BECK (voice-over): Lance and Amy look like your average American family. Nice house, beautiful son, happy life. But getting to this point was a lot harder than you can ever imagine.
LANCE TRACY, RECOVERING PORN ADDICT: I haven`t looked at porn or anything for three years now.
BECK: Lance Tracy is a porn addict, and it almost destroyed his marriage.
L. TRACY: When I was first married, I was looking at porn on a good day, or a good week, maybe once, twice a week. Bad week would be three, four times a day.
BECK: For Lance, the deception began almost immediately. During their entire courtship and for the first two years of their marriage, he kept his addiction a secret from Amy.
L. TRACY: There was a lot of guilt and shame and so -- you know, on my own part, because I feel morally it`s not right.
BECK: Lance was so ashamed that he privately sought help through a support group. Turns out, his addiction isn`t uncommon.
ROB WEISS, SEXUAL RECOVERY INSTITUTE: There are men I work with who will spend four to six hours a day online.
BECK: It`s easier than ever to access porn. And as a result, porn addiction is on the rise. Rob Weiss, the director of the Sexual Recovery Institute, has seen it time and time again.
WEISS: They all get up in the middle of night when they`re sure their wife`s asleep and go online to look at pornography.
BECK: For Lance, his wife eventually found out, and his secret addiction because the focal point of their marriage.
AMY TRACY, WIFE: I was really, really hurt. I mean, I was shocked and hurt and felt betrayed and probably angry.
BECK: He immediately got professional counseling. But his addiction caused a deep rift in their relationship.
A. TRACY: I felt like I wasn`t attractive to him because he wasn`t initiating the same way, and I think he was getting a lot of his needs met over the Internet. And so I started wondering, what`s wrong with me?
BECK: Even as Lance struggled to regain control of his life, as with any addiction, there were times he fell off the wagon.
L. TRACY: While I was trying to get better and go into these different little programs and what not, I was still looking at it off and on. It was, you know, a sign that I was definitely addicted. It was a failure to stop, even though I was trying to stop.
WEISS: We have a saying that Internet pornography is the crack cocaine of sex addiction. And what we`ve been able to tell in the last few years in that, on MRI`s, when you see a sex addict`s brain light up around sexual stimulation, it looks like a cocaine addict.
BECK: It wasn`t easy but with determination, spirituality and the love of his wife, Lance is getting better.
L. TRACY: I`ve been sober for three years, almost to the date.
BECK: And now to celebrate all that they`ve gone through, Lance and Amy have decided to renew their vows on their fifth wedding anniversary.
A. TRACY: It was basically just a chance to start over and put the past behind us and, instead of trading in new partners, we just moved away from the past and renewed our vows with each other.
L. TRACY: We`ve been through the fire. We`ve made it through. And we are better for it now.
BECK: Incredible story. And they are truly lucky that it ended the way it did. Even better: Lance has decided to take his own struggle and help others with their own addiction. He has a new documentary called "Adult Entertainment: Disrobing an American Idol", which explores the nature and depth of porn in America and its addictive nature.
And someone when knows a whole lot more about this is Rob Weiss. He is the director of Sexual Recovery Institute and author of "Untangling the Web: Sex, Porn and Fantasy Obsession in the Internet Age."
Rob, how does porn destroy marriages?
WEISS: Well, porn destroys marriages when it becomes a secret. When there`s something going on that one partner doesn`t know about. And usually a husband finds himself taking -- taking more and more time, energy, focus away from everything that`s important in a marriage.
BECK: So you don`t think that -- I mean, you look at porn, and maybe it`s because I have three daughters, you start to look at women differently. I think you can so easily be sucked into things that you just -- you didn`t think were normal or whatever and are very appealing. And all of a sudden, everything is -- the world is kind of changed on you. Does that make any sense to you at all?
WEISS: Well, I think actually that`s one of the point in Lance`s film, is that he took some time to expose men to pornography over, like, a 30-day period. And what he found was that they were increasingly stimulated everywhere they went by all the women they saw and less and less stimulated by their partners.
BECK: Well, so doesn`t that -- you don`t have to be addicted to porn to see a destructive force in your -- in your relationship, do you?
WEISS: Well, I don`t know that that`s necessarily true. Because I`m not sure that everyone looks at it for three hours a day every single day, as, for example, the film that he made asked them to do. I`m not sure -- and it`s not my job to say -- whether occasional use is a problematic for all people.
BECK: Right. You know, I`m an alcoholic and I also love to eat. It is harder for me to stay away from food because I got to eat, and so you`re constantly making those choices. The same thing can be said with porn. It`s everywhere.
WEISS: well, I think what you said about an eating -- about issues with eating is accurate. Because the way we treat sex addicts is very much like we treat someone who has an eating problem, which is you know, you don`t want someone with an eating problem to stop eating, and you don`t want someone with a sexual problem to stop having sex.
So when those -- with those healthy behaviors, you have to define what really works for them and what doesn`t and then ask them to stick with it.
BECK: I just pointed out, I`m an alcoholic, and it took me a very long time. I did not admit that I was an alcoholic for a very long time, because I thought that it was, you know, horrible, et cetera, et cetera. How do you know if you`re an addict, a porn addict?
WEISS: Well, one thing -- one thing you said, Glenn, is really important, I think, which is that I think the sexual addiction issues are probably where alcoholism was, like, 25 years ago. A lot of shame, a lot of secrecy, a lot of hiding. Hard to talk about.
BECK: OK. Rob, thank you very much.
BECK: With Janet Jackson`s wardrobe malfunction at the 2004 Super Bowl and the nationwide controversy that followed, many said it was the dawning of a new puritanical age, one where the adult entertainment industry need not apply.
Joining me with his insights is a man who`s written extensively on the matter. His name is Frederick Lane. He`s the author of "Decency Wars: The Campaign to Cleanse the American Culture".
Fred, is America on the verge of another puritanical era? Or the corporations, the capitalism, they`re going to win this fight, aren`t they?
FREDERICK LANE, AUTHOR, "DECENCY WARS": They really are. When you look at what is driving the consumption of adult materials in this country, and frankly, sexually explicit materials in our mainstream culture, it really is corporate profits.
I know earlier you were talking about the advances in technology that the adult industry helped spawn. They wouldn`t have been able to do that if consumers were not buying the product.
BECK: Yes. See, I mean, this is -- there`s a couple of reasons why I think that politicians shouldn`t get involved. First of all, the politicians. I shake the hand of a politician, I need Purell. They don`t really care. They`re just vying for votes on the left or the right.
The other reason is, I think -- and please speak to this -- I`m a libertarian at heart, but unfortunately too many people in America only focus on their rights and not their responsibility. How do we wake America up to their responsibilities?
LANE: Well, I think the topic that you`re talking about is helping people to wake up to this issue. I think that you do have parents and you do have community leaders who are concerned about the impact of these materials on their schools, on their families, on their children.
So what people really need to focus on are the various ways that they can take control of the decisions that they`re making, that they can start making better choices for their families.
BECK: OK, but let`s be honest, I mean, really. I bet you a majority of people who are watching tonight are more disappointed that they couldn`t watch this series on porn and get the scantily clad chicks. You know what I mean? They`re like, "Come on, Beck, show some. I mean, I`m interested and all." You know what I mean? More than the people who really want to understand the problem.
LANE: That`s really the -- that`s really the bottom line, Glenn, isn`t it? If people are out there watching, for instance, "Desperate Housewives" in tremendous numbers from one state to the next, whether it`s red or blue, then you have to ask yourself, are people making the right choices?
LANE: Go ahead.
BECK: So how do we -- because I think the answer here is not through government, not through regulation but through shame. How do we reintroduce shame into our culture?
I remember as a kid, you wanted to get porn, you`d have to go into a back room or there was that one really seedy movie theater. It was shameful. How do we do it?
LANE: It starts with parents and it starts with voters. I think we need to start selecting vote -- excuse me, elected officials who show the kind of leadership and the kind of moral responsibility that helps restore those values to this country.
BECK: But, again, let me go back to politicians. First of all, a lot of them have their own issues. You know what I`m saying?
Secondly -- second of all, I don`t think they really -- they`re giving you what the -- what they think their constituents want while they`re in the room.
LANE: Well, I think what`s scary, really, is that they promise one thing and then actually deliver another. I have a lot of empathy, as I point out in this book, for the members of the religious right who, time after time, have elected officials who have promised that they can do something, when in fact they knew they couldn`t. And they never delivered it.
BECK: Yes, well, I don`t think they`re ever going to be able to do it. The answer isn`t in government. The answer, unfortunately, lies here.
Fred, thank you.
BECK: Back in a minute.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BECK: So we`re down to this: Do you like your VCR? Or, that is, back in the late 1990s when you last used it, did you like it? What about your DVD player? Your high-speed Internet connection? If the answer is yes, then you can thank the good folks at the San Fernando Valley, because pornography has not only capitalized on these advancements, it has actually inspired them.
By allowing people to enjoy adult material in the privacy of their own homes and not forcing them to let them fly their freak flag quite so publicly, the porn industry has been cashing in to the tune of billions of dollars a year. So what`s next?
Where could they possibly go? What`s the next gizmo that would require D batteries and no conscience? Look at your TV for the next few minutes kind of like this, because you want to squint at it, because you`re about to find out. Let`s take a stroll to the crossroads where porn and progress cross paths.
If this next story is any indication, one may no longer be the loneliest number.
BECK (voice-over): Looking for porn? Well, chances are you don`t have to go very far. Gone are the days of stealing glances at dirty magazines, sneaking into the back of the video store, or hiding behind the curtain of a peep show. Now, porn is just a point, click or download away.
It used to be sex-driven 900 numbers, but it`s the Internet that has truly become the playground for porn-makers and porn-lovers, kind of like the social lubricant for the sexually challenged. And now, beyond the webcams, the fetish sites, the cybersex chatrooms, there is a new wave of porn. The future is about what you feel, as well.
ERIC WHITE, FOUNDER, VIRTUAL REALITY INNOVATIONS: Well, the product is a virtual reality sexual stimulation system; essentially, it re-creates the action as you`re watching it on the screen. The videos are shot from the perspective of the man`s eyes.
The machine, which he wears on his penis, re-creates what`s happening in the movie exactly, stroking, vacuum, and also simulates some other actions in time with the movie. So you actually feel as if you`re there.
BECK: Today it seems nothing is off-limits. Even your iPod can be x- rated.
LAYNE THRASHER, HEAD OF OPERATIONS, DANNI.COM: The second that the Video iPod came out, the very next day companies were selling iPods loaded up with their own company`s adult content and allowing you to purchase iPod four-minute videos as a la carte offerings from their Web sites.
BECK: Porn is -- no surprise here -- the number-one money-maker on the Web. And as long as there`s money to be made, porn purveyors will keep pushing the envelope.
BILL ASHER, CEO, VIVID ENTERTAINMENT: The end game is eventually you`re going to have your TV set hooked to a computer box -- it`s already starting -- that you`ll be able to watch anything you want whenever you want. You will be able to do anything you want with it easily, and it will be at your fingertips.
BECK: But with all this technology, we just might be overlooking one little thing called human relationships. As far as Eric White is concerned, you don`t need to bother with a date anymore. He has actually eliminated the human side of sex, really.
WHITE: The ultimate goal is to have as realistic a sexual partner as you could possibly have, to have something that`s hard to distinguish the difference between. We`re building this for the average guy, you know, that can afford a computer and, you know, for the expense of what you pay on one good date, you know, now you`ve got something -- you`ve got an experience that you can have any time.
BECK: And that, my friend, is a scary thought.
BECK: I mean, is anybody surprised the guy who`s -- I swear to you, we couldn`t show it to you on television. It`s disgusting. You use it in cow barns, I swear to God. And is it a surprise that that`s what the guy looks like that`s working on this new technology?
Porn is everywhere. And it is clear that there is much more to come. But with that, there is also the fear that we as a society may become desensitized to this absolute filth. What`s worse, I have a real concern that we are raising a generation of kids that will see porn as just a part of sex or that`s what sex is like.
Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media, a group which is created to combat pornography and indecency. He`s also an anti-pornography attorney.
Robert, you and I may disagree, because I believe you have the right to make porn. I just wish we would stop consuming it. But people say -- I`ve heard it from one person, I`ve heard it from a million people this week, "What difference does it make if it`s just me in the privacy of my home?" Can you answer that?
ROBERT W. PETERS, PRESIDENT, MORALITY IN MEDIA: Well, it was an interesting comment that one of your speakers in the spiel before, talking about how they were going to make this as real as possible. And there was an article in the "New York" magazine, actually October 20, 2003, almost three years ago, written by Naomi Wolf.
And she was making the point, talking to women, particularly in Manhattan, that more and more young women are discovering that a growing number of guys would rather stay home and look at pornography on the Internet -- and, of course, masturbate to it -- than have an actual real- life relationship with a woman.
And, you know, I mean, even one small repercussion of that, apart from the fact that there are going to be a lot of lonely people, is that, you know, we`re talking -- you know, as a society, we`re talking about, you know, how we actually need children because, you know, there`s a growing senior population.
And here at a very time when we should be strengthening the family and encouraging people to have children, we`re developing a technology that`s going to pull off a whole group of eligible young men who would rather view pornography and masturbate to it than get married.
BECK: You know, it`s really intriguing to me that we are a society where it`s not like it used to be. It`s everywhere. It`s in our music; it`s on our television; it`s absolutely everywhere. And it`s really all about me, and what I want, and instant gratification, is it not?
PETERS: Oh, very much so. I mean, you know, I think probably the number-one effect of pornography, at least a harmful effect -- and actually it doesn`t require any proof of causation -- is within a marriage.
You know, you stop and think, particularly if a guy gets hooked on pornography and begins to spend a lot of time looking at it, a few things can happen. Number one, he`s not going to want to have sex with his wife at all or, when he does, his mind is going to be on someone else. And a second thing is that he`s going to want to act out the sex, and, you know, that sometimes may be pleasurable, other times it`s going to be a problem.
BECK: Robert, thanks a lot.
PETERS: Thank you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: I don`t know about anybody else, but I go stay in the hotel. I turn on the TV and that thing goes, "I`ve got naked women right here, naked women, hello." It took everything in me to -- I`m watching war movies, and I`ll hear, "War movies? Why make war when you can make love?"
It is so hard to stay away from it. It takes everything -- if I wasn`t a spiritual guy, oh, I`d be telling you about the evils of porn, and I`d be surfing for porn right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: Now, you don`t need to tell me that sex sells. I mean, why else do you think they gave me this show and dressed me in such form- fitting outfits? Really sexually productive content is increasingly found in all aspects of the media. You know it, and I know it. It`s almost always gratuitous, if you ever wondered why they had to do that in your favorite movie. But that`s really not a new development.
However, what is new is just how pervasive sexually themed content is and how desensitized we`ve become to it. Pornography has burst out of the backrooms in the back alley skin shops and has landed squarely in the mainstream in your house. It is a trend that is running out of control, and the consequences will be devastating.
BECK (voice-over): It`s not so much that porn has changed; it`s that we have changed how we feel about porn. Americans have developed an X- rated attitude, blending entertainment, fashion and music with blatant sex and nudity. "Girls Gone Wild," these videos specialize in turning college girls into sex objects.
Clothing labels, like Porn Star, marketed as an alternative clothing that`s in demand among today`s risk-taking Gen-X and -Y crowd, are available in malls all across America. You see, porn has somehow become cool.
Paris Hilton has a sex tape on the market and a best-selling book for teens. The scariest part: Porn has become so ingrained in our daily lives that we don`t even notice it anymore. What was once considered raunchy is now considered sexy.
Sharon Mitchell is a former porn star-turned-therapist. Her fear is that teens today are blurring the lines between pornography and sex.
SHARON MITCHELL, THERAPIST: There is a real danger in watching this type of rough sex and thinking that it`s normal sex. Some of this stuff is so shocking and it`s done simply for shock value that it`s not necessarily titillating but it`s almost like you can`t take your eyes off it, because it`s so unbelievable.
This is severe trauma on the body. And for a young person to witness that, they can very easily think, "Is this what all sex is like?"
BECK: But it isn`t only shock value porn that`s invading our computers. You see, thanks to Web cams and digital movie cameras, now anyone can be a porn star. And with over 15 billion pages of Internet porn, it`s a virtual breeding ground for amateur pornographers.
Anyone can set up from the privacy of their own bedroom, inviting voyeurism into their own home, with no fear of judgment. What`s worse: The largest group of people viewing Internet porn are kids 12 to 17.
MITCHELL: For a young adult and their perception of what type of sex they see, if they log onto the Internet or they`re getting some DVD things that are downloaded from some of the companies, they can really be mistaken. So you`re now looking at people with multiple partners, choking, spitting, things that are very degrading toward women, calling this woman a whore, rape scenes.
And, yes, these are depictions in pornography, they`re fantasies, but how is a young person supposed to tell the difference if they`re logging on? They can say, "Is this normal sex?" And that to me is the concern, because where else do you have to compare it to? It`s just not the great place to get good sexual advice, while watching pornography.
BECK: The abundance of porn adds to the danger. The most frightening part is that we are so oversaturated by pornography we may fail to recognize just how dangerous the consequences may be.
BECK: You know, we see this kind of stuff, and we listen to the music -- have you listened to the music that your kids are listening to? Do you see the Porn Star t-shirts for our kids? We have sexualized our children, and then we wonder and we`re shocked by people who are turned on by 14- year-olds.
Kurt Eichenwald exposed child pornography in a series for "The New York Times." He`s now a senior writer for "Conde Nast Portfolio."
Kurt, 125 people arrested and busted in this porn ring that is just disgusting. It seems to me, though, that we`re missing something. Maybe are we going the wrong direction here? Is there somebody else we should be going after?
KURT EICHENWALD, SENIOR WRITER, "CONDE NAST PORTFOLIO": Well, the people that we should be going after, the ones that we should be focusing on -- and actually, we are now finally starting to focus on -- are the facilitators. And by that, I mean this business doesn`t work without money. This business doesn`t work without Web hosts. This business doesn`t work without people providing the upstream broadband capacity that is necessary. And each and every one of those entities is a business, a business that is making money off of the exploitation of children.
BECK: OK. So give me a credible company that is making money off of child porn knowingly? Do you have anybody?
EICHENWALD: Every time I`ve come across people who are knowingly making money off of child porn, I`ve written about it, and they`ve immediately gotten out of the business. There are those that are getting - - and it`s not quite as direct as that always. There are some times it`s more indirect. For example, there are predator Web sites where adults who are sexually attracted to children go to have conversations with each other.
BECK: Oh, well, that`s -- I mean, I got to tell you, that`s MySpace, isn`t it?
EICHENWALD: No, MySpace is where they go to hunt for children. There are other sites where they go to talk to each other, where they talk about their desire to get to a child. They look for tips and suggestions. They talk about their encounters to children.
And some of the -- two of the more prominent sites in that field, if you trace them upstream, the company that is providing the broadband capacity for these sites to exist is Verizon.
BECK: Holy cow.
EICHENWALD: Verizon is getting out of the business. They`ve notified these sites -- they`ve become very, very prominent. They`ve notified these sites that they`re not going to provide that capacity anymore.
BECK: You know, it`s so amazing, because we`ve been doing a series on porn, and we`re doing, you know, a little child porn here right now, but all week we`ve been doing this. And if I have heard one person phone in or write in that said, you know, "It`s my free speech," I`ve heard it from a million people this week.
We have somehow or another twisted free speech into a way to where -- I don`t think this is what we were talking about. You have a right to do this, but you have a responsibility.
EICHENWALD: People have to understand that there is a huge distinction between pornography, where they may want to make their free speech arguments, and child pornography. Child pornography is the visual depiction of child abuse; it is the visual depiction of child exploitation. These are not people...
BECK: But you know what, Kurt? You`ve got people who are clearly -- you go to BarelyLegal.com. I mean, we`re a society that is pushing "Barely Legal."
EICHENWALD: We are sexualizing our children. There`s no doubt about that.
BECK: We are. Kurt, thank you very much for all the work you do, and thanks for being on the program tonight.
EICHENWALD: Thanks for having me.
BECK: All right, we`ve shown you the wild world of porn tonight. We`ve accomplished all of it without being moved for a night from Headline News to the Spice Channel, which I personally feel is an accomplishment, although I`ve probably spoken too soon. We still have a video mail to get to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Glenn, your series on pornography was informative but unfortunately disappointing. It was the one time my wife would have let me see half-naked women under the guise of journalism, and yet you provided pictures from 1873.
So in order to provide your audience with what we tuned in for, I manufactured a duck tape thong that we request you model for us. A picture of you in this thong may provide the fix I`m looking for, or at least, the very least, scare me away from porn for all eternity. Be careful where you put the tape. Thank you, you sick freak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: And that might be the most disturbing video ever sent through the Internet. And given some of the productions that are generally filmed in Germany that people are arrested for, that`s saying something.
Let`s go back to the regular mail. I don`t think I want to risk another piece of amateur video. This one comes in and says, "Glenn, why don`t you do something about the porn problem in America instead of just reporting on it? How about leading a movement to get it out of our homes?"
Ah, too lazy for that. How about pushing the government to restrict porn sites and require that they have a .xxx for an address so we can filter them easier? You know what, Josh? Actually, we should do a segment on that at some point. I can`t think of a legitimate reason why anyone would disagree with sticking all porn sites on .xxx, with, of course, the honorable exception of porn sites wanting children to be able to stumble upon them easy.
Mick in California writes, "Glenn, it is in my humble opinion that virtual porn is both creepy and pathetic." No. "However, since these guys would rather stay at home alone and stay single instead of paying for a real date, don`t you think it`s an excellent idea to keep these losers` genetic material out of the gene pool?"
Oh, look, who`s finding the bright side? You are, yes. Fair point, Mick. I guess as a dad I should take some solace in the fact that the dirt bags are trolling the Internet while attached to strange machines using creepy European technology instead of calling my daughters. I mean, I`m going to go home and tell them not to date anyone with four cases of D batteries, just a dating safety tip.
You can email me at GlennBeck@CNN.com and just stay on CNN.com. Control yourself, for the love of Pete!