Media “3 on Your Side”
posted by February 1 at 8:50 AMon
If people need sex toys anywhere, they need ‘em in Mississippi. But it’s agin’ the law to sell sex toys, for some idiotic reason, in the great state of Mississippi. The law’s the law, so twice last year the Jackson Police Department busted a sex shop, Adult Video and Books, for the crime of selling “3-dimensional devices.”
And that should’ve been the end of Jackson’s 3-dimensional-device crime wave. But ace reporter Kandiss Crone—a pursed-lip, blue-nosed “reporter” at WLBT 3 News—got a hot tip: Adult Video and Books was back in the 3-dimensional device business! Crone—gotta love her last name—had no choice: To protect the good citizens of Jackson—presumably those that patronize this adult book store, as employees weren’t tossing vibrators at passing cars—from the imminent threat posed by those 3-dimensional devices (we don’t want the smoking gun to take the form of a mushroom-shaped dildo), Crone went undercover! And here are the exciting results of this shocking “3 on Your Side” undercover investigation (reproduced here exactly as posted at the WLBT 3 News’ website):
Kandiss Crone entered the store and said “Hi…I’m going to a bachelorette party, I’m looking for a sex toy.”
After looking over the stock Kandiss said “Can i [sic] have that purple one?”
As soon as the sale was completed our team walked back into the store to confront the owner.
Kandiss: “Hi charles, I’m Kandiss Crone from WLB [sic]. I understand this business was raided for selling sex toys illegally. I just purchased this sex toy and it is still illegal to sell them in the state of mississippi. Even though you were raided last year and you’re still selling them, what is your response to that?”
Charles Hobby: “Where did you buy it at?”
Kandiss: “I bought it here. I just walked in about five minutes ago and I bought this. Don’t you know it’s illegal to sell these? [sic]
Hobby: “That’s not one of the required items listed as being prohibited.”
But in fact, it is. Section 97 of the Mississippi State Law prohibits the sale of such 3-dimensional devices like the one we were sold.
Hobby: “That’s not a sex toy”
Kandiss: “What would you call this then? it’s a personal vibrator.
Hobby: “It can be put on your arm, your neck, your leg if it’s hurting or anything, it’s just a vibrator.”
Crone went running to the police for comment. She was, no doubt, hoping to end her report with some tape of the cops hauling Mr. Hobby out of his store in handcuffs. But the police don’t sound too thrilled about being the prospect of busting a sex shop owner for the crime of selling sex toys to the kind of people that patronize sex shops:
JPD Assistant Chief Lee Vance issued the following statement:
“The adult store is not a priority for our vice and narcotics officers. We will do the best we can. Citizens would rather see us using our resources to get drugs and prostitutes off our streets and work to decrease violent crime.”
Crone’s report ends with this:
I walked in to find dozens of sex toys on the front walls of the store.
Selling the devices is a misdemeanor charge. If the person is convicted, they could be fined up to five-thousand dollars and could face six months in jail.
This kind of bullshit—so typical of local TV news programs—makes my blood boil. The books are packed with deeply silly, sex-phobic laws that are rarely enforced because the police have better things to do than bust people for the “crime” of selling vibrators. But TV news “reporters” can’t resist using sex to attract viewers while simultaneously exonerating their viewers—and themselves—for their prurience by framing the story in a negative light. This hypocrisy drives me up the wall: TV news reporters titillate their views with these sorts of reports (“Vibrators! Sex shops! Film at 11!”). It’s sexual sensationalism tarted up in the drag of disapproval.
This routine allows Kandiss Crones all over the country to pretend that they’re the noble defenders of the “values” of the communities they supposedly serve—“3 on Your Side!”—while at the same time tapping into the natural ratings appeal of sex. Because nothing sells like sex. Mr. Hobby knows it, and Ms. Crone knows it. They’re in the same business, really, but Mr. Hobby has the decency to be an honest smut peddler.
And excuse me, Kandiss, but whose side are you on? Not Mr. Hobby’s side. Not the side of viewers in your area that buy sex toys—Mr. Hobby is selling those vibrators to someone in Jackson. Surely some of your viewers believe they should be free to enjoy their sex toys in the privacy of their own homes. And you’re certainly not the side of the Jackson police department, which seems to regard this law—and you, Kandiss—as a huge pain in its ass.
And you’re not on the side of common sense, which would tell you that this law is not only ridiculous but unenforceable. If the police get the 3-dimensional devices off the shelves at Adult Video and Books, the people of Jackson can go here—or here or here or here—and order all the vibrators they want.
What really annoys me about that “on your side” crap is this: Kandiss Crone assumes that all her viewers are sexually-repressed, church-going, 3-dimensional-device-fearing clenchbutts. (And, yes, I’m assuming that churchgoers are anti-sex toy, which isn’t fair.) That’s the way these stories always work on local TV news programs: All viewers are presumed to be just as shocked by sex toys—or sex shops, or strip clubs, or public gay sex—as the reporter is.
Or, in this instance, just as shocked as Kandiss Crone pretends to be. How much do you wanna bet that Ms. Kandiss Crone—like a lot of sophisticated, professional, modern women out there—has buried a sex toy or two in her twat at some point in her life? Ms. Crone, according to her bio, attended the University of California, and worked at stations in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Yuma, Arizona, before landing in Jackson, Mississippi. She’s a sophisticated young professional—just the type that buys and uses sex toys. And I’m thinking WLBT’s anchors, other reporters, editors, cameramen, and sound guys can’t all be stranger’s to 3-dimensional devices—or even Mr. Hobby’s sex toy emporium. But they go on the teevee and cluck their tongues and look Very Serious and Concerned about this Very Serious Issue and play to the smug prejudices of small-minded, sex-negative assholes while at the same time making folks who do use sex toys—or sell them, or work in places that do—feel ashamed of themselves. (Hey, WLBT: Why not a story on how this law is ridiculous and, thanks to the Internet, unenforceable?)
I think it’s time for a little vigilante justice in defense of sex toys, the people that sell them, and the people—in Jackson and elsewhere—that purchase them and use them. In the meantime, though, here’s some contact info for WLBT:
Kandiss Crone can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dennis Smith is WLBT’s news editor. His email address is email@example.com.
You can write to WLBT 3 News at…
WLBT 3 News
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201
And you can call them at…
(601) 960-4426 newsroom
(601) 355-7830 newsroom fax
Finally, I’m always getting letters from people asking me how to dispose of used sex toys. So I’m going to look into the legality of mailing our used and unwanted sex toys to the crusaders for public decency at WLBT 3 News in Jackson, Mississippi. If Crone and the rest of the gang at WLBT 3 News don’t think people should be able to purchase or use 3-dimensional devices, I’m sure the gang at “3 on Your Side” would be only to happy to dispose of our used sex toys for us. I’m sure the gang will rest easier knowing that the sex toys we send ‘em aren’t laying around in drawers or on the shelves of closets where—heavens!—kids might run across ‘em.
Watch Savage Love for updates.