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XXX marks the spot kids (and politicians) should avoid

May 29, 2008 |  9:41 am

On any sane politician's don't-do list in an election year, being photographed with a well-known porn star ranks right up there with crossing state lines for a rendezvous with a high-priced prostitute.

So with former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's career-ending sexcapade fresh in everyone's memory, it was really no surprise that there wasn't a member of Congress to be found when adult-film performer Stormy Daniels appeared in Washington, D.C., this morning.

Although she was there to highlight the adult entertainment industry's efforts to protect children from inappropriate online content (e.g., the stuff the industry produces), and lawmakers love to tout anything that helps keep kids safe on the Internet, appearing with Daniels at the National Press Club was rated NC-17, as in: No Chance a politician would get within 17 miles of it.

Daniels was showing off ...

... two new public service announcements for the industry's Restricted to Adults Web site label. Unveiled last year by the Assn. of Sites Advocating Child Protection, a group largely funded by the adult entertainment industry, the label tags sites as inappropriate for anyone under 18 years old, allowing them to be blocked by filtering software.

"I do not want children viewing my site or adult-only content,'' said Daniels, dressed like a politician in a black business suit and French blue shirt. "Choosing to work in the adult industry comes with a certain level of responsibility that my fellow performers, myself and other producers in my industry acknowledge and respect. Chief among them is the need to protect children from age-inappropriate material and actively keep minors off of our Web sites."

"We neither want nor need their business," said Daniels, a performer, writer and director with Wicked Pictures, who displays the Restricted to Adults tag on her Web site, as does the Canoga Park company (whose site is a little too racy to link to).

That's her message in the two public service announcements (one of them is above, here's the other one; neither is especially risque), although she's a little more in character in those. They're available on YouTube, and ASACP is paring them down to 30 seconds in hopes of getting cable networks to run them, said Joan Irvine, the group's chief executive.

The small L.A.-based organization, founded in 1996, works on children's issues, including running an online hotline where people can report child pornography. Irvine noted that studies have found a third of children under 18 have reported viewing inappropriate sexual material online. The Restricted to Adults tag is designed to help stop that, with more than 4 million Web pages displaying it, she said.

The group has received awards for its work, including certificates of recognition from the California State Assembly and the City of Los Angeles. Irvine said she's met with staffers for about 30 members of Congress and they've been supportive.

"We're all on the same page," she said.

But even though the Senate passed a resolution last week declaring June "National Internet Safety Month," Irvine admitted that she didn't ask any lawmakers to attend today's event. They may be on the same page when it comes to protecting kids, but politics makes it dicey to be in the same place at the same time.

-- Jim Puzzanghera

Puzzanghera, a Times staff writer, covers tech and media policy from Washington, D.C.

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