Brent Bozell

Valentine's Day fell on a Sunday this year, which could be celebrated as a day where our lifelong romantic love builds a foundation for our families and our faith. Or, to television executives, it could be a holiday for infidelity and pornography.

The cable channel G4 -- little known except to video-game junkies, including young boys -- announced they would host a "Romance-Free Valentine's Day," where viewers "looking for an escape from the mush can turn to the only network that will showcase unfaithful lovers and naughty adult superstars to commemorate Cupid's holy day."

After an all-day marathon of the show "Cheaters," which exposes affairs -- the channel promoted it as "13 hours of fistfights, screaming, and the most extreme relationship drama imaginable" -- came a two-hour special touring and promoting the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, hosted by porn star Sasha Grey.

Grey is a key figure in the current campaign to take porn into the mainstream. Director Stephen Soderbergh cast her last year in his art film "The Girlfriend Experience," which thankfully never made it into the suburban multiplexes despite rave reviews from film critics like Roger Ebert. It wasn't an acting stretch: Grey played a high-priced call girl, instead of a cable TV hostess.

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The AEE show, which aired from 10 p.m. to midnight (Eastern time), warned viewers of sexual content and carried a rating of TV-14, as if 14-year-old boys won't be shocked by what followed -- a seamy underworld of smut.

The programming geniuses ran this special with almost no commercials, which shows that they knew this concept was commercially radioactive, but their ardor for making a perverse "splash" won out. Is this the kind of channel that most families would choose to put in their cable package? Or is it just another smutty channel we pay for even if we avoid it like a bad neighborhood?

G4 has been trending away from its original vision of attracting gamers aged 12 to 28, as its studios have been merged in with E! (which has featured a series of porn-mainstreaming reality series like "The Girls Next Door" from the Playboy mansion). During Sunday's porn-expo special, they repeatedly advertised a new series called "The International Sexy Ladies Show," which showed bimbos around the world wrestling in flour and other goofy stunts.

G4 hostess Olivia Munn appeared on the cover of Playboy last summer and did a semi-nude pictorial inside. But G4's website promoted it wildly, quipping, "This is the most historic event since the moon landing."


Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
 
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