JDI IN THE NEWS - ARCHIVED

Geraldo Rivera, Panelists Discuss First Amendment Rights on the Internet when Dealing with Pornography, Rivera Live, July 17, 1996.

Mr. LEE ALTSCHULER (Assistant United States Attorney): Yesterday a federal grand jury in San Jose res--returned an indictment against 16 people, alleging a nationwide and international conspiracy to exploit children through the production and distribution of pornography over the Internet.

GERALDO RIVERA, host:

That's the chief of the US attorney's office in San Jose, California, speaking today of a horrifying case I've been telling you about of child molestation or virtual child molestation. The federal grand jury indictment alleges that a group of men around the country, even internationally, belonging to something they call the Orchid Club, a chat room in which they swap stories about having sex with kids. And in this case, the virtual molestation supposedly went further. These guys apparently watched this 10-year-old girl instructed to pose in these sexually explicit positions, chatted about it as it was happening. The prosecutor--Altschuler is his name--says the case is significant for a number of reasons. Here they are.

Mr. ALTSCHULER: First, it is the first case we are aware of involving not only the manufacture of child pornography but the manufacture and real-time distribution of it over the Internet. Second, this case highlights that as technology changes, so, too, people involved in illegal activities will take advantage of it, and law enforcement will swiftly adapt in order to combat that activity.

RIVERA: I wonder if law enforcement can keep up. How do we balance our right to free speech in this brave new world of cyberspace with our need to protect our children against these kinds of abuses? You've already met Martin Garbus, who specializes in First Amendment issues and who's appeared before the United States Supreme Court many times. We're joined by Mary Kathleen Flynn, who is the Internet correspondent for our new sister network MSNBC. Previously, Ms. Flynn was a senior editor at US News & World Report, where she wrote about computers and technology.

You know, Mary, what I'm reminded of--I remember for "20/20," I did a story on the home video revolution. And it was clear to me what was fueling the home video revolution, at least initially--40 percent, 50 percent at least of the sales were to people who either were doing their own porno films or buying the machinery to show the porno films in the privacy of their own homes. Isn't that what's happening here in a sense?

Ms. MARY KATHLEEN FLYNN (MSNBC Internet Correspondent): Excellent analogy. I think in the beginning of the Internet you found people doing pornography being a big part of the community. But as more and more mainstream people get on the net and use it for all kinds of informational purposes and entertainment, I think that that group of people interested in pornography becomes smaller and smaller.

RIVERA: Roll--roll Q. This is just a random sampling of Internet offerings that we found just in the last couple of hours. I mean, just put together a quick random sample of what's in there. All right. There's the search being--or you tell us, Mary.

Ms. FLYNN: Well, we start with a simple search here where we searched on XXX' and adult,' and we found, you know, a--an awful lot of sites. Now, of course, some of these may be anatomical. I mean, they may--they may not all be dirty,' if you will. So, you know, this is a simple way to find out what's on the Net. There--there are tons of different kinds of sites out there about sex. You know, there are people chatting. Some of it, I think, is quite playful and--and harmless. Some of it is a little raunchier. You're looking here at ways to order videotapes and images, etc., online.

RIVERA: So how long does it...

Ms. FLYNN: So it's sort of like a store.

RIVERA: How long does it take you to call up these things?

Ms. FLYNN: Oh, seconds. I mean, I--you're--you're watching pretty close to what would be real time.

RIVERA: This is real time. Now...

Ms. FLYNN: Pretty close.

RIVERA: ...how easy is it? Now this stuff seems to be what you'd find in a XXX bookstore, for example.

Ms. FLYNN: Exactly. A lot--a lot of what's easily accessible is probably what you would consider soft porn. The--the--the truly hard-core pornography, to a large extent, is available on sort of more private services. For instance, the case that you're talking about...

RIVERA: The Orchid Club.

Ms. FLYNN: The Orchid Club. Those guys--in order to get on to their chat session, you had to be recommended by a member, you had to know a secret password. So it's not quite as easy to get to as you might think, but it--you know, it is out there.

RIVERA: Could--I remember when I--I got my son Gabriel--who's now interning here--at just 15 going on 16, his PC, his personal computer. And he said, Dad, what do you want me to punch up?' And I--I heard so much about the porn I said, Gabe--Gabe, show me the porno stuff.' It took him 30 seconds...

Ms. FLYNN: Right.

RIVERA: ...to phone it up, not that he was particularly interested, I--I say in his behalf, particularly because he's listening right now. But it seemed very accessible to me.

Is there an argument--or I don't want you to editorialize here, but isn't it accessible if you know? I mean, I can't even do a word processor on the damn thing, but if you know how to do it, isn't it easily accessible?

Ms. FLYNN: Oh, I think that's true. I think--you know, I'm on the Net all day long and I don't see much obscene material, but I'm not looking for it. You know, when--when we looked for it today, it was there. So, you know, there's no question that you can get to it, and the more sophisticated you are with your personal computer, the more likely you are to be able to find all this stuff.

RIVERA: Marty Garbus, you're the First Amendment maven here. Here's the case involving the big Philadelphia decision. Look at--that's the judge's decision.

Mr. MARTIN GARBUS (First Amendment Expert): Right.

RIVERA: Is this a First Amendment issue? Would you make, on behalf of these 16 members of the--alleged members of the Orchid Club, a First Amendment defense?

Mr. GARBUS: Well, once you've got a child involved who is being molested in some way, then you're talking about action rather than speech. What you have here is a combination of action and speech. But once you get action involved, then the speech case kind of goes out the window. The interesting issues that the case presents--or a case could present would be the kind of dialogue that goes on on these--on--on the computer.

RIVERA: These guys talking to the--each other...

Mr. GARBUS: Sure. Talking to each other.

RIVERA: ...about what the child is doing?

Mr. GARBUS: Talking to each other. If the child wasn't involved, the child wasn't being abused, if it was just, say--let's--dirty' talk or dirty' pictures, then that presents--that then can present these speech issues. Now you can--on a computer or with movies or with anything, you can stop any let--any material that is offensive that--that relates to child pornography. You can stop that on 42nd Street, you can stop it on books, you can stop it on the computer. This is a standard criminal prosecution for obscenity and is a criminal prosecution where a child is involved, and that is exactly appropriate. That's not a First Amendment issue.

RIVERA: Stan Goldman, is the--are the 16 members in--in pari delicto, so to speak? Not only the father with the--you know, this--this bum, if it's true, who's making his 10-year-old do this, but the other 15 who are only there in a virtual sense? Are they all guilty, as--as Martin suggests?

Professor STAN GOLDMAN (Law Professor, Loyola University): Well, they might very well all be involved in a conspiracy. They also might very well all be involved in aiders and abettors, depending on how much advance notice and what exactly appeared--you know, that this might not have happened is going to be the argument of the prosecution, but for the fact that there was an audience to watch it amongst these other fellows, as well as the possibility there was some conspiracy along the way.

But also, you've got to remember about the case that the...

RIVERA: Just--just a few seconds, Stan.

Prof. GOLDMAN: The--the--the courts just threw out this statute that Congress passed to try to limit...

RIVERA: That's correct.

Prof. GOLDMAN: ...access.

RIVERA: OK.

Prof. GOLDMAN: But you didn't need that statute to prosecute these people.

RIVERA: As we'll discuss, right after this.

(Announcements)

RIVERA: This is an example of a--a kiddie porn page. Now the reason we're showing it to you is you get a message once you get into this page that you are being watched by the authorities, who now have all your personal info. Tell us more about this--Big Brother watching.

Ms. FLYNN: Well, I'm not e--totally sure this is serious. Some of these are--were pranks, as it turned out. One said, you know, Give me 50 bucks or I'm going to tell the authorities on you, that you were interested in kiddie porn.' But I think it's just interesting to show that people are out there also trying to find the pornographers on the 'Net.

RIVERA: It--oh, it's--I--I--anyway--all right. In Washington--let me introduce my--my two final guests. In Washington, Bruce Taylor, president and chief counsel of a group called the National Law Center for Children and Families. That's a resource group for those who enforce obscenity and child exploitation laws. Mr. Taylor formerly served as assistant attorney general for the state of Arizona and he was a senior trial attorney for the US Department of Justice.

Bruce, welcome aboard.

Mr. BRUCE TAYLOR (Attorney/Anti-Porn Activist): Hi.

RIVERA: Do you want to catch up, Bruce? First, make a kind of opening remark before I introduce Donna Rice.

Mr. TAYLOR: Well, one of the things that I think needs to be clarified, that it's not just the molesting of children that's illegal, whether you do it really or on the Internet; it's distributing or agreeing to distribute or receiving or even possessing pictures of child sex, child pornography is a crime, both under federal law and under most state laws. And it's a crime to distribute explicit descriptions of that because they would--could be--very well be obscene, and obscenity is illegal on the Internet and the Communications Decency Act made indecency something that adults were supposed to put out of the reach of children.

So those are all forms of speech that are not protected in certain ways and--and it isn't true that it's only when you do the act to the child. And this case illustrates that there are people that will go even that far to use the Internet, and that's why Congress had to deal with new laws to--to restrict the Internet from being this criminal tool for pedophiles.

Mr. GARBUS: Well, I think where Mr. Taylor and I might disagree is to exactly what kind of material comes under the kinds of pictures or words that should be banned. There are laws against child pornography, there are laws against pictures involving children and--and sex, there are laws presently--criminal laws in--involving all kinds of sexual acts.

I think where he and I might disagree--and the Internet poses a problem. You can go onto the Internet now and, when they had objections in the Communications Decency Act--you can get pictures in museums, pictures of nudes. One of the issues that came up at the--at the argument on the Decency Act was "Angels in America." You can see "Angels in America" in New York. You put the same material in the Internet and people start objecting to it.

You have a group called Stop Prison Rapes. You have a group ca--that deals with the whole question of AIDS. Now these groups--they have their pictures in The New York Times on the front page, or you have genital mutilation, which is a--which is a terrible thing. The New York Times will have this stuff on the front page all over. People--I don't know--like Mr. Taylor, but certainly the people who wanted to see the Communications Decency Act, would have stripped the right to have that kind of material on the Internet and they would have reduced the Internet, the pa...

Prof. GOLDMAN: Wait. Geraldo...

RIVERA: OK. Go--go ahead. S--is that Stan? Go ahead.

Prof. GOLDMAN: Yeah. We've just got to remember we're dealing with two completely separate issues here. One issue is child pornography, pornography involving children, harm to children, distributing pictures of--of children involved in sexual acts. That's covered by many laws. It's covered, as was just stated, in just--e--every state in the country.

RIVERA: All right. Let's...

Prof. GOLDMAN: It's constitutional.

RIVERA: OK.

Prof. GOLDMAN: And having ch--the separate issue is: Can children get access...

RIVERA: OK. Be...

Prof. GOLDMAN: ...to looking at dirty pictures? That's a separate issue.

RIVERA: Before you talk, let me ask you the legal question. I--everyone--I mean, child porn makes everybody puke, let's face it. That's not--to me, it's not even a close call. If you're into it, you should go to the slammer and--and, you know, they should throw the damn key away. But what about something like gay sex, Stan Goldman, where it's legal in some states, not legal in others? Isn't that the much more difficult issue?

Prof. GOLDMAN: Well, remember, the--the separate issue, I said, is not that kiddie porn is legal or illegal. We know it's illegal. We know it can be prosecuted whether it's on the Internet or in a movie or on 42nd Street, as Marty said. The issue is: What can children see? What's thrust into their face when they turn the Internet on? What's thrust in their face when they turn on NBC? That's a separate issue, and that's where this question of what's decency vs. what's obscene as a standard has--comes into play. So they're very separate issues.

Mr. TAYLOR: Except that's not the law. The law that was passed with the Communications Decency Act says it has to be indecent material as interpreted by the Supreme Court and the Congress and the FCC, which does not mean the Louvre museum or Michelangelo's "David" or "Ulysses" or rape information or AIDS information. Your guest is like the ACLU. They're the only people in the whole world that think that Michelangelo's "David" is indecent. We're talking about an--obscene or indecent pornography like Hustler and Penthouse and Playboy pictures that you can't sell to a child in a store. That's what the CDA is going to restrict for children, not museum material.

Mr. GARBUS: Bruce--Bruce Taylor's dead wrong. The CDA was held unconstitutional because it says something very, very different. What the CDA says is you can stop, if you wanted to, under indecency, stuff in a museum. You can stop "Angels in America."

Mr. TAYLOR: But the court was wrong about that.

Mr. GARBUS: You can stop the kind of literature...

Mr. TAYLOR: Yes.

Mr. GARBUS: ...that--that now circulates throughout the country. And what the court said is, No, you're not going to treat the computer that way. You're not going to make the computer something which is available only for small children.'

Mr. TAYLOR: But the court was wrong in that regard and...

Mr. GARBUS: I know you think the court is wrong.

Mr. TAYLOR: Well...

Mr. GARBUS: It happens to be the law, it happens to be...

Mr. TAYLOR: No, it isn't the law.

Mr. GARBUS: ...the law that the Supreme Court is going to say.

Mr. TAYLOR: They didn't file the law. And two weeks later the Supreme Court overruled them.

Mr. GARBUS: And nobody--nobody is going to uphold the standards--standard called indecency because nobody knows what it means.

Mr. TAYLOR: The Supreme Court just upheld it two weeks ago so...

Mr. GARBUS: People know what obscenity means...

Mr. TAYLOR: So...

Mr. GARBUS: ...and people know what pornography means, and people know what child pornography means. And that should be stopped.

Mr. TAYLOR: Well, so should indecency going to children.

Mr. GARBUS: But you shouldn't use this way of getting at ideas that you disapprove of.

Mr. TAYLOR: We don't disapprove. As a matter of fact, our brief to the court told the court that the kind of speech you mentioned--museum and literature and sex ed material--was protected speech. The court had the ability to restrict the reach of indecency so it wouldn't bother that kind of speech, and the court chose not to. And the Supreme...

Mr. GARBUS: Why? Why?

Mr. TAYLOR: ...Court is going to make them do it.

Mr. GARBUS: Bruce, why didn't the court choose to do that?

Mr. TAYLOR: Because they accepted the ACLU's argument that indecency was overbroad.

Mr. GARBUS: Forget about the ACLU. There were 90...

Mr. TAYLOR: Well, they're the ones that brought the lawsuit.

Mr. GARBUS: ...plaintiffs in the case. There were AIDS groups.

Mr. TAYLOR: Yeah.

Mr. GARBUS: Th--there were publishing companies. It wasn't just the ACLU.

Mr. TAYLOR: And the AIDS cases--the AIDS groups had no business being in the case because the inr--indecency mat--restrictions didn't apply to them. The ACLU told them that it applied to them because they're trying to scare people.

Mr. GARBUS: Listen, this sounds like the Communist conspiracy that the ACLU's...

Mr. TAYLOR: It's absurd. They're the ones censoring speech.

Mr. GARBUS: ...behind everything.

Mr. TAYLOR: You know, what's funny is that the ACLU is the one censoring speech because they're telling Mother Teresa and Mother Angelica to take their, you know, sex education off the television and they shouldn't have because the FCC wouldn't do that.

Mr. GARBUS: Wait a minute. The American Library Association, scarcely the ACLU, scarcely the Communist party, people who are interested in the distribution...

Mr. TAYLOR: Yeah. And there's nothing in the library that is affected by this law.

Mr. GARBUS: ...of good books--they were plaintiffs in this case.

Mr. TAYLOR: Yeah, but they shouldn't have been.

Mr. GARBUS: Ninety groups--they all...

RIVERA: Donna Rice Hughes is communications director of a group called...

Mr. GARBUS: Yeah. She knows.

RIVERA: ...Enough is Enough, which crusades against child pornography. Miss Hughes has obviously come a very long way from the days when, as Donna Rice, she was seen hanging out with then-Senator Gary Hart, presidential candidate, the boat Monkey Business. I'm sure she is as pleased that I bring that up as I am when people bring up Al Capone's vault and my broken nose.

But, Miss Hughes, we welcome you. She joins us on the phone now from--i--are--do you live in West Virginia, Donna?

Ms. DONNA RICE HUGHES (Anti-Porn Activist): (On the telephone) Oh, no. I live in northern Virginia.

RIVERA: OK. Well, welcome aboard. First of all, do you want an opening comment?

Ms. HUGHES: Well, yes. I sit here, and--and--and obviously, we--we have some conflicting views here. But I think what's been really important to us at the Enough is Enough campaign is that the American public understand what the issues are. And what we understand the issues to be are this: First of all, child pornography and obscenity has proliferated on the Internet. And children cannot only get indecency or soft-core pornography, which is protected speech for adults but not for children, children can also have very easy access to hard-core obscenity and child pornography. Now what your--what your...

RIVERA: Oh, Donna, just wait one--one half a second. I'm going to let you make that point. I just want Mary to say yea' or nay.'

Ms. FLYNN: I just want to make a pragmatic point...

RIVERA: Right.

Ms. FLYNN: ...which is that there are ways for parents to protect their children.

Ms. HUGHES: Well, let's just...

Ms. FLYNN: There are programs that will let you filter out a gr--you know, a great deal of this material. I'm not saying it's perfect. It's based on word searches, sort of like the one that we showed a few minutes ago, where you can filter out all the XXX.' You can filter out all the sex scenes.

RIVERA: Oh, you can just--30--OK.

Ms. HUGHES: Geraldo, can I make a comment here?

Ms. FLYNN: But there are a lots of tools available.

RIVERA: OK.

Ms. FLYNN: I also think it's important to educate children about how to behave on the Internet. The most important thing is for parents to get in there and supervise their kids...

RIVERA: OK.

Ms. FLYNN: ...and give them some guidance.

RIVERA: Donna.

Ms. HUGHES: Yes. There are--there are--we believe i--there is a comprehensive solution that needs to take place. And--and the way we wo--we would break the stem would be that--the legal solution, the technological solutions and the public education solution.

RIVERA: OK.

Ms. HUGHES: You have to have legal tools to enforce the laws. We would like to see the child porn laws and the obscenity laws enforced. That kind of speech is not protected for anyone and it shouldn't be on the Internet at all, period. Now you get into the area of adult-protected speech, which, at the broadcast level, falls under the indecency standard, at the state level, which is where the print material like Playboy and--and Hustler in print, is captured by those states harmful to minors material.

What we found is that there was a loophole in the law that there was no criminal liability that--that would criminalize the distribution of adult pornography to children on the Internet. And what the Congress--the standard of converse--chose to use is the indecency standard because that was the one standard that the Supreme Court understood. And, in fact, just two weeks ago in another decision they said that, in fact, the indecency standard was not overbroad or vague, and we think that they'll say the same thing with this Philadelphia decision.

RIVERA: You think they'll overturn the--the federal court decision in the Philadelphia case?

Ms. HUGHES: Well, we think--well, I think Bruce is--is the expert on this, but we think that they'll probably send it back to the court and ask the court to do what Bruce asked the court to do originally in his brief...

RIVERA: OK. Wha--OK.

Ms. HUGHES: ...and that is to narrow it for this new medium, which they have the opportunity to do.

RIVERA: Was--was the federal court in Philadelphia out of line, Martin, with the previous Supreme Court decision, stating that obscenity, as it defines it fairly tightly in my reading, is still overly broad and vague?

Mr. GARBUS: The Supre--the--the court in Phil--in--in Philadelphia was absolutely correct in saying that you have to have a standard only of obscenity and pornography, and you can use that and you can't use words like indecency.' Let me just say one other thing, because indecency is too vague. We're talking about sexual materials. One thing that people are very concerned about is materials relating to violence, and this was also trying to deal with those issues, namely, what is offensive, what shouldn't be shown, what can lead to anti-social conduct?

RIVERA: But isn't Donna right that a kid can access adult-protected material, which is not protect...

Ms. FLYNN: Not if their parents are paying attention.

RIVERA: OK. Mary, well...

Ms. FLYNN: I mean, there--there--there are--there are programs that can help you do this. You--and--and advice is easy to get for your kids.

RIVERA: And i--is it easy for...

Prof. GOLDMAN: Geraldo, how...

RIVERA: Go--Stan.

Prof. GOLDMAN: How is this--how is this different, Geraldo, than cable television or public access television?

RIVERA: I don't know. You tell me.

Prof. GOLDMAN: I mean, I...

Mr. GARBUS: How is it different than walking into a bookstore?

Ms. HUGHES: Well, first of all, you--you're not going to get...

Mr. GARBUS: A kid can walk in and get a--a dirty book. He can get Penthouse, he can get Hustler. It's the same thing.

Mr. TAYLOR: No, he can't.

Ms. HUGHES: That's--but that's fine. If a convenience store owner sells a Penthouse magazine to a child, they will be criminally liable under the states harmful to minors laws. But I think what's really important here is, as I wanted to get back to--to what the--the components are.

Mr. GARBUS: First of all, that's not true, and secondly, if it were true, it'd be terrible.

Ms. HUGHES: OK. You've got the legal component, but we think that that needs to be layered with the technological solutions. And that's where the blocking technologies are so helpful, because that is a way at the user end parents can help to protect their children from speech that would be protected for adults, like adult pornography, but not for kids. But we also think that the high-tech industry, like the online services, can turn on the blocking softwares, for instance, at the server level so that consenting adults have to get outside of that software.

RIVERA: Well, you've got no beef with that, Marty, do you?

Mr. GARBUS: Well, I have no beef with something in the house, and thi--and this is what the Supreme Court said--where parents can adjust things. Absolute...

RIVERA: Oh, let me--let me take this quick break. I'll be right back.

Mr. GARBUS: Go ahead.

RIVERA: Porn Shop continues.

(Announcements)

RIVERA: I'm going to be very careful about how I phrase this. The wire services are reporting--re--are--are--are broadcasting reports of a plane disaster 10 miles off the coast of Long Island, New York. I don't want to tell you another word about the type of plane or any of that until we can confirm it, but that is what is now being reported. As soon as I have more information, I'll certainly--I'll certainly get to that.

Do--Donna, you know, I'm--I'm curious. You know, I--I--I met you out in LA there briefly. I wonder how you got from where you were to where you are.

Ms. HUGHES: Well, that's a great question. I came back to Washington, DC, in order to get married and I didn't really know what I would do here in the nation's capital since I--I felt that, from past controversy, probably politics or anything in the media were completely out of the question. But I--I met the president of the Enough is Enough campaign...

RIVERA: Good.

Ms. HUGHES: ...Dee Jepson, and she was looking for someone to--to come on board to help run the organization. At that time, the focus was strictly illegal pornography.

RIVERA: I--I--I'd love to spend more--more--ho--hold on. Here it is. Here it is. I'm sorry--this explosion. An explosion was reported--this from the AP. It just ran 42 minutes after the hour. An explosion reported Wednesday night in the Atlantic Ocean about 10 miles south of Long Island. The Coast Guard was sending every available aircraft to the sight, a spokesman said. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Steve Sapp said the Coast Guard was notified at 8:30 about an explosion, life rafts floating in the water. Six helicopters, three Coast Guard cutters, a Navy P-3 rescue plane dispatched. The Navy plane was dropping additional life rafts in the water, which may be significant. Sapp said initial reports were that a plane exploded, but Port Authority Police Officer Steve Manny at the central police desk said the towers at the region's airports have not had any reports of planes missing.

OK. Again, I'm not going to embellish that at all. Every scrap of information we have I shall--I shall give it to you. What'd you say? Forty seconds?

So--so Donna, you know, are you born again, in a sense, in--at least in a political or a First Amendment sense or...

Mr. GARBUS: Moral sense?

RIVERA: ...moral sense?

Ms. HUGHES: I don't even know how to answer that. I just think that--well, I did want the negative experiences I had to count for something and--and--and now I've had an opportunity to--to help utilize that platform to get a message out that I think is important, and that is that the Internet is a terrific technology. However, our kids are at risk and there's some dangers, and parents need to become aware of this and do what they can at their end. But we also need to encourage the laws to be enforced against...

RIVERA: Have--have you spoken to Senator Hart about your change?

Ms. HUGHES: I haven't talked to him in eight years.

RIVERA: Is that so?

Ms. HUGHES: Oh, yeah.

RIVERA: OK. We'll be back in two minutes, folks. Stay tuned.

(Announcements)

RIVERA: We're efforting again to give you every possible bit of information we have on that apparent plane disaster--aircraft disaster. The Navy is dropping life rafts into the ocean 10 miles off the coast of Long Island, New York, the Coast Guard sending every available vessel, helicopter and other aircraft to the scene. We don't know what type of aircraft yet. We are hearing rumors, which I shall not pass on to you, the size of it, the magnitude of the apparent or reported disaster. When we know, you'll know, I promise.

Bruce Taylor, do you believe--put aside the Supreme Court decision--I mean, the Philadelphia action at--at--at the federal court for now and--and tell me your prediction, whether or not the Supreme Court will intervene in Internet--in the world of the Internet to in some way limit the--you know, the distribution of this material.

Mr. TAYLOR: And I don't think there's any question. We have restrictions the Supreme Court has upheld on every other medium. We have restrictions on giving kids pornography on radio or television, cable, dial-a-porn, convenience stores, drive-in movie screens--every other place, and the Supreme Court is going to uphold the indecency standard like they did two weeks ago for cable, like they've done for dial-a-porn. There's no question that Congress is determined to make the Internet safe for kids. And I think there's also no question that this court went way too far and the Supreme Court is going to make them at least figure out how to tailor these protections for children to the Internet. It may not be easy, but they're going to do it.

Mr. GARBUS: Well, we agree that the--the--you cannot have criminal pornography o--on the Internet, you can't have child porn, you can't have a whole host of other things. The Supreme Court will not reverse what--the--the Philadelphia decision, because the Philadelphia decision went far beyond that. And every time that they have tried to regulate other media--let's say television, cable television or anything like that--using the kinds of words they tried here, the court will str--get struck down.

Prof. GOLDMAN: And you've got to remember something.

Mr. TAYLOR: I predict they'll--I--I predict they'll reverse it this fall.

RIVERA: OK. Well, we're all, you know, singing in the wind there. We're all predicting.

Mr. TAYLOR: Yeah.

RIVERA: Stan, quickly, and then I'm going to Mary.

Prof. GOLDMAN: No, I was just going to say you've got to remember, to the surprise of conservatives and liberals, this court's been a remarkable friend, shall we say, of the First Amendment.

RIVERA: This has been an a--an amazing court for First Amendment. This court has--they allowed, for instance--I mean, they r--they reversed the liquor ad ban and--What?--in some New England state. I forget which one. And--and...

Mr. GARBUS: Yes. Yes. Yes.

RIVERA: Mary, what really concerns me--I got the little ones now, the babies.

Ms. FLYNN: Right.

RIVERA: And they're going to grow up in a totally computer-literate world, unlike their dad. They're going to be surfing the Disney site someday. They're going to be talking to Pluto and somebody's going to know that they're a young child talking to Pluto and they're going to stalk them electronically. God forbid, but, I mean, that's the scenario that scares so many parents.

Ms. FLYNN: And there's no law that's going to protect you from that, so...

RIVERA: And--and there's no code word or any o--anything else that's going to keep that person out.

Mr. TAYLOR: Although it is a crime, Geraldo.

Ms. FLYNN: You--you'll never know...

RIVERA: Of course, it's a crime. I agree.

Mr. TAYLOR: Yeah.

Ms. FLYNN: You'll never know for sure who the person on the other end of the Internet is.

RIVERA: Right.

Ms. FLYNN: You know, your--your son could meet somebody who claims to be the same age, the same gender...

RIVERA: Mm-hmm.

Ms. FLYNN: ...and it could be somebody completely different.

RIVERA: Mm-hmm.

Ms. FLYNN: So I think it's important for parents to take their kids aside and teach them how to behave in this public space. Y--don't give out your--any personal information--you know, your phone number, the town that you live in, what school you go to, what your class schedule is. You know, th--this is a public space and you shouldn't be communicating with strangers...

Mr. TAYLOR: Yeah. You do have to teach your kids, but you also...

Ms. FLYNN: ...just as you wouldn't in the park.

RIVERA: OK. What we know--NBC is reporting it was a New York-to-Paris flight, which would indicate a jumbo jet. Tragically, a--a jumbo jet apparently involved in a massive air disaster 10 miles off the--get me some damn wire please, Jimmy. A jumbo jet and, as the details unfold, we certainly will be presenting it to you.

What have you got? Come on, quick. A TWA. Oh, God. A TWA--a TWA New York-Paris flight. You know--I don't know. Marty...

Mr. GARBUS: It seems to me it reduces this conversation at some level.

RIVERA: Yeah, it does. It does.

Mr. GARBUS: We're talking about these kinds of events.

RIVERA: I mean, if--if it is, indeed, a jumbo jet on that--that prime-time flight, TWA, New York-Paris, then...

Mr. GARBUS: I assume you're talking about hundreds of people.

RIVERA: Hundreds. You'd have to be.

Mr. GARBUS: I--and if you're talking about...

RIVERA: I've taken that flight so many times.

Mr. GARBUS: ...all those helicopters there, then you're talking about potentially many deaths.

RIVERA: It is--you know, I'm on--I'm on the boat now with--with Gabe. It is at least a clear, calm night, so if--if they have any shot at finding survivors, at least the ocean would be cooperating. But, of course, if it's a midair explosion, which i--brings up every other question, every other sickening nightmare we've thought about as the Olympics approach.

Unidentified Man: MSNBC is reporting 212 passengers...

RIVERA: Two hundred and--212 passengers, according to MSNBC, our sister network. Mary Kathleen Flynn's--17 crew. So 211...

Man: De Gaulle Airport.

RIVERA: ...to de Gaulle Airport. What else? Seventeen crew. All right. Two hundred and twenty-eight souls on board.

Man: TWA Flight 800.

RIVERA: It is TWA Flight 800, New York-to-Paris. Oh, my God. Can you imagine?

Mr. GARBUS: Must be terrible if there are any viewers who...

RIVERA: Oh, yeah. I mean, I--it's--you know. Stay tuned to this. Turn to CNN. Turn to MSNBC if you have it. You know, I--I--I'm telling you everything--everything I know: 228 people on board, TWA Flight 800, New York to Paris. I guess if the disaster happened at 8:30, it must have been that--that 8:00--8:30 flight.

Mr. GARBUS: A lot of those flights leave late. I mean, if you're over Long Island, you presume the flight's only up about...

RIVERA: Ten minutes out.

Mr. GARBUS: ...no more than 10 minutes

RIVERA: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Mr. GARBUS: And maybe that's why we don't know about it until this late, although it's 10 minutes that it--that it just happened more recently.

RIVERA: OK. Again, the Navy plane dropping additional life rafts in the water, so--so what do you do? What do you do in a case like that? I don't know. What do I do?

Mr. GARBUS: You mean as a newscaster what do you do?

RIVERA: Yeah. What do I do? What do I do?

Mr. GARBUS: You--you desperately want to get the information...

RIVERA: I--I wish...

Mr. GARBUS: ...you desperately want to get it out.

RIVERA: And yet, I don't want to tell you anything that's not the gospel, ladies and gentlemen. I just don't--I just don't know.

Mr. TAYLOR: But it--it shows us how precious the people are to us and that's why we do a lot of what we do, is because we care about each other and not just about our own selfish habits. So I think that's a good illustration of how we care.

RIVERA: So if your--if your relative is on that TWA flight, I'm sure they'll be posting numbers in scant minutes. On the East Coast it's almost 10:00. Most of the local newscasts begin just in a--in a few minutes. Turn to the one you--you trust. Get--get the information, get the update as soon as you can. And, Jimmy, if you get any wire copy or any Coast Guard people on the phone or anything else, please--please let me know.

You know, there is almost nothing I can--I can say right now. I--I--I can't give any advice to--to any of you poor people whose--whose family members may have been on TWA Flight 800, s--it was a 747? TWA mostly is 747s. Yeah, 747, New York-Paris. You know, say a prayer. Say a prayer for those 228 people and--and tune to the news media, MSNBC, whatever. Get--get the best information you can.

God bless, everybody, and I'll see you tomorrow.