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Rolly & Wells: The Buck Gets Passed on E-Mail Porn

May 11, 2001 

Meredith Saarinen, vice president of human resources for Black Diamond Equipment in Salt Lake County, recently complained to the Utah Attorney General's Office about hard-core pornography, including promotions for teen porn, getting through to her company's e-mail system despite efforts to block such material.

Ina Jensen at the A.G.'s office responded by e-mail that Saarinen should contact the Federal Communications Commission "which regulates these agencies," although she neglected to include the FCC's e-mail address. The brushoff seemed ironic to Saarinen because of the highly touted porn czar added to Attorney General Mark Shurtleff's staff and the A.G.'s much publicized mission of combating Internet pornography.

When Saarinen contacted the FCC, she was told that she should contact her state attorney general's office regarding pornography or child porn. She went back to the A.G.'s Web site, clicked on what appeared to be a promising link titled: "Obscenity and Pornography Complaints Ombudsman," but found nothing there.

She again called the A.G.'s office and finally got in touch with porn czar Paula Houston, who gave her a different e-mail address. Saarinen has registered complaints on that site, but has had no response. Meanwhile, Saarinen continues to receive the graphic promos.

Ask a Stupid Question . . .

After Brigham Young University won the NCAA men's volleyball championship in Long Beach, Calif., on Saturday, Cougars coach Carl McGown was nearing the end of his news conference when a reporter from Los Angeles asked: "What are you going to do to celebrate? How do Mormons celebrate something like this?"

McGown thought for a moment, then said, with a straight face: "My wife and I are going to get drunk."

Maybe an Autograph?

Interior Secretary Gale Norton is such a big fan of actor Robert Redford, her feelings were hurt recently when the actor/environmentalist/Utah resort owner reacted to her appointment by telling the Washington Post: "Not since James Watt [President Reagan's Interior secretary] have we had such a cynical appointment. It's like putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop."

In a letter to Redford, Norton responded that she shared his passion for preserving the California condor and had been an activist in saving the condor from extinction.

(She even loved Redford's movie: "Three Days of the Condor," although that had nothing to do with condors, she acknowledged.)

She invited Redford to join her in a discussion on ways to best conserve "America's unspoiled landscape and the wild creatures who inhabit them . . . we really do have some common area of interest and might find a lot of topics on which to agree."

A Redford spokeswoman told the Post: "I'm not sure his impression [of Norton] has been changed much."

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Copyright © 2001, The Salt Lake Tribune

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