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January 30, 2010

"Pete Townshend targeted as a 'sex offender' before Super Bowl"

Image6151703x The title of this post is the headline of this recent article in the New York Post discussing the controversy that has been brewing ever since the legendary rock band "The Who" was announced as the entertainers for the Super Bowl halftime show.  Here are the details from the article:

A child advocacy group has sent out leaflets warning of the arrival of a sex offender to Florida -- legendary guitarist Pete Townshend. The activists are outraged that the 64-year-old rocker will perform with "The Who" at the halftime show during the Super Bowl on Feb. 7 in Miami.

The group is upset because Townshend was busted in 2003 for accessing child porn on the Internet. At the time, Townsend was placed on the sex offender registry for five years after he admitted using his credit card to view the images.

Last month, Protect Our Children lobbied the feds and Florida's attorney general, asking them to reject Townshend's visa. "We acknowledge he was not convicted, but he was on the UK sex offenders list," said Protect Our Children President Kevin Gillick. "In the United States, you're on a sex offenders list for life."

The group put together a flyer that features a photo of a smiling Townshend under the headline "Sex Offender Advisory," according to Gawker.com. The leaflet, which was distributed to some 1,500 homes in the Miami-area this week, warns: "Townshend is a British citizen who was registered as a sex offender in his home country in 2003, for an offense related to child pornography. He will be at large in Miami ... when he arrives to perform at the Super Bowl with his musical group known as 'The Who.' This is a community notification distributed in the interest of public safety."...

The NFL has not commented on the campaign.

January 30, 2010 at 12:20 PM | Permalink


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Why spend resources on useful ways to prevent child abuse or help its victims when you can spread hysteria?

Posted by: Zach | Jan 30, 2010 2:22:13 PM

Why? Feminists male hate group, and their male running dogs. These are stalking horses for lawyer plunder of parties with assets.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 30, 2010 4:31:01 PM

Do these morons not realize how stupid and pointless they are making themselves look? More and more people are realizing that these sex offender registry laws are a joke. These fools are just driving the point home. Heck, if they can raise a couple of million bucks to buy a "spot" on the Super Bowl broadcast, then they can really spread the word!

Posted by: George | Jan 30, 2010 7:48:03 PM

One of the major issues with Townshend is his visa status. Immigration law excludes individuals who have "committed or admitted to acts of moral turpitude."
In agreeing to the caution Townshend had to admit to committing the criminal offense shown in the advisory. His further admission has been published in an essay he wrote. This can be read at:

Posted by: Fasteddie | Jan 31, 2010 12:06:18 AM

Cynics smirk at the notion Townshend was doing research to help authorities catch child pornographers, and understandably so.

But just how would an academic or worried parent go about discovering for themselves whether the materials are as prevalent and intrusive as activists suggest without winding up on a sex-offender registry themselves?

Posted by: John K | Jan 31, 2010 2:33:33 PM

I propose total forensic e-discovery on all computers of all federal thugs when they come after innocent defendants. The feds are the biggest subscribers and downloaders of child porn. Once some child porn is found, report to the FBI. Let the federal thug explain how that porn was part of his job. Do the same for the federal judge. I know only a pro se litigant will start doing that. The defense attorney does not want the federal thug upset in any way. One must hire a lawyer malpractice specialist to terrorize the defense lawyer into fulfilling his duty to the client of zealous advocacy.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 31, 2010 3:05:55 PM

JI did not know that the Fla attorney general had a say in whether someone got a visa.
Just Who is this group opposing this guy playing music.
Also, someone help me out here. What was the Supreme Court adult porn case, and which Justice, wherein it was stated: "I know it when I see it."?

If the National Guard guy from Galesburg, Illinois, now locked up in Afghanistan, is going on trial for a Coppertone type photo then who is to judge on a case like this unless one has seen the so called porn themselves. I suppose someone will be passing photos around at halftime.
Also, do they consider the stadium a "playground" in Florida? We certainly know that its not a school. Perhaps he can go visit all those guys living under the bridge in Miami.

Posted by: mpb | Jan 31, 2010 5:54:33 PM

"No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

"No one knows what it's like
To be hated
To be fated
To telling only lies

"But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be"

The Who, "Behind Blue Eyes," written by the great rock 'n roll songsmith and guitarist, Pete Townshend, on Who's Next (1971)

Posted by: Peter G | Jan 31, 2010 10:02:53 PM

Good job Peter G.

Posted by: mpb | Jan 31, 2010 10:53:32 PM

The case you are looking for, mpb (as you will know when you see it) is Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964). Justice Stewart's famous line is at the end of his concurring opinion. And thanks for the props; I have to credit my friend Adam, a classical philologist, former DJ, and rock fan extraordinaire, for making the connection of this story to that song.

Posted by: Peter G | Jan 31, 2010 11:30:02 PM

I love The Who but Townshend's really lucky not to have been sent to the pokey. His story about why he was paying to access kiddy-porn sites makes absolutely no sense.

Posted by: Alpino | Feb 1, 2010 6:03:10 AM

While I agree with George above, the real story here is that notification is approved solely for the purpose of public safety. Is there any evidence at all that Townsend playing the Superbowl will endanger public safety? Even the comments here have nothing to do with public safety in the sense of any immediate or suspected danger to anyone. This case reveals how the registry is actually used in everyday life.

Posted by: George | Feb 1, 2010 1:19:11 PM

this is what happens when they try to cater to old people with dinosaur acts - won't somebody think of the children? :P

Posted by: virginia | Feb 1, 2010 3:18:09 PM

btw, that picture they have of him does make him look like an icky perv. better stick with the puppy bowl to be safe :)

Posted by: virginia | Feb 1, 2010 3:25:23 PM

i am thinking of the children virginia that's why i think we need a LAW banning parents from coming withing 3,000 feet of them. Since 90% of all abuse against a child comes FROM THE PARENTS

Posted by: rodsmith3510 | Feb 4, 2010 3:33:34 AM

Wow. He is NOT convicted, and is no longer a registry, yet 'citizens' (read neo-con AZero types) banded together to harrass a british citizen legally invited into the US to perform with his band.. Amazing how far we have come when now someone is allowed to do this against someone who has NEVER broken a law in the United States..

Posted by: S.O. | Feb 16, 2010 6:28:38 PM

Really the shameless people who ruins another's life, has no right to live, hang him up!!

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Posted by: asd | Sep 6, 2010 1:01:05 PM

I think the choice was correct. The Who is a very good band that can give a good show at the super bowl, do not understand why so much controversy was generated with this issue if they are qualified.

Posted by: asd | Sep 6, 2010 1:14:53 PM

Do these advocates know that Pete Townshend is a VICTIM of child molestation? I would prefer the group plaster the neighborhood when the Pope comes to town since the Catholic Church COVERED UP and PROTECTED their molesting priests to save the Church's image.

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If it will be possible I will put him in the jail for a long time!

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Posted by: dugi's guide | Dec 24, 2010 10:20:59 AM

I see their argument and it is a strong argument. It is difficult to say anything really other than I would want to know if a sex offender was about the town.

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Posted by: Order Cheap Viagra online | Jun 5, 2011 5:35:17 AM

Child porn access of a 64-year old, that is really alarming. Nonetheless, if the person has not done any abuse to anyone in person, then that is safe to know. :-)
An opinion of a student. :-)

Posted by: phentermine | Jul 11, 2011 7:01:13 AM

Just as long as the person does not continually do it, then that is perfectly fine and safe. :-) Don't you agree?!

Posted by: Sophie | Jul 13, 2011 10:21:37 AM

He was arrested in January as part of Operation Ore, the largest investigation into child pornography in the UK. He admitted using his credit card to access images but claimed they were for "research" for a book.

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