Wal-Mart decides to drop Maxim, FHM and Stuff because of customer complaints that the titillating periodicals conflicted with the chain's family-friendly image. Now, according to The New York Times (reg required), the ACLU is uneasy because, well, let President Nadine Strossen explain:
"It is particularly true when you have a store that in many parts of the country has a dominant position, so that if you can't buy a magazine at Wal-Mart, you can't buy it at all," she said. "It has literally the same practical effect in many communities as outright government censorship."
Puh-leese. Has Strossen ever been to these communities? (Flying over them doesn't count.) I grew up in one, as it turns out, smack dab in the middle of the the Bible Belt. The place was too small for even Wal-Mart to take an interest (until 20 years or so ago), but even so, there was (and is) a drug store or convenience store on just about every corner perfectly willing to sell publications a lot racier than Maxim. Nadine, you need to get out of the city a bit more.