Alvin Goldstein (1936– 2013 ), an outspoken publisher of pornography and advocate of free speech, for many years published Screw, a porn magazine, and hosted a raunchy late-night cable television program, Midnight Blue. He has engaged in several First Amendment battles in the courts. (Image used by permission from Ravepad)
Alvin Goldstein (1936– 2013 ), an outspoken publisher of pornography and advocate of free speech, for many years published Screw, a porn magazine, and hosted a raunchy late-night cable television program, Midnight Blue. He has engaged in several First Amendment battles in the courts.
Goldstein published pornography
Born in New York City, Goldstein held numerous jobs, among them working as a cab driver and press photographer for Pakistan International Airlines. He also worked for magazines, including Hush Hush News and the National Mirror. His national notoriety began when he began publishing Screw in 1968.
Goldstein was involved in many First Amendment, obscenity cases
Since then Goldstein has faced obscenity charges on multiple occasions for material in the magazine. One of the best known cases is People v. Heller (S.D.N.Y. 1973), in which the New York Court of Appeals examined whether its state obscenity law was unconstitutionally vague.
He has also taken on cable television companies over their scrambling policies. In Goldstein v. Manhattan Cable Television, Inc. (1995), a federal court in New York examined Goldstein’s claim that the censoring of Midnight Blue as indecent programming violated the First Amendment. In 2007, Goldstein announced his candidacy for president of the United States in the 2008 election, with such slogans as “Vote for Al, he likes it on top.”
He published a memoir titled I, Goldstein: My Screwed Life (2006). He passed away in 2013 at the age of 77.
David L. Hudson, Jr. is a law professor at Belmont who publishes widely on First Amendment topics. He is the author of a 12-lecture audio course on the First Amendment entitled Freedom of Speech: Understanding the First Amendment (Now You Know Media, 2018). He also is the author of many First Amendment books, including The First Amendment: Freedom of Speech (Thomson Reuters, 2012) and Freedom of Speech: Documents Decoded (ABC-CLIO, 2017). This article was originally published in 2009.Send Feedback on this article