In 1990, future Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was a state senator who introduced legislation to require labeling of albums with offensive lyrics. “Donny Osmond, who was trying to toughen his image at the time, flew in from Utah to testify against the bill,” Brewer recalled in her memoirs, Scorpions for Breakfast. “He arrived at the committee hearing wearing a black leather jacket and black pants.” When the legislation was pending, Brewer was the victim of a hoax.
“A writer from a small weekly publication in Phoenix began calling me, posing as Doug MacEachern, who was then a reporter from the Arizona Republic and today is one of their editorial writers. Under the pretext of talking about the bill, this ‘reporter’ encouraged me to recite some of the offensive lyrics we were complaining about. I should have known better, I guess. But I was not then, and am not now, a distrustful person, and I believed in the cause of safeguarding our kids from this garbage. So I recited the lyrics–including the four-letter words and all of the awful, misogynistic things that were polluting our children’s minds. The deceitful reporter had secretly recorded our phone conversations, and a couple of days later he showed up at the State Capitol with an 800-watt sound system on a flatbed truck with signs proclaiming, HEAR JAN BREWER TALK DIRTY! He then blared over the loudspeakers all the four-letter words and horrible lyrics I had read to him. Everyone at the Capitol heard me repeating these lyrics over and over again. It was embarrassing for me, but it was even more embarrassing to to the profession of journalism. Classes on journalism started using it as an example of bad, unethical journalism– a wonderful example of why journalists rank below members of Congress in American public opinion surveys.”
Governor Jan Brewer, Scorpions for Breakfast: My Fight Against Special Interests, Liberal Media, and Cynical Politicos to Secure America’s Border, Broadside Books, 2011.