alt.obituaries Memorial Deadpool
est. 2005
home rules scoring hits standings archives contact

Charles Keating


Long before Charles Keating became the public face of the S&L crisis, he'd achieved a different kind of fame (or infamy, depending on how you look at it) as an antipornography crusader, arguably America's most successful since Comstock. At its peak, the pro-censorship organization he founded, best known as Citizens for Decent Literature (CDL), boasted 350,000 members and 32 chapters in 20 states. Its approach was primarily legal, filing lawsuits and briefs in support of tighter regulations on "obscenity," but it also issued pamphlets and films on behalf of its cause, such as the notorious short film Perversion for Profit, which featured lurid examples of just the sorts of smut that impressionable young minds should avoid.

Keating's work with the CDL got him appointed to the Presidential Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, formed to examine the issue and recommend solutions if need be. He immediately made enemies on the commission with his suggestions that its meetings be conducted in public and that the commissioners themselves, rather than hired researchers, be required to review all of the materials. When the commission, by a 14–4 majority, decided that porn wasn't such a big deal after all and that nothing particularly needed to be done about it, Keating had a fit, suing to block the release of the preliminary report and then issuing his own 175-page report—ghostwritten by a young Nixon speechwriter named Pat Buchanan—refuting its findings.

A lesser man's next move would have been to get caught masturbating in a sleazy movie theater; Keating had bigger ideas. He bought a savings-and-loan bank in Southern California and, during a brief period of relaxed regulation, plowed millions of dollars of the bank's money into risky real-estate ventures, junk bonds underwritten by another of his companies, and lavish lifestyles for himself and his family. Ironically, the regulatory fervor that he once advocated turned out to be his downfall. When the feds re-tightened S&L financing laws, Keating's bank was found to be millions of dollars afoul of the new regulations. Despite the best efforts of the five Senators (including John McCain) whom he'd bribed to intervene with the regulators on his behalf, the bank collapsed, at a cost of more than $250 million to investors, and Keating went to jail. He was sentenced to 12 years, served four, and died a free man at 90. Fireball and Kathi get 5 points each for the hit (2 points for hit + 3 points for duet).


All content (c) 2005-2014 alt.obituaries Deadpool. All rights reserved.