The Washington Times - December 6, 2011, 04:51PM

The House can be an unsavory place, but Tuesday’s session may have exceeded the norm when Rep. Hank Johnson, a Georgia Democrat, began talking about pornography rental habits, including the iconically infamous “Debbie Does Dallas,” and even dragged Judge Robert Bork into the conversation.

Mr. Johnson was debating a bill that would update a 1988 law that prohibited disclosure of customers’ video rental habits unless they consented. The update would make it clear social networking sites can make public information customers choose to share about videos they like, once the account owner has given consent.

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But Mr. Johnson said he worried the bill could make it easier to release private information.

“I myself don’t want folks to know that I have ordered up ‘Debbie Does Dallas.’ I may not mind if they know that I ordered up ‘J. Edgar,’ but I don’t want them to know that I ordered ‘Good Girls Gone Bad,’” Mr. Johnson said. “And I certainly wouldn’t want, on behalf of Judge Robert Bork, I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to be able to uncover the fact that he’s been ordering up, relentlessly, the film ‘Bad Boys of Summer.’”

The 1988 law was enacted after a reporter got ahold of Judge Bork’s videotape rental record during his failed Supreme Court nomination. The reporter wrote about the videos in the Washington City Paper, noting that Judge Bork’s tastes ran to Alfred Hitchcock and Cary Grant, mysteries, and James Bond.

Several years later another Supreme Court nominee, Clarence Thomas, who was accused during his confirmation of sexual harassment based in part on conversations his accuser, Anita Hill, said he had about acts he saw in pornographic movies.

Mr. Johnson’s spokesman didn’t return a call seeking clarification on the congressman’s statement.

The congressman voted against the clarification bill, but it passed 303-116.