Larry Flynt

Archive for December, 2013

FROM HUFFPOST: Legendary Publisher Of ‘Screw’ Leaves Legacy

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Al Goldstein is fondly remembered by millions as the man who pushed them into puberty. “Screw” introduced unapologetic pornography to the mainstream with its first issue in November 1968, and we talk to those who knew the man behind the pink.

(Click here to view on Huffpost Live: Al Goldstein)

Mike Lee

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Imagine if you called a plumber in to fix your bathroom and all he did was whack off into your sink all day. You might want to say to him, “I’m glad to see you’re passionate about your work, but how the hell is this fixing a goddamn thing?!” That’s what Tea Party voters are facing with the goons they sent to Washington in 2010, especially our Asshole dishonoree Mike Lee, freshman U.S. senator from Utah.

So far Congressional Republicans in the House have voted 40 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 40! Guess how many times they voted to repeal their own government-subsidized healthcare. You guessed it. In Lee’s brain, Tea Party rookies like him were elected “specifically with the charge to stop Obamacare,” so they’re obligated “to do everything in their power to stop it.”

But since legislative repeal is about as likely as Sarah Palin explaining string theory, Mike Lee and his Senate cohorts have been lubing their members to a defunding fantasy. The plan, if you can call it that, is to block any budget funding the Affordable Care Act, thereby threatening a government shutdown that—in their wet dreams—everyone will blame on Obama. Hey, if you can’t fix the plumbing, blow up the bathroom!

As for the people in his own party who think he’s an ass-clown (which is most of them), Mike Lee squeezed this old chestnut out of his rectum for them to chew on: “The fact that they’re against it simply tells me that I must be doing something right.” To think this guy’s been called arrogant!

Mike Lee wants you to think he’s a regular, aw-shucks yokel who went to Washington to kick some ass. The reality is, he’s an insider’s insider, a lawyer who clerked for right wing Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and was indoctrinated by his dad, Utah’s notorious Rex Lee. Big Daddy served as Ronald Reagan’s solicitor general and later became president of Brigham Young University, where all the master Mormon-bots are built. Mitt Romney was indoctrinated there. But compared to Mike Lee, Mitt’s a raving heathen.

At age ten, by all accounts, Lee was more conservative than his dad. Obsessed with states’ rights, the brat carried around a hard-on for the big bad federal government. Daddy made sure his rancid seed got the golden pass at BYU, then croaked from cancer and chronic self-righteousness. Even though ol’ Rex shriveled into a miserable end likely caused by nuclear-test fallout, his son still fought to let radioactive waste be dumped into Utah and now wants to cripple healthcare. If there’s one thing “Let ’Em Suffer” Lee ain’t got, it’s a human heart.

He also hasn’t gotten that Congress isn’t a church. He talks about rights in religious terms, even comparing the Declaration of Independence (a real thing) with Christ’s Sermon on the Mount (a shaky story at best). His approach to the Constitution—which he treats the way Fundamentalists treat the Bible—is what’s called “originalist.” A country’s basic law evolves as the society matures, but an originalist thinks it can only mean what people understood it to mean when it was ratified. Lee, in other words, is living 200-plus years in the past. Even his own BYU professors were creeped out, calling him “very, very conservative.”

But ultimately his originalism is bullshit too. Since taking office, Lee’s been pimping for amendments that will never happen, including a spending cap, term limits for legislators and a reinterpretation of the 14th Amendment to prevent “anchor babies” (his words) from being citizens. Oh, and he doesn’t think the government should guarantee a minimum wage, enforce civil rights or ban child labor either.

Just getting warmed up, Lee recently shat out his vision for the country. It’s something he calls the “Utah Model,” a magical “voluntary civil society” in which Mormonesque pod people “harness individuals’ self interest to the common good.” So next time you need to pay for that cancer treatment, just knock on your neighbor’s door. No need for Obama care in the Utah States of America!

After Lee won his Senate seat, newspapers from Salt Lake City’s Deseret News  to The Washington Post  advised him to not storm into office with a bullhorn, but to take it slow and build alliances if he was interested in political longevity. Fat chance. Not only is Lee the playground bully, he’s also a colostomy bag of contradiction.

His claim that “raising taxes on the rich will hit the poorest among us hardest” is already a classic. Later, in an interview with his personal groupie Rush Limbaugh, Lee claimed that Obamacare was “universally despised” outside the D.C. Beltway, but Republicans in Congress were scared to join his defunding effort because once the law really kicked in, “it is going to be liked,” just like Social Security and Medicare (which he also wants to slash). Let’s get this straight. Right now Obamacare is hated, but most people will soon come around to see that it’s actually a good thing? Even its biggest enemy is admitting this? So why doesn’t he leave it the fuck alone already?

It’s because he’s got two groups to rim – job: 1) “grassroots” (poor) bigots who want to smackdown the uppity black President (when Lee says “Obamacare,” he means “Obama”) and 2) the handful of libertarian fatcats who want to keep sucking America’s wealth, untaxed, to the top of their pyramid scheme.

Maybe Mike Lee sincerely wants what’s best for the country. He just doesn’t understand that the best thing would be if he quit politics, became a shitty plumber and literally spent all of his time whacking off into strangers’ sinks. That’s about as close to the “common good” as he’ll ever get.


Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

800px-Larry_Flynt_at_AVN_Adult_Entertainment_Expo_2008Larry Flynt

Larry Flynt has been in the press lately for something a bit more grim than freedom of speech or porn. The 71-year-old media tycoon has been speaking out about the death penalty in America and his opposition to it; the impetus was the scheduled execution of Joseph Paul Franklin, the man who shot Flynt back in 1978, paralyzing him from the waist down. He had attempted to kill Flynt that day, but Flynt lived—although he has now spent as much of his life in a wheelchair as he did walking. The pain from the injuries was constant and lead to a painkiller addiction, which then resulted in an overdose and a stroke that affected his speech. But you could say he’s lucky, because all but one of Franklin’s other targets died from their injuries.

Franklin is now dead too. He was finally executed on November 20 by the state of Missouri—where he spent 15 years on death row—by injection of the controversial drug pentobarbital, which had prior been used to euthanize animals. It was the first time Missouri had used the drug since switching from the standard three-drug execution cocktail to a single-drug injection of propofol (the same drug that killed Michael Jackson) the year before. When supplies of propofol ran low, the state decided to go with pentobarbital, and their test subject was Franklin, who by all accounts seemed to suffer when the drug was administered. Although he had confessed to heinous crimes—including killing two teenagers, and at least six other people—a prominent psychiatrist had diagnosed him as a paranoid schizophrenic, and therefore unfit to stand trial.

Flynt campaigned to halt the execution, suing the state and demanding to unseal documents that would reveal their secretive execution process. He didn’t succeed in saving Franklin’s life; just as Franklin, ironically, did not succeed in taking Flynt’s.

I think about what it must have been like for him that afternoon 35 years ago, feeling two bullets rip through his abdomen. Hunted, like prey, by an unseen sniper in broad daylight; how that must have affected his perception of the world and his surroundings. And yet, Flynt tells me he never felt anger for his attacker, or any anger at all. “I’m an optimist,” he says. And he’s optimistic about something else: That, one day, the practice of punishing murder with murder will become obsolete.

DeathPenalty3Joseph Paul Franklin

VICE: How did you feel when you heard that Joseph Paul Franklin was executed?
Larry Flynt: I had no feelings either way. I’ve been against the death penalty all my life, but it has nothing to do with him. I don’t think the government should be in the business of killing people.

Why have you not spoken about the death penalty before?
It’s always been an opinion of mine, but I’ve never been very vocal about it, because I see the politics as too difficult to change. When I wrote that page for the Hollywood Reporter, I had no idea it was gonna go viral. And all of a sudden, people all over the world wanted to talk to me about the death penalty.

Do you think you will continue to be vocal about it?
I’m not making it a crusade, but I’ll always give my opinion when I asked about it. I have opinions about a lot of things.

What do you think it is about the US that makes us one of the few nations in the world that still actively practice capital punishment?
That’s what bothers me. The biggest proponents in the world of the death penalty are Iran, China and the United States. I just don’t think we should be lumped in the same category as those barbarians. I could support the death penalty if it was a deterrent, but it’s not, and there’s no scientific or historic evidence that indicates that it is a deterrent. You can’t look at it as a punishment to the crime, because if you expel somebody in a few seconds with a lethal injection, the punishment is over with, but if you put somebody in a 4×6 cell for the rest of their lives, they’re going to have a lot of suffering that they’re gonna have to do. So if you really want to make someone suffer, you’re going to have to do better than execute them.

(For full interview, go to

ACLU Thought Police?

Monday, December 9th, 2013


by Nat Hentoff

I have long expressed admiration for the American Civil Liberties Union for ardently defending the Constitution in our legislatures and courts, including the Supreme Court. Since September 2001 the ACLU has had a much tougher task thanks to the Bush-Cheney and Obama administrations. At times, however, I have strongly disagreed with ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero. Such was the case after a jury acquitted Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman—on grounds of self-defense—of fatally shooting Trayvon Martin. Romero wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. and said “it is imperative that the Department of Justice thoroughly examine whether the Martin shooting was a federal civil-rights violation or hate crime.”

Years ago I had a particularly long, fierce argument with Romero. I tried to explain that giving a convicted defendant additional prison time for a so-called hate crime violates the First Amendment because it imposes punishment of thoughts, not actions.

I brought James Madison into my argument with Romero. He was the Founding Father who introduced the Bill of Rights—including what came to be the First Amendment—to Congress. Madison had previously written to Thomas Jefferson after the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom was passed: “We have in this country extinguished forever…making laws for the humanmind.” No American, Madison emphasized later, would be punished for his “thoughts.”

By urging that Zimmerman be prosecuted again, Romero disregards the Fifth Amendment, which unequivocally stipulates: “nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy.”

Suddenly, though, reported that Romero was not speaking for the entire ACLU. Laura Murphy, director of its Washington office, sent a letter to Attorney General Holder. She said: “We are writing to clearly state the ACLU’s position on whether or not the Department of Justice should consider bringing federal civil rights or hate crimes charges as a result of the state court acquittal in the George Zimmer man case. The ACLU believes the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Constitution protects someone from being prosecuted in another court for charges arising from the same transaction. A jury found Zimmerman not guilty, and that should be the end of the criminal case.”

Ira Glasser, a true civil libertarian, was the ACLU’s executive director from 1978 to 2001. He said that Romero’s letter to Holder illustrated “the transformation of the ACLU from a civil liberties organization to a liberal bandwagon organization.” He added that “it’s just astonishing to me that a statement like that could go out without any understanding that they [ACLU] were violating their own policy.”

The ACLU wasn’t. Anthony Romero was. My position is: When, as allegedly happened to Zimmerman, someone is standing over you and banging your head hard again and again against the ground, you are entitled to defend yourself.

Romero’s letter prompted this response from my old friend Michael Meyers—a longtime battler for and teacher of civil rights: “No government, much less an angry community, is entitled to a verdict to their liking.…The ACLU is not the NAACP; the ACLU is the guardian of individual liberty, not a victims’ rights or racial grievance group.”

I applaud Laura Murphy for restoring the ACLU’s reputation by overriding Anthony Romero’s appeal to enlist the ACLU as an advocate of double jeopardy. But I cannot stomach the fact that the ACLU champions federal and state hate-crime laws, which violate the First, Fifth and 14th Amendments. On May 13, 2009, after the House of Representatives passed what became the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, I voiced my thoughts on Colorado lawyer Robert J. Corry Jr. cemented them: “A government powerful enough to pick and choose which thoughts to prosecute is a government too powerful.”

I went on to ask: “Is there no non-politically correct ACLU lawyer or other staff worker or any one in the ACLU affiliates around the country or any dues-paying member outraged enough to demand of the ACLU’s ruling circle to at least disavow this corruption of the Constitution?”


Thursday, December 5th, 2013

(For full interview click here)



Just Blow the Right Whistle

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

by Robert Scheer

Americans love to be lied to; otherwise Edward Snowden would be a wildly popular national hero. Same for Bradley Manning, Glenn Greenwald, Julian Assange and others who risk their freedom to inform us about the myriad ways we are continually deceived by our government. These whistleblowers are performing a public service. They’re democracy’s lifeblood, nourishing the essential ingredient that our proclaimed form of governance re – quires: an informed public. If we are ignorant, our votes mean nothing.

In exposing lies and government misdeeds, the whistleblowers revealed that our leaders are not always virtuous. Snowden has been accused of espionage because he exposed the vast spying network that our own government conducts against us. How can it be that a truth teller who seeks to protect our rights is judged the criminal, not the government officials who brazenly subvert the Constitution?

Our government lies to us frequently and conceals that fact by classifying as “top secret” any and all embarrassing information. However, those so-called secrets are routinely leaked to the news media whenever it serves the purpose of the White House, an agency or one of its officials. Anonymous sourcing of stories attrib – uting information to those not cleared to reveal what they are telling is the norm. During my years working as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, anonymous sources babbled about the most sensitive subjects of national security or anything else they wanted publicized.

An example I cite often was a personal experience in 1985. After exiting a plane in San Jose, California, I ran into Edward Teller, the famed physicist and “father of the H-bomb,” whom I had interviewed several times. Teller was then adviser to President Reagan on his pet Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), dubbed “Star Wars,” and I was on my way to Stanford Univer – sity to participate in an arms-control seminar.

Teller was very eager to tell me about the great results of a top-secret test—code-named Cottage—involving the nuclear-driven X-ray laser that was at the heart of SDI. If Teller’s claim were true, this would be the most important development in the U.S.-Soviet arms race and a boon to Reagan’s preposterous idea of implementing a defense system that would zap any incoming nuclear warhead as it traveled through space.

I am sure that Teller intended for me to share this information with others at the Stanford seminar, some of whom, like myself, did not have security clearance. And he probably expected that as a journalist covering armscontrol issues, I would break this major story in the Los Angeles Times, and from there it would be reported nationwide and around the world.

If Teller had been correct—a nuclearweapons lab had indeed masterminded an X-ray laser—it was our country’s most vital military secret and therefore the one piece of information that the Soviets would most want to secure. It turned out that Teller’s report of Cot tage’s success was erroneous, the machines monitoring the multimillion-dollar test had proved faulty, and the hunt for the X-ray laser was going nowhere.

My point is that it was information Teller and others bandied about to back up the argu – ment for a weapons system that the militaryindustrial complex wanted. Because the leak supported rather than undermined the Reagan Adminis tration’s hawkish position, Teller wasn’t punished for his indiscretion. Whistleblowers like Snowden are only branded as criminals when the information they disclose sabotages rather than supports the Pentagon’s warmongers.

Edward Snowden could have sat in a Honolulu bar with any reporter who cared to hear him chat endlessly about how he just loved his job nailing the bad guys. He could have revealed information about the success of our antiterrorism surveillance program and never been the subject of an investigation. He is instead a hunted enemy because he told us that the United States government was screwing rather than protecting us. In other words, just leak the good news, and you’ll be an honored public servant.

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