Larry Flynt

Posts Tagged ‘freedom’


Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Larry-Flynt-200x200Larry Flynt is America’s most controversial and perhaps most effective living defender of the First Amendment. However, by his own admission, Larry Flynt did not set out to defend the Bill of Rights. He set out to have some fun and make some money. By the time he hit thirty, he had turned an $1,800 loan from his mom into a chain of eight strip clubs and founded the Hustler newsletter to promote his clubs. A couple of years later, that newsletter would become a full-fledged national magazine and Larry Flynt would become a millionaire.

As Hustler grew, Flynt published more and more graphic pictures and more and more outrageous articles and satirical pieces all of which added up to Mr. Flynt spending a lot of time in court on obscenity charges. As he defended himself, he found himself having to defend the First Amendment. Unwilling to allow the courts to settle the matter, an assassin with a high-powered rifle attempted to take Mr. Flynt’s life shooting him in the spine and paralyzing him below the waist. This would only intensify his efforts at defending the First Amendment leading to his landmark case Hustler Magazine v Falwell which would go all the way to the Supreme Court ultimately vindicating the right to parody public figures.

Interview Transcript

LF: You ready, Mr. Flynt?

LF: Yes.

HM: Okay. Well, boys and girls, guys and gals. It is a real pleasure today, because on the Bryan Callen show, I am current sitting in Larry Flynt’s office, on the 10th floor, overlooking pretty much all of Los Angeles. And we’re going to be asking Mr. Flynt some questions about everything from the First Amendment to sex.

So the first thing is, Mr. Flynt, how did you become interested in the First Amendment?

LF: Like everybody else, I think I always took it for granted. I had to stand in a courtroom and listen to a judge sentence me to 25 years in prison before I realized that free speech could not be taken for granted. So, I became embroiled very early on in all the First Amendment issues. And I spent 20 years of my life—in the 70s, 80s—putting out brush fires all over the country, where they were wanting to put people in jail for what kind of book they published, or what kind of movie they made.

HM: And, you know, obviously, you made a tremendous personal sacrifice in that quest, you were shot. And to what degree did that intensify your interest in the First Amendment? Did that change—

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