Larry Flynt

Posts Tagged ‘Larry Flynt’

FROM NEWSEUM INSTITUTE: Larry Flynt and the First Amendment

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Larry Flynt, the septuagenarian publisher of Hustler magazine, is one of the most controversial figures in First Amendment jurisprudence. He is legendary for simultaneously pushing the buttons and boundaries of sexual expression in the United States while fighting key free speech fights against figures such as the late Jerry Falwell, who headed the Moral Majority and founded Liberty University.

The 1988 case of Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, in which Flynt scored a unanimous victory before the U.S. Supreme Court protecting an ad parody that suggested how Falwell lost his virginity, is what makes programs ranging from The Daily Show to South Park to Saturday Night Live possible. Flynt also has fought important, but far less known, federal court fights for press access to U.S. military operations in both Afghanistan and Grenada.

Flynt was interviewed July 24, 2014 at Hustler’s headquarters in Beverly Hills on the fortieth anniversary of Hustler magazine. Steve Johnson of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications produced the video of the interview.

(To read full article, click here.)

FROM FOLCS.ORG: Trials and Error-HUSTLER Magazine and Larry Flynt V. Jerry Falwell

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

“Jon Stewart can do what he does because of my case,” proclaims Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler Magazine. That case, Hustler Magazine and Larry Flynt v. Jerry Falwell, was decided more than a quarter of a century ago by the United States Supreme Court. The unanimous decision in favor of Flynt’s ad parody of Falwell ended a four year battle between the two who, ironically, went on to have a cordial relationship. Flynt first published Hustler in 1974 and spent the next two decades fighting obscenity laws that criminalized its sale. Forty years later he looks back on his battle for what he calls the “right to be left alone.”

(To watch full video on, click here)


Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

(May 1, 2013 – Beverly Hills, CA) HUSTLER Founder and Publisher Larry Flynt has announced his endorsement of Republican candidate Mark Sanford for U.S. Congress. He has also sent a maximum contribution of $2,600 to the Sanford for Congress campaign and extended a personal invitation to Sanford to meet with him and shake his hand.

Sanford, who gained national prominence in 2009 as governor of South Carolina when he abruptly abandoned his duties for a secret rendezvous with his mistress, is currently running against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District seat. The election will take place on May 7.

In a statement released today, Flynt calls Sanford “the sex pioneer of our time.” In Flynt’s eyes “no one has done more to expose the sexual hypocrisy of traditional values in America today. Sanford’s open embrace of his mistress in the name of love, breaking his sacred marriage vows, was an act of bravery that has drawn my support.” Chastising the Republican Party for not backing Sanford following his run-off victory, Flynt declared: “I am willing to step in and stand erect for Mark Sanford.”

Flynt further elaborated: “My endorsement has not been an easy decision for me. Even though Mark Sanford has emerged as the leader against sexual hypocrisy in American politics, he is a liar. He lied to his gubernatorial staff. He lied to his wife. He lied to his children. He lied to the people of South Carolina and to the press. Despite his journey down this Appalachian Trail of deceit, I support him not for his character, but for exposing the hypocrisy of traditional values. The liar has exposed the greater lie.” Flynt also commended Sanford’s supporters for “tossing aside lifelong convictions” and “teaching their children the invaluable lesson that traditional values are nothing more than a scam.”

Watch Larry’s Video on YouTube

For press inquiries, email or call (323) 651-5400.


Friday, October 22nd, 2010

from HUSTLER Magazine August 2010

When the government turns against the people, it is time for the people to turn against their government. So you must ask yourself: Is the government of the United States of America representing you? Or is it representing the corporations that fund the politicians’ election campaigns?

To date, the government has taken your money to bail out the banks, sent your jobs overseas to support Big Business and made your ability to vote a meaningless exercise. (See Brad Friedman’s article The End of Democracy, beginning on page 72 of this issue.)

The American Revolution was sparked by a tax on tea. What will it take for us to (peacefully) storm the barricades?
Larry Flynt


Friday, September 3rd, 2010

from HUSTLER Magazine – June 2010

The U.S. Supreme Court decision of January 21, 2010 (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ),allowing corporations to spend endless amounts of money influencing our elections, will change America forever. The election process, already awash in money from the fat cats, will now be swamped by corporate propaganda favoring their chosen candidate. In comparison, contributions from the average citizen will be insignificant. Our democracy has never faced such peril. The playing field has been inexorably tilted in favor of Big Business. Unless something is done about this, the rich will be in control of our country from here on out.


HUSTLER Magazine - JUNE 2010

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Sunday, August 29th, 2010

from HUSTLER Magazine – July 2010

You have a reason to be angry. You are being screwed. The bankers get bailed out, but the working class is left to fend for itself at a time when jobs are hard to find. But your anger is misdirected.

You are being lied to. It’s the corporations that have brought this about. They have corrupted both the Republicans and the Democrats. Aside from shipping your jobs overseas, corporations want their taxes reduced as a way of further increasing profits. Reduced tax revenue means less money for schools, hospitals, police, roads and everything else we need to keep our country running. The focus of your anger should be not just the government but also the banks and corporations that are looting taxpayer dollars. Your taxes—the taxes of working Americans—have already been cut by the Obama Administration.

It may indeed be time for a revolution. Just make sure you go after the right people.


Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

from HUSTLER Magazine – May 2010

Over the past year it has become more than apparent that our government is being held hostage by a small group of incredibly powerful people: Wall Street, multinational corporations and the military-industrial complex. How else can you explain President Obama’s complete betrayal of his campaign pledges? He’s sold out real healthcare reform, escalated America’s wars, maintained Bush-era surveillance and torture—and that’s just for starters.

Obama has discovered that there are two realities—running for President and being President—and that they are not always compatible. If Obama wants to win a second term, he must stand up to the bankers, CEOs and generals.


Monday, May 24th, 2010

Interview by Larry Flynt
From HUSTLER MAGAZINE – April 2010

Actor, conservationist and social activist Edward Norton portrayed the valiant lawyer defending HUSTLER’s mastermind in the 1996 biopic The People vs. Larry Flynt. Besides starring in a host of other hit films—Primal Fear, Rounders, American History X, Fight Club and The Incredible Hulk—Norton merits a forum as the producer of HBO’s heralded documentary By the People: The Election of Barack Obama.


Your documentary was set up before anyone knew Obama was going to run for President. How did that come about?


Edward Norton - HUSTLER Magazine April 2010

Edward Norton - HUSTLER Magazine April 2010

Everybody was struck by his speech during the 2004 [Democratic National] Convention. He was clearly a person of enormous potential. It seemed he was already carving a path toward this conciliatory middle. That speech didn’t launch him because it was a bold, new declaration of radical progressivism. That speech was notable because it denied the notion of trench warfare between blue and red. It sounded like a proto-Presidential speech. A lot of the credit for the documentary idea goes to one of our directors, Amy Rice.


How did you convince Obama and his people to let you shoot your documentary?


I work on low-income housing issues. One of the organizations I work with is very effective at setting up meetings with new senators to help them set policy. So we went to D.C. to meet with Barack on housing issues in the winter of 2005/2006. I told Amy to come down with me in case we got some time to talk about this documentary idea, and that’s what happened. We wound up talking with Barack and Robert Gibbs, his communications director.

They were very open to the idea. Barack understood what we were saying. I think he has always been very self-aware, and he recognized that, yeah, he was going to be a touchstone for a lot of things. They said, “Well, how would this begin?” And we said, “Maybe we just start slow. We’ll propose a few places that we’d like to film or people we’d like to interview.” They said, “That would be fine. Let’s just do it case by case.”


I was a little disappointed that more access wasn’t shown in the documentary. There weren’t a lot of conflict meetings with Obama and White House staffers like David Axelrod.


When we started out with them, they weren’t restricting us at all. But when it became clear Barack was going to make a run for the Presidency, we knew the campaign staff would tell us, “You’re done.” And sure enough, David Axelrod basically told Robert Gibbs we wouldn’t be filming anymore.

I called Axelrod to explain. I said, “We’re not the short-cycle news media.We’re not going to exploit this before the election.We’re archivists. We want this for the historical record. This will be an important piece of history.” After we talked, Axelrod was on the fence. Barack exhibited a certain amount of trust in us, and we slowly got back in the game.

We did get to do some things nobody’s ever gotten to do during a Presidential campaign: actually interviewing the candidate and his family, shooting debate prep, things like that. We were hoping we could be inside the room when key arguments came up or decisions were being made, but they were careful about exposing themselves even though I think they trusted our intent.


When Obama learned he’d been elected President, there was no camera in his face. Nobody was there to catch his expression. I’m wondering how you guys missed it.


It was pretty amazing that Amy was able to follow Axelrod and [chief campaign manager David] Plouffe upstairs into the room moments after Obama won. She didn’t have clearance to go with them up to his floor. As she’s following them in the stairwell, you can hear the Secret Service guy say, “Where’s your pin?” And Amy says, “I’m with them.” Then she just pushed on through. She got into the room to get that bit of Michelle [Obama] saying to Axelrod, “Don’t cry. If you cry, I’m going to cry.” You can see Obama in the background.

You’ve seen The War Room, right? In that documentary it’s all about the strategists. We were able to get a little more of the candidate. We were also able to get the senior guys ruminating on what they were doing. But most of all, what the directors actually captured was a nice portrait of the rank and file. When people look back on this in 25 years, a big key to seeing how Obama built this movement will be the people who saw the candidate reflect their values and background. [Campaign staffer] Ronnie Cho is a perfect example. He said something like: “Here’s a guy—if he can be President, that means someone like me is included in this whole dynamic American experiment.”

Politics is always identity and identification. What you see in Ronnie Cho and others in the film are contemporary American young people who are biracial and who identify with Obama. Obama succeeded because he built this movement of people who saw themselves as included in his vision of America.


Tell us your impression of Obama on the campaign trail.


I don’t think I have any insights that other people haven’t had. I’ve met a lot of candidates or politicians in the last ten years, and there’s always a certain shellac, as I call it, like they’re on the make. There’s a certain desire on their part to impress. I never felt that with Barack. From the first time I met him, he seemed like one of your smarter friends from college. He was extremely attentive. He’d ask questions, and he would listen. He seemed sincerely inquisitive. He seemed like a person aware of his own potential, but measured. That’s the best word I can come up with. I think you see that in the film.

Everybody would like to peek around the corner and see the melodramatics. But the reality of Obama’s team, for better or worse, was that when you got into the private spaces with them, they actually were very Zen. They weren’t very emotionally reactive people.

The morning the Jeremiah Wright scandal hit, the Hillary Clinton campaign jumped on it. If there was ever a day you’d catch someone on edge, that was it. Alicia [Sams, a By the People filmmaker] caught David Axelrod coming out of his house, and she said, “Does it make you angry when you see that kind of tactical negativity being thrown at you?” She’s almost leading him into venting, and he just says, “Well, I never thought she [Hillary] would wave the white flag. That’s just not her gestalt.” They just don’t bite.

I’m sure you felt the same way I did during the campaign. I was tearing my hair out. I was thinking, Punch back; be tougher.


While having dinner with Jesse Jackson Jr., I said, “Jesse, Obama’s got to get angry.” He said, “No, Larry, you don’t understand. America has a vision of an angry black man. That isn’t what we need.”


I think Barack knows that, but I don’t even think it’s an image thing. It’s who he is. He and Axelrod, in particular, are extremely adept at playing the long game. I remember trying to text some of those campaign guys. I was trying to script responses like everybody else, but they proved over and over again that they had a better sense of the long game. They were looking further down the field.

When the Jeremiah Wright thing broke, Barack could have punched back at Hillary a lot harder. She said something like, “I can’t see how a person could maintain a relationship with someone who says things like that.” I’m thinking Barack should say, “Why do Catholics keep their faith in the Catholic Church despite rampant abuse of young people by the clergy? They do it because it’s more complex than that. They do it because they have a deep faith and relationship with something, despite its flaws.” Or he could have turned to her and said, “Why does a woman stay with a man who cheats on her and flushes the mandate of his entire political party when he has an affair in the Oval Office?” What would Hillary have said? She would have been flat on her heels. Obama has more sense than that.


I talked to Dennis Kucinich when he was running for President during the Democratic primaries. I said, “Unless you do something, you’re going nowhere.” He said, “Can you suggest anything?” I said, “When you have an opportunity, say to Hillary that Carville and Begala controlled the bimbo eruption when your husband was President. Who’s going to control it when you’re President?” That would have been the most outrageous thing Kucinich could say. That would have been the news for the night.


There’s a reason, I think, Obama couldn’t go that route. Those guys knew they had the delegate math. They knew they were going to win the key primaries and that when they won, they needed to convert all of Hillary’s supporters to their side. If they indulged the emotional satisfaction of knifing her, they would just piss those people off.


What do you think about what Obama is doing now?


In a way I find myself doing the same thing I did during the campaign. I have these reactions where I say, “Don’t do that or do this.” But if the campaign revealed anything, it’s that those guys have been smarter than the rest of us. Do I wish they had been tougher about TARP [Troubled Asset Relief Program]? Yeah, I do. But I’ve actually heard them say that it’s healthcare first, climate second and then Wall Street regulation. Maybe they’re kicking bank regulation down the road and keeping goodwill with the bankers until we get through this healthcare thing.


You’ve dated many beautiful girls in show business. My favorite of all is Salma Hayek. She is one of the most gorgeous women I’ve ever met. Why would you ever let her get away?


Things like that are complicated. We didn’t even have ten minutes where we weren’t friends. Sometimes your lives are going in different directions or you want different things on a different schedule. Timing is a lot of it.


Salma told me a story that revealed a lot about her as a person. A lot of people come to Hollywood and expect things to just happen, and it doesn’t just happen. Someone told Salma when she first came here, “You’ve got to have an agent.” So she called the William Morris Agency. She said, “I’d like to speak to William Morris.” The receptionist said, “He’s dead,” and hung up on her. So she called back ten minutes later and said, “Can I speak to his son?” I just thought that was really funny because it shows she’s full of determination. I imagine Salma puts that same determination into her acting and her relationships.


I like girls who are confident. I think that my girlfriend, Shauna Robertson, is the same way. She came here from Canada with nothing when she was 17 and lied about her age to get a job at Disney. By the time she was 33, she had produced $1 billion worth of comedies. She and Judd Apatow started Apatow Films. She produced Elf, Anchorman, The 40- Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up.


Someone told me your own body of work consists of over 25 movies. I didn’t know you’ve made that many.


I didn’t either. I think it’s more like low- 20-something unless you count the documentaries.


I do count them. Which of your movies do you like the best?


I think The People vs. Larry Flynt really holds up.


I still get royalty checks off of video sales.


Someone said they use that film in civics classes in Slovenia.


All of the law students watch it in this country. Before they’d study New York Times v. Sullivan, a 1964 case. Now they use Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, and they always show the movie.


The film is a great portrait of the messiness of a true democratic society. My dad’s an attorney, and he said that one of the real truths of American law is that a principle never gets tested in the comfortable middle. It only gets tested at the extreme end of the spectrum, like when you wrote in HUSTLER about Falwell in that outhouse with his mother.


With Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, I thought we were going to lose at the Supreme Court. I couldn’t believe it when we won by a unanimous decision. I also couldn’t believe that Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote the decision himself. More or less, he said things are often done under the name of those men with less than admirable intentions, but that does not give the government the right to suppress free speech. Those kids in law school really get wrapped up in that. I speak at Robert Scheer’s class at USC every once in a while. His students are shown The People vs. Larry Flynt, then they ask me questions. Scheer told me the students voted me the best speaker by far. He’s had Oliver Stone there and Lawrence O’Donnell—


I’d vote for you over Oliver too.


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Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Hustler’s Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis Ask For Government Bailout Of The Adult Entertainment Industry

As the 2009 AVN Adult Expo opens in Las Vegas this week, Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis and HUSTLER magazine publisher Larry Flynt are petitioning the newly convened 111th Congress to provide a financial bailout for the adult entertainment industry along the lines of what is being sought by the Big Three automakers, a spokesperson for Francis announced today.

Adult industry leaders Flynt and Francis sent a joint request to Congress asking for $5 billion in federal assistance, “Just to see us through hard times,” Francis said. “Congress seems willing to help shore up our nation’s most important businesses, we feel we deserve the same consideration. In difficult economic times, Americans turn to entertainment for relief. More and more, the kind of entertainment they turn to is adult entertainment.”

But according to Flynt the recession has acted like a national cold shower. “People are too depressed to be sexually active,” Flynt says, “This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex.”

While not to the degree felt by banks and automakers, the Adult Entertainment industry has been hit by the effects of the economic downturn. DVD sales and rentals have decreased by 22 percent in the past year as viewers turn to the internet for adult entertainment. It is estimated that roughly half of all internet users visit adult sites, with the number of unique visitors to adult websites (including and has grown to more than 75 million per month.

But the “saltpeter” effect remains.

“With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind,” Flynt says, “It’s time for congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly.”

“The popularity of adult entertainment in America has grown steadily for the past half century,” Francis says. “Its emergence into the mainstream of popular culture suggests that the US government should actively support the adult industry’s survival and growth, just as it feels the need to support any other industry cherished by the American people.”


Monday, January 5th, 2009

Larry Flynt

Larry Flynt

Approaching the end of the first decade of the 21st century, we stand at a dark precipice that begs the question: Revolution or slavery? Yet we hesitate to even state this out loud for fear of being whisked off to a secret detention camp built by Halliburton. And therein lies the proof of our desperate situation. Before George W. Bush destroyed habeas corpus, we would not have been reluctant to speak up. Now we cringe. The politicians—Democrats and Republicans alike—have taken away your right to speak. The big corporations have taken away your right to make a fair wage. Together they have taken away your right to privacy. Those who are depending on a new administration to save us should not forget the lessons of history: Rulers must be pushed and prodded at best, deposed at worst. If our new President and Congress do not act dramatically and soon to reverse past trends, the American people will have to force them to do so. It’s that or slavery.

Larry Flynt

larry flynt's book