Respectful Insolence

Why not bail out the porn industry?

As much of a completely disgusting sleazebag as I think he is, at some level I grudgingly have to admire Larry Flynt. He never misses an opportunity for self-promotion and annoying the hell out of politicians, and he’s back now, promoting himself and annoying the hell out of politicians.

This time, he’s asking for a $5 billion bailout for the porn industry:

Another major American industry is asking for assistance as the global financial crisis continues: Hustler publisher Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis said Wednesday they will request that Congress allocate $5 billion for a bailout of the adult entertainment industry.

“The take here is that everyone and their mother want to be bailed out from the banks to the big three,” said Owen Moogan, spokesman for Larry Flynt. “The porn industry has been hurt by the downturn like everyone else and they are going to ask for the $5 billion. Is it the most serious thing in the world? Is it going to make the lives of Americans better if it happens? It is not for them to determine.”

Francis said in a statement 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.”

At first glance, I had a hard time (oh, geez, did I just make a bad pun?) finding a good argument against this. After all, the list of companies in line at the federal trough continues to grow, with states and municipalities putting their hands out as well. Why not the porn industry? Surely we can’t have all those buff, silicone-laden porn stars out of work. It’d be a disaster! There’s just one problem:

Flynt and Francis concede the industry itself is in no financial danger — DVD sales have slipped over the past year, but Web traffic has continued to grow.

But the industry leaders said the issue is a nation in need. “People are too depressed to be sexually active,” Flynt said in the statement. “This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex.”

D’oh!

The porn industry appears to be doing pretty well, even in an economic slump. I’m guessing the decline in its DVD sales is probably more due to the fact that media everywhere is increasingly moving online, and that the DVD and CD are in the process of going the way of the dodo. Since it’s in no danger of going out of business, then there is no reason to give it a bailout, no matter how many other industries are getting them.

Unfortunately, this time around Flynt seems to be pretty late hopping on the “give me a bailout too” humor train. When that sort of humor has made it into Jay Leno’s nightly monologue (which it did at least a month ago), its time has already come and gone. The time when Flynt’s stunt would have been much funnier and its political point more effective was around the time the auto companies were groveling in front of Congress in December.

Flynt’s usually quicker on the uptake than that with publicity seeking behavior; he must be slipping.

Comments

  1. #1 Dirk Diggler
    January 8, 2009

    Must be all the astroglide.

  2. #2 DrugMonkey
    January 8, 2009

    He never misses an opportunity for self-promotion and annoying the hell out of politicians, and he’s back now, promoting himself and annoying the hell out of politicians.

    Don’t lose track of the fact that his First Amendment battles, while self-serving, were actually fairly important to expressive rights in the US

  3. #3 eddie
    January 8, 2009

    “The porn industry has been hurt by the downturn…”

    Well, if they can’t raise it themselves…

  4. #4 anon
    January 8, 2009

    It’s not a bail-out.

    It’s a financial stimulation package.

  5. #5 Matt M
    January 8, 2009

    I swear I though Larry had died.

    Do we need an American porn industry? It seems that much of the industry could be offshored. Iceland would be happy to help. Japan has lots of experience in filling our needs. Russia has much to contribute. Denmark and Ireland sure could step up. Don’t forget Sweden and Italy.

  6. #6 wfjag
    January 8, 2009

    If we don’t bail out the porn industry, next the toy industry may collapse. They’re closely associated. See,
    “New Book Reveals Secret Sex Life of Barbie Creator”
    (Thur., January 08, 2009), http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,477877,00.html

  7. #7 Fiat Lex
    January 8, 2009

    I’d always thought porn was one of those recession-proof industries, like dollar stores and Wal-Mart. Porn has nothing to do with whether people are too depressed to have sex. (For those of us already in a relationship, sex is actually a lot cheaper than, say, going to the movies, so it ain’t going out of style.) Porn is meant to relieve the tension of the single or unsatisfied, and provide an emotional stopgap against the sadness of not having enough money to attract a partner who might provide sex!

    Still, I rather like Flynt being in on the conversation for one big reason. Now whenever another company comes asking for a handout, the people in charge can ask themselves, “Is giving money to these idiots going to make us look worse than if we had given it to Larry Flynt?”

  8. #8 Diane
    January 8, 2009

    Thank you thank you for this. It makes me laugh each time I see it. I needed the laugh!

  9. #9 Raul
    January 8, 2009

    Why do we need the god damn porn industry in the first place? Screw them. I hope they collapse, and we realize how stupid we are to pay for watching others who are paid to have sex on camera [prostitution with a camera.] If we legalized prostitution we would all benefit, not only in revenues but also having more sex. We need to screw more for real instead of watching these creeps do it.

  10. #10 tim gueguen
    January 8, 2009

    What does this Francis joker need government money for? He’s in trouble with the IRS for back taxes. He can use that money.

  11. #11 Brian
    January 9, 2009

    Off topic, but timely:

    Incidentally, I have a fiancee that’s absolutely religious about catching Private Practice. That pretty much means that I get to be an innocent bystander. But toNIGHT’s episode dealt with a subject dear to your heart, dear Orac.

    Antivax mother goes to pediatrician for ped illness post international trip. Turns out its the measles. Actually good episode (minus a bit of ethical issue), and has lots of people pretty steamed over at ABC’s site.

    http://abc.go.com/primetime/privatepractice/index?pn=mb&cat=25220

  12. #12 Doctor Spurt
    January 9, 2009

    Maybe it would sound better if it was called a “$5 Billion fluffer”.

  13. #13 marilove
    January 9, 2009

    “We need to screw more for real instead of watching these creeps do it.”

    Because all porn stars are creeps! Yeah!

    Porn is awesome, man, I don’t know what you’re smokin’.

  14. #14 marilove
    January 9, 2009

    And DrugMonkey is right on the money. He did a LOT for free speach and whatnot. I can’t hate ‘im. Plus, you know, porn is awesome.

  15. #15 Ruth
    January 9, 2009

    My Congressman donates to porn with private funds, not taxpayer money. Maybe the next politician caught with a hooker can claim to be boosting the economy.

  16. #16 anonimouse
    January 9, 2009

    $5 billion buys an awful lot of thongs, vibrators, cocaine and antibiotics. Seems excessive to me.

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