On Friday evening, I had the honor of meeting one of America’s more honest and reliable men.
Larry Flynt was presented with a First Amendment Award by San Francisco’s Exotic Erotic Ball which took place this weekend at Daly City’s Cow Palace. First Amendment Project was tapped to receive money raised by the event, and so I joined Flynt in a QA before a gaggle of press and cameras following the presentation of the award itself by Hustler Honeys.
One of the questions asked of Flynt was whether he would fund some of the censorship battles being imposed by this insidious administration (which seems more concerned with prosecuting obscenity than apprehending terrorists) or leave "the little guys" to duke it out on their own. While it would be great for publishers like Flynt to fight censorship perpetually, it seems like expecting him to do so is a little unfair.
From seminal cases such as Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell to his most recent expose of the sexual escapades of John Bolton – the U.N Ambassador Bush was forced to appoint while the Senate was in recess – Flynt has always used his wealth to expose hypocrisy and challenge the powers that be. And to debunk the myth that masturbation leads to blindness by providing magazines that could arguably reduce overpopulation.
One could endlessly debate the ramifications of pornography, exploitation, objectification and the clashes between sex and religion, but one cannot dismiss the contributions Larry Flynt has made when it comes to freedom of expression, which is more or less what I told San Francisco Chronicle reporter, Joe Garofoli, in an interview a few days ago. And how could one forget the panic he induced at the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal when he began digging for dirt on the pious impeachment cheerleaders and found lots of it.
If he was to never do another thing, the battles Flynt has fought and won should allow him to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor without an obligation to do more. While his contributions are always welcome, no one demanded that Rosa Parks keep catching the same bus.