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"Flynt is arguably the greatest student of the American underbelly since J. Edgar Hoover."
December 20, 2007 6:28 PM   Subscribe

Vanity Fair sits down with Larry Flynt --his history and hits and misses, how much he pays for scandals involving hypocritical public figures, and a new (and limp) Nixon anecdote -- and tons of other juicy tidbits, of course).
posted by amberglow (26 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Larry Flynt Endorses Dennis Kucinich
posted by homunculus at 6:46 PM on December 20, 2007


"..and tons of other juicy titillating tidbits" .. sorry couldn't resist
posted by stbalbach at 6:56 PM on December 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


"..and tons of other juicy titillating tidbits" .. sorry couldn't resist

; >

I really liked how the article actually called him out on his overpromising and was skeptical too--too often Flynt just pops up out of nowhere teasing something, and nothing ever comes of it.
posted by amberglow at 7:05 PM on December 20, 2007


Exposing hypocrisy is obviously a good thing, but it's unfortunate that Larry Flynt's rhetoric is too often little more than something out of Karl Rove's playbook:
I’m saying, if you got four friends, all gay, living in the same apartment, how are you going to know which one’s gay? I’m surprised no one’s even asking that question. Why do you break up with your wife and move in with gay guys?
posted by dhammond at 7:06 PM on December 20, 2007


Why do you break up with your wife and move in with gay guys?
1) Because the dishes always get done.
3) The living room always looks fabulous.
7) They throw the best parties.
D) Because they're constantly fixing you up with nice women.

I could go on.
posted by Floydd at 8:10 PM on December 20, 2007 [3 favorites]


too often Flynt just pops up out of nowhere teasing something, and nothing ever comes of it.

From what I understand, his physical disability precludes that.

Seriously though, thanks for posting this. Flint is a fascinating guy and I usually dig whatever stance he has, but he's not really a guy I'm looking to for voting guidance.
posted by snsranch at 8:13 PM on December 20, 2007


Yeah, I guess Flynt's definition of sexual hypocrisy goes only so far. Maybe it's just an older-generation thing, but apparently he thinks that a gay guy's apartment is just another version of the dark back corridors of a porn shop. I've had many straight-guy guests (cute, too!) who have spent days or even weeks in my home and have left unmolested. Maybe it's just some version of faux-shock designed to better slam giuliani, but really, I would have thought flynt better at distinguishing real life from a porn fantasy.
posted by troybob at 8:34 PM on December 20, 2007


too often Flynt just pops up out of nowhere teasing something, and nothing ever comes of it.

From what I understand, his physical disability precludes that.


Let's just say he stands up for what he believes in.
If you're a hypocritical politician he'll walk all over you.

Apologies, that was kind of lame.
posted by hal9k at 8:35 PM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Vanity Fair sits down with Larry Flynt

Who was already seated.

Nothing on Trent Lott then? I so wanted the gay hooker thing to be true.
posted by LarryC at 9:54 PM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


The sneering little shit of an author is really winding me up. Yes, we know that Flynt is a trailer trash hillbilly. Is it absolutely necessary to rub it in at every available opportunity?

"Flynt offers these comments from the far end of a vast football field of an office that might be euphemistically described as “over-decorated,” what with its floral carpets and chintz, its Tiffany lamps (some real, some not), its huge arrangements of fake flowers, its brocade drapes, its green walls hung with gilt-framed reproductions of old-master paintings (some clumsy, some less so)."

Says more about the scumbag snob of a writer than it does about Flynt.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:22 PM on December 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


Flynt is a patriot and a true American in every respect. In every respect.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 11:27 PM on December 20, 2007


Says more about the scumbag snob of a writer than it does about Flynt.

I really like that description! It can be read from different points of view--by those who lean toward finding Flynt tacky, or by those who would respect him more based on such a description. It paints a really vivid picture with just a few details.

And whether or not you take pleasure in what Flynt is trying to expose, it still comes down to him casting light, and not particularly respectfully, on others' more intimate moments. If you take the writer here to be a snob, it's still generous in comparison.
posted by troybob at 11:31 PM on December 20, 2007


I agree that the picture is vivid. However, I'm not sure how it can be anything other than a put down. Particularly the detail about clumsy reproductions.

And sure, Flynt *is* tacky. But anything that you level at Flynt, you also have to level at the rest of the US media for their coverage of Clinton's blow job. At least Flynt has the virtue of being honest about his motivations.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:08 AM on December 21, 2007


I’m so angry with the political system that anything I can do to cause them misery I will.

How can you not like a guy who feels like that?
posted by TedW at 5:38 AM on December 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


"I agree that the picture is vivid. However, I'm not sure how it can be anything other than a put down. Particularly the detail about clumsy reproductions."

PeterMcD,

Not only do I think the description apt and persuasively accurate - I'm honestly at a loss to know how the writer should alternatively convey his impression of the chosen details?

Are you saying the writer should have simply avoided any reference to the boudoir-office. Or pretended to have thought the reproduction art was charming and witty?

(Basically, that strikes me as a terrible example of a writer revealing barbed snobbery! I quite like Flynt - but not because he's the epitome of good taste!)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 6:00 AM on December 21, 2007


Thank god for people like Flynt.
posted by NationalKato at 8:08 AM on December 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


It wasn't the mention of the reproduction art -- it was the remark that some of them are clumsy, others not. (Echoing the earlier comment about his repro Tiffany lamps.) The implication is that the cultured and educated writer has the good taste to know the difference, but Flynt -- as a moronic hillbilly, with more money than sense -- doesn't.

And yeah, if I were writing the profile, I might have described the room, I might even have mentioned the reproductions, but the distinction between clumsy and non-clumsy only serves to make a distinction between the writer's good taste and Flynt's lack of same. I can't think of another possible reason to include the detail.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:04 AM on December 21, 2007


too often Flynt just pops up out of nowhere teasing something, and nothing ever comes of it

because he's bluffing all the time -- almost all the time. he tries to generate interest but he's essentially a bullshitter (I'd say an hustler but ...)


Nothing on Trent Lott then? I so wanted the gay hooker thing to be true.

there must be at least ONE Republican politician/talk radio caveman who actually doesn't do drugs, doesn't cheat on his wife with hookers/random gay guys in public toilets, etc, OK? maybe Lott's the one.
posted by matteo at 9:32 AM on December 21, 2007


PeterMcD,

Thanks for your reply. Actually, I don't feel like beating this to death (that's a flaw I have!) because a)it's Christmas and b)often your comments are terrific.

BUT - "another possible reason to include the detail" is that it's an accurate observation which dovetails nicely with the writer's snootily elitist agenda anyway.

Sure, that's a tidy coincidence for the writer (nudge, nudge!) and I imagine the journalist was inwardly gleeful to clock the naff art in Flynt's lair.

Okay, I agree it was snotty.

I just give it a pass as "fair comment" and concede there's room for debate.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 9:38 AM on December 21, 2007


(and I do mean that about your comments - even though I still fret about the welfare of your exhaustingly hard-working Polish builder:))
posted by Jody Tresidder at 9:40 AM on December 21, 2007


It is Vanity Fair, after all--with them, you start with a certain level of snooty to begin with--they're much more apt to do profiles/interviews of some notorious European or Billionaire or Jackie O or DC Hostess rather than a Flynt (or anyone southern or white-trash-ish, actually).
posted by amberglow at 11:47 AM on December 21, 2007


and the Rudy/gay friends thing was and still is remarkable because it showed cracks in his whole bridge-and-tunnel tough guido persona. Running around on the wife and being racist and insanely jealous of anyone getting more or better press and ranting about degenerate art and hiding everything about his job, etc, all fit his purported persona--rooming with a gay couple definitely didn't fit at all, and surprised many of us back then--he was never hobnobbing with us fags (or blacks or hispanics, etc) at all in public--it was Kerik and that type he actually should have roomed with.
posted by amberglow at 11:52 AM on December 21, 2007


Rudy always (and still does) cultivate the persona of someone who beats up fags (think Howard Beach or Bay Ridge)--not someone who turns to them and lives with them. Bloomberg it'd be ok and not jarring at all, but not Rudy.
posted by amberglow at 11:54 AM on December 21, 2007


it's sorta like the weird disconnect of this First Couple of the Hamptons nonsense in a way too.
posted by amberglow at 12:03 PM on December 21, 2007


Thanks for the remark about my comments. I think of them a bit like me -- sometimes they're pretty good, sometimes they're trite and banal.

I'm happy to concede that it's a well written piece. However, it reminds me of why I gave up journalism -- a vocation I pursued for a couple of years. As a freelancer, it was hard coming up with with new stories all the time, and then having to pitch them to editors, but there were a couple who liked me and would call me and pitch ideas to me, so it started to get easier.

But the thing that broke it for me was this: I was specializing in drug policy. However, even the most broadsheet of the broadsheet don't want to buy abstract policy stories, so in order to sell them, you have to personalize them. You need to find some poor sucker to hang the story on -- to turn the thing into a human interest story.

And every time I did it, it was a betrayal.

It's not hard to find people who want to read their stories in the newspapers, or see their faces on television. I think people think that doing so will change their lives somehow. That their inner genius will finally be discovered, or perhaps its as simple as reinforcing the belief that 'I am somebody', because until you've appeared on TV, lots of people have the sneaking suspicion that they're a nobody.

And no matter how much I'd try to warn people that their might be unexpected consequences, nobody ever really listened. And I wasn't supposed to try that hard, because after all, without them, there's no story.

So at the very least, if someone's going to invite me into their home and allow me to tell that story, I felt that I owed them a duty not to take the piss. Not to belittle them. Not to make smug asides about their lack of culture.

And sure, you probably don't owe Flynt the same high standards of respect that you'd owe the average Joe. By doing what he does, he makes himself fair game for criticism of his actions and his personality, but the guy has invited you into his home, it's a cheap, easy shot that I'd never have taken even if I loathed the man and his actions -- and I recall it just being one of several along the same lines.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:18 AM on December 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


Peter,

I hear you. I used to be a hack too.

The British "Rumpole" creator, barrister and pretty good egg John Mortimer (who was also an excellent journalist) gave me a nice interview once - but insisted we meet at his London club rather than his home.

He was - charmingly and soothingly - upfront about why. He said something like "look, I know the game. No matter what you think of me, you'll be looking at my fish knives and thinking about a joke you can make in your story about my personal taste!".

(Yes, I used the quote! He "gave" it to me expecting I would - and in fact I think I ended up teasing him in print about his bright pink tie and his Toad of Toad Hall suit anyway!).
posted by Jody Tresidder at 7:11 AM on December 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


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