|Wednesday, January, 1999||
Volume 64, Issue 75
Mahmoudi on Strangeness
Lisa M. Chmiola
Exposed by Larry Flynt
So this is what we've come to. The bastion of investigative reporting, the champion of fair play, the paragon of virtue is none other than ... Larry Flynt?
Isn't this the same Larry Flynt who publishes Hustler and Barely Legal? Isn't this the same Larry Flynt whose Hustler store sold an adult video to a 14-year-old in Cincinnati? There's something about Flynt that reeks of debauchery. Oh, that's right -- he's a pornographer!
In an effort that can only be seen as a publicity stunt, Flynt placed a full-page ad in The Washington Post in which he offered up to $1 million to anyone who could produce evidence of adultery among President Clinton's attackers.
This eventually brought Rep. Bob Livingston's bid for speaker of the House to a screeching halt. This was soon followed by allegations of infidelity against Rep. Rob Barr, one of the 13 House impeachment managers.
Since then, Flynt has promised to name a "big fish" should the hypocrisy continue. This announcement, along with the Barr revelation, was made at a time when Flynt, suffering from pneumonia, was deemed too ill to stand trial (remember the 14-year-old?).
This self-promoting campaign has prompted Republican National Chairman Jim Nicholson to demand that the Justice Department open an investigation into Flynt's behavior. There couldn't possibly be something shady going on here, could there?
Yes, evil, moralistic Republicans are bad. Yes, hypocritical politicians are bad as well. And yes, knowing the truth about our leaders' backgrounds is a good thing, but let's put it all in perspective.
Bringing up these new allegations doesn't erase Clinton's wrongdoings. They don't dismiss the fact that he lied under oath. You don't need to know the definition of the word "is". It is what it is.
It doesn't erase the fact that his conduct cast a shadow on the presidency.
We have chosen a leader with, at best, a questionable code of ethics. We have chosen representatives who don't listen to their constituents.
Now we've chosen a pornographer as our voice.
Larry Flynt has exposed us along with Clinton's enemies. When we're titillated by the private lives of our leaders, we let people such as "Mr. Hustler" make fools of us. What's next?
Perhaps a convicted killer could become a hero to rally behind -- a martyr waiting to be created.
Oh, wait. That's already happened too.