Larry Flynt About to ‘Out’ Another Senator?

I see, via Taegan Goddard, that the odious Larry Flynt told Larry King last night that he has as many as 30 more prominent politicians he’s getting ready to “out” for various sex scandals, including at least one very prominent United States Senator. From the transcript:

FLYNT: We’ve got good leads. We’ve got over 300 initially. And they’re down to about 30 now which is solid.

KING: When are you going to print?

FLYNT: Well, the last thing now is we don’t know if we want to let it to drip, drip, drip or we want to go with everything at once.

KING: You mean you might release 30 names at once?

FLYNT: A good possibility.

KING: Will we be — I don’t want to get into names yet. Will we be shocked?

FLYNT: Yes.

KING: Were you shocked?

FLYNT: I was shocked, especially at one senator but…

KING: One senator especially?

FLYNT: Yes.

As loathsome as I find Flynt as an individual and as distasteful as these “outings” are, I wonder if he isn’t performing a public service here. While I have no real heartburn with David Vitter having sex with prostitutes, and think there are more productive use of law enforcement resources than stopping voluntary exchanges, it’s on balance a good thing to expose the hypocrisy of people who are building political careers railing against vice while secretly engaging in that very thing.

If it’s true, as attorney Montgomery Sibley asserted on the program, that “there are more escort services than there are McDonald’s in D.C.,” shouldn’t we wake up to the realities of the situation?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Bithead says:

    So, we’re allowing Larry Flynt to dictate who is worthy of public office? Somehow, that doesn’t seem much of a public service; rather its Larry Flynt promoting his own lifestyle.

  2. James Joyner says:

    So, we’re allowing Larry Flynt to dictate who is worthy of public office?

    Well, no. He’s providing information to a public who will decide.

    Somebody has to provide the information about these scandals. Are we better off knowing about Bill Clinton’s escapades with Monica Lewinski? Mark Foley’s solicitation of teenage staffers? David Vitter’s exploits with hookers? The various people caught up in the Abramoff scandal? I’d say we are.

    These outings have serious consequences to people’s families and are mostly being exploited by people with a political axe to grind. But that doesn’t change the fact that people are acting illegally or immorally, often in direct opposition to their loud public cries for “family values” and the like.

  3. Billy says:

    So, we’re allowing Larry Flynt to dictate who is worthy of public office?

    You’re right; I know when Larry Flynt voices an opinion, the masses certainly vote with him. We should pass a law or something forbidding him to speak. That’s the American way.

    Somehow, that doesn’t seem much of a public service; rather its Larry Flynt promoting his own lifestyle.

    Seriously, if he was promoting his own lifestyle, why wouldn’t he support those politicians who patronize prostitutes? Seems like by buying into the stigma, he might be taking at least one step back for every two he takes forward here.

    While I have no real heartburn with David Vitter having sex with prostitutes, and think there are more productive use of law enforcement resources than stopping voluntary exchanges, it’s on balance a good thing to expose the hypocrisy of people who are building political careers railing against vice while secretly engaging in that very thing.

    Well said James. The content here is what’s important. It’s unfortunate the more reputable media sources have abrogated their responsibility to investigate public officials (30 years ago, we wouldn’t need Flynt to investigate this, as the Washington Post would have been all over it), but regardless of what you think of him, the public has an interest in whether their elected officials are liers and hypocrites, despite what Vitter’s apologists are saying about this.

  4. Harry Jenks says:

    @@@@. What utter nonsense. Let’s remember that Flint is not performing a public service. This is a vendetta against Conservatives and RINOs. There will be no outings of Democrates. This is typical Liberal agenda driven press only this time it comes from a sleezeball with money.

    Edited to remove foul language. – ed.

  5. It’s unfortunate the more reputable media sources have abrogated their responsibility to investigate public officials (30 years ago, we wouldn’t need Flynt to investigate this, as the Washington Post would have been all over it), but regardless of what you think of him, the public has an interest in whether their elected officials are liers and hypocrites, despite what Vitter’s apologists are saying about this.

    I don’t know about that–it really never has been the domain of the mainstream press to investigate issue like the sexual propriety of politicians. It clearly wasn’t in the 70s.

  6. James Joyner says:

    This is a vendetta against Conservatives and RINOs. There will be no outings of Democrates.

    No doubt about that. Then again, criticism of liberal politicians by conservatives is usually politically motivated, too.

  7. Andy says:

    What utter nonsense. Let’s remember that Flint is not performing a public service. This is a vendetta against Conservatives and RINOs. There will be no outings of Democrates. This is typical Liberal agenda driven press only this time it comes from a sleezeball with money.

    There is another possibility:
    Democrats get chicks without paying for it.

    Just sayin’.

  8. markm says:

    “There is another possibility:
    Democrats get chicks without paying for it.”

    True dat….but the one’s they pull are really “earthy” with furry legs and arm pits….

  9. Andy says:

    markm, often true.

    But how do you explain Dennis Kucinich’s wife?

  10. Or Fred Thompson’s?

  11. Mr. Flynt is not an honest broker of information in this instance. He’s not teling lies in the sense that whomever he outs almost certainly deserves it, but he has said that he has no interest in outing Democrats, which makes his pronuncements, at best, sort of half-truths. Philosophically speaking, the merits of ignoring or covering up evidence you don’t like is highly suspect. Whom is served by the release of selective truths?

  12. G.A.Phillips says:

    But how do you explain Dennis Kucinich’s wife?

    She’s got a thing for travel Gnomes?

  13. G.A.Phillips says:

    Or Fred Thompson’s?

    She’s got a thing for Shriek?

  14. Billy says:

    I don’t know about that–it really never has been the domain of the mainstream press to investigate issue like the sexual propriety of politicians. It clearly wasn’t in the 70s.

    That’s fair to a degree. Wilber Mills is distinguishable because there was a dead girl involved, Allan Howe was actually caught by the police, and Fred Richmond and Robert Bauman were probably closer to Mark Foley than to Vitter as an analog. But what about Wayne Hays, John Young, (and to step into the early 80’s), Thomas Evans, John Schmitz, Dan Crane, and Gerry Studds? And that’s not going beyond 1983.

    It didn’t even used to take hypocracy; that was considered implicit in any sexual scandal. Now, a truly hypocritical scandal seems only newsworthy enough for Larry Flynt to do the investigation.

  15. Billy says:

    ^^^ Oops – I don’t know why I thought Fanne Foxe died. I guess I was thinking of Ted Kennedy…

  16. markm says:

    “But how do you explain Dennis Kucinich’s wife?” What can I say…Denny overachieved. Maybe she’s got a hot button for nearly communist horse jockeys.

    “Or Fred Thompson’s?”
    I really think Fred has serious game….a good eye for talent.

  17. floyd says:

    “”While I have no real heartburn with David Vitter having sex with prostitutes, and think there are more productive use of law enforcement resources than stopping voluntary exchanges, it’s on balance a good thing to expose the hypocrisy of people who are building political careers railing against vice while secretly engaging in that very thing.””

    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Are you saying that a person has a right to a private life, but does not have a right to separate it from public policy decisions?
    This locks virtually ALL public office holders into supporting some form of perversion in the making of public policy!
    Actually, If we expect their private lives to influence their public policy decisions, then they simply have no right to personal privacy.
    I.E. The people of Massachusetts seem to think that a pervert can make good public policy!
    Does this mean that all perverts must become democrats or face being accused of hypocrisy?

  18. Billy,

    My point would be: how many of those scandals results from investigative reporting? I suspect most, if not all (and most don’t ring a bell) resulted from criminal investigations and/or political “dirty tricks” from opponents. As such, they aren’t any different from the Vitter situation.

    I just can’t recall a case where the media simply investigated the sexual proclivities or peccadilloes of politicians for the sake of the issue alone.

  19. Billy says:

    I just can’t recall a case where the media simply investigated the sexual proclivities or peccadilloes of politicians for the sake of the issue alone.

    And I doubt you could apply that same label to what Flynt is doing. Undoubtedly he is motivated by politics – not for “the sake of [sexual proclivities or peccadilloes of politicians] alone.”

    Some of the others came out because of whistleblowers, and I don’t know about all of them. For one, the Hays scandal was broken by none other than the Washington Post, so it’s not as if the media has never been in the business of investigating sexual escapades.

  20. Pug says:

    Instead of whining about Democrats not being outed perhaps the Party of Family Values should simply live up to its public pronouncements. Practice what you preach in other words.

    If you want to hail yourselves as being morally superior, you better be morally superior. If you aren’t, guys like larry Flynt are gonna get you.

    Democrats never threw Larry Flynt in jail and it wasn’t a Democrat who shot him. He says himself its payback and it’s a bitch.

  21. Pug says:

    I just can’t recall a case where the media simply investigated the sexual proclivities or peccadilloes of politicians for the sake of the issue alone.

    Gary Hart?

  22. floyd says:

    “”If you want to hail yourselves as being morally superior, you better be morally superior.””
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Pug; It is empirically obvious that this is the exclusive purview of liberals!
    It is even implied in the very statement, which clearly sets the author up as the judge of morality.

  23. Pug says:

    Nice try, Floyd. I think it is obvious it was David Vitter who set himself up as the judge of morality. He then failed to live up to the standard he set.

    As James said above it is a good thing to expose the hypocrisy of people who are building political careers railing against vice while secretly engaging in that very thing. That seems to be the purview of conservatives, Floyd. Just admit it.

  24. Dadmanly says:

    So no complaints when a right side vendetta gets launched to discredit the liberals you like, right?

    Oh wait, since they don’t uphold any moral values in their policy decisions, votes, and public statements, it’s no fair to show that they are immoral in their personal conduct.

    Just sayin’.

    Political dirty tricks ought to be regarded by honest people as political dirty tricks, regardless of party affiliation.

    But y’all so love it when a Conservative gets outed as having human fallibility!

  25. Billy says:

    So no complaints when a right side vendetta gets launched to discredit the liberals you like, right?

    That, of course, depends on the relative merits of the vendetta. For one, I hope Dollar Bill gets nailed – he’s a crook and he deserves it.

    Frankly, anyone who breaks the law is fair game. When you go after a politician for doing something that is perfectly legal, that’s where the line should be drawn, with the exception of politicians who explicitly campaign against the very thing they are doing in private. Then the issue is not the thing that they are doing, but the disingenuity with regard to the public.

  26. Neo says:

    Meanwhile in Las Vegas ..

    These are not your average girls. Some of them have worked with Bill Clinton”

  27. floyd says:

    Pug;
    No try, just a simple observation of the obvious!

    The “nice try” was your attempt to imPUGn my credibility by associating me with Republicans, AKA here as “Conservatives”.[grinz]…

    Of course I have a right to be insulted by your remark, but at least you didn’t accuse me of worse, like being a democrat or a Liberal, with all the baggage those slanderous terms carry! [lol]
    BTW; By your standards, I really should be called a “chauvinist reactionary”!![lol]
    Another gross mischaracterization, but at least it would fit your innate sense of superiority!

  28. Andy says:

    Dadmanly, what do you not understand about the fact that the Senator broke the law when he solicited prostitutes in D.C.?

    Why do you support covering up crimes?

  29. floyd says:

    Pug; Upon a second reading of your remarks, I see that it is possible that you made no real attempt to imply any scurrilous association on my part. If you were to say that you made no such implication then it would be incumbent upon me to admit that I made an inappropriate inference.So… Did I?[lol]
    OF course the first sentence of my reply still stands.

  30. G.A.Phillips says:

    Pug, the funny thing with liberal is that they stand one sided for their donkeypoop, from the the great plies of it that you believe in and preach, your thinking on this should be, that he was a victim
    of his own misguided belief in a God given morality, and its not his fault cause some Zealous bigot must have brain washed him when he was young, he was absolutely innocent because he did not know what he was standing for because he does not know right form wrong.

    where is the compassion that you liberals say that only you have, why do you not stand up for one of your favorite rights in all situations, innocence by ignorance, where is your bleeding heart for all and not just some who have been harmed by the vile institutions of the most evil of religions, Christianity, in this one????

    just as I thought, an ideology of posers!!!!

  31. Andy says:

    Pug, the funny thing with liberal is that they stand one sided for their donkeypoop, from the the great plies of it that you believe in and preach, your thinking on this should be, that he was a victim
    of his own misguided belief in a God given morality, and its not his fault cause some Zealous bigot must have brain washed him when he was young, he was absolutely innocent because he did not know what he was standing for because he does not know right form wrong.

    Interesting. Do you write Blogs4Brownback too?

  32. Bandit says:

    Larry Flynt – the conscience of the Dem party

  33. G.A.Phillips says:

    Andy, nope, but but I am thinking of doing my own, and I am going to call it “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”.

  34. Billy says:

    I really like this meme of “The fact that Vitter had moral standards means that even if he didn’t live up to them he’s still better than someone who doesn’t.”

    1. When will this be applied to Al Gore’s lack of personal environmentalist standards?
    2. From where does the assumption come that because someone doesn’t preach at the public about how immoral it is and demand that it live by an arbitrary standard imposed by the preacher, that they lack standards?

  35. Bithead says:

    Somebody has to provide the information about these scandals. Are we better off knowing about Bill Clinton’s escapades with Monica Lewinski?

    Perhaps not. At the same time you may rest assured that it won’t be Larry Flynt making the revelation about Bill Clinton. Wherein, perhaps, lies the point, James. The attacks, clearly, are politically motivated. Case in point:

    Seriously, if he was promoting his own lifestyle, why wouldn’t he support those politicians who patronize prostitutes?

    As I recall, he was an avid supporter of Bill Clinton for both of his elections.

    A public service, generally speaking, is not provided with a partisan goal in mind. Forgive me if I don’t regard it as such.

  36. Bithead says:

    Gary Hart?

    Not really. In that particular case, he basically buried them to come up with something on him. Moral: Slap their faces a few times, and they might respond. That’s all Hart was ever about.

  37. Billy says:

    As I recall, he was an avid supporter of Bill Clinton for both of his elections.

    Are you suggesting that Bill Clinton patronized prostitutes? I believe that might be precariously close to defamatory speech…

  38. Bithead says:

    Are you suggesting that Bill Clinton patronized prostitutes? I believe that might be precariously close to defamatory speech…

    I suppose that depends on how you qualify the role of some of the females he was associating with. Selling one’s self for the purpose of being near power, or celebrity, is still selling one’s self.

    Even absent that point, it still ends up being a morally reprehensible act, and if morality was what Mr. Flynt was all about, we’d see in complaining about that, too. However, we do not. We see him going specifically after conservative targets, alone.

  39. Billy says:

    I suppose that depends on how you qualify the role of some of the females he was associating with.

    I think it depends more on how you define prostitution. As I (and the rest of reasonable society) define it as a criminal offense, absent specific allegations your argument has zero merit.

    We see him going specifically after conservative targets, alone.

    He goes after the targets who demonize him. So what’s your point? If they weren’t hypocrites, they’d have nothing to fear from Mr. Flynt.

  40. ully says:

    I’m going to choke if I hear another disgusting GOPer once again blame the sins of the Republicans on Bill Clinton.

    In psycho GOP land, Bill Clinton got a blow job, so Bush can therefore invade non-threatening countries, bomb innocent women and children, torture whomever he wants, subvert the Constitution, employ traitors, perverts and adulterers – while preaching morality, etc. etc.

    Maybe they haven’t noticed that Bush’s poll numbers are down in the 20’s. Grow up you freakin’ idiots.