Jonathon Van Maren

From the front lines of the culture wars

Blogs

Porn pioneer Larry Flynt lived to see his filthy fantasies transform his nation

Flynt died, aged 78, after having launched a porn conglomerate in the 1960s that was an even cruder imitation of Hugh Hefner’s Playboy empire: Hustler.
Mon Feb 15, 2021 - 9:41 am EST
Featured Image
Larry Flint David Livingston / Getty Images

Big Tech is censoring us. Subscribe to our email list and bookmark LifeSiteNews.com to continue getting our news.  Subscribe now.

February 15, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Larry Flynt, one of the last public American porn kings, died at the age of 78 years old of heart failure at his Hollywood Hills home on Wednesday, February 10. A paraplegic since an assassination attempt in 1978, Flynt’s porn conglomerate had been an even cruder imitation of Hugh Hefner’s Playboy empire — Hustler magazine, Hustler clubs, and several Hustler TV channels, as well as a panoply of other pornographic products. Flynt called himself the “smut peddler who cares,” and throughout his career he poured poison into America’s groundwater in the name of free speech and getting filthy rich.

Flynt ran a string of strip clubs across the American Midwest in the 1960s before launching his Hustler Newsletter in January of 1972, originally a circular about his clubs. Following the model of Playboy without the laughable pretensions of being a gentleman’s magazine, Flynt decided to launch a national porn magazine in July 1974. By November, he was publishing unprecedented pornographic material, including photographs of female genitalia. Over and over again, he ended up in court fighting for the right to publish porn that even Hefner refused to print.

Flynt finally got rich the following year, when he purchased (for $18,000) paparazzi photographs of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sunbathing and published them in August of 1975, selling over a million copies within several days as he pandered to the worst instincts of the American public and took their money in exchange for smashing taboos and destroying privacy. Flynt was so flush he managed to buy a mansion with the money he made selling flesh. Whether the women who ended up in Hustler wanted Flynt to put their bodies on display for the paying public was of no consequence.

As with Hefner, Flynt’s personal life mirrored the sexual chaos he projected into the culture. He was married five times, was relentlessly and recklessly promiscuous, and claimed to have had his first sexual experience with an animal rather than a person. Nothing was too vile for Flynt, and he was proud of it all. Americans, he claimed, were just like him. “My competitors always masqueraded their pornography as art,” Flynt scornfully said to the Cincinnati Post. “We never had any pretensions about what we did … We have proved that barnyard humour has market appeal.” Those not already in the gutter, he believed, could be coaxed there.

In fact, Flynt furiously disowned his oldest daughter (of five) Tonya Flynt-Vega when she converted to Christianity and announced her opposition to pornography. His daughter eventually claimed in the 1998 book Hustled that her father had sexually abused her. Flynt claimed she was lying and that he’d passed a polygraph test confirming that fact. He himself converted briefly to evangelicalism in 1977 after an encounter with the evangelist Ruth Carter Stapleton (Jimmy Carter’s sister), before relapsing a year later and settling comfortably and conveniently on atheism.

Flynt’s most famous court battle resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of his First Amendment right to publish a fake Hustler ad of Religious Right spokesman and televangelist Jerry Falwell describing an incestuous encounter between the pastor and his mother in an outhouse. Falwell won a libel suit against the pornographer in a lower court, but the Supreme Court decided in 1988 that the ad constituted parody and was thus protected speech. Flynt, already accustomed to fighting obscenity laws wherever he found them, styled himself a defender of the sort of speech most people were too decent to utter or publish.

Flynt’s empire once boasted a turnover of $150 million, and Hustler peaked at a circulation of three million. He also flooded the American market with other porn magazines and movies. During his lifetime, he represented everything wrong with the sexual revolution and with the metastasizing of libertarianism into libertinism. Everything he accomplished made America worse, and he left broken marriages, debased minds, and a cruder culture in his wake. He was a porn pioneer; with the arrival of the digital tidal wave of filth heralded by the internet that has swamped the culture and conquered nearly every young mind in the nation, his vision for America has become a reality. Unfortunately, Larry Flynt was a profoundly consequential American. He lived to see his filthy fantasies transform his nation, and generations have been confused about the difference between happiness and pleasure as a result.


  hustler, larry flint, pornography

Keep this news available to you and millions more

Your gift will spread truth, defeat lies, and save lives


Share this article