The Clintons’ Pornographer

, Paul Kengor, Leave a comment

An aspect of the Clinton Years that most academic historians might miss:

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When Larry Flynt is feeling righteous, he describes himself as a crusader: for civil liberties in general and free speech in particular.” So begins a profile of porn king Larry Flynt in Bloomberg. “But now Bloomberg Politics can exclusively report that the impresario behind the Hustler empire is adding a new element to his persona: Flynt is officially ready for Hillary.”

Bloomberg was present for the “bestowal of Flynt’s blessing on Clinton,” granted from the pornographer’s sprawling abode high above L.A.’s Wilshire Boulevard, which had the “look of an unholy, Hollywood Babylon hybrid of Tara and the Uffizi.”

It took little prompting to get Flynt’s enthusiastic endorsement of the feminist icon: “I’m endorsing Hillary Clinton for president!” declared the man who has made gazillions photographing nude women in every imaginable pose.

Bloomberg notes that Flynt’s backing of Clinton is “on the face of it, unsurprising.” The porn king has always been a big fan of Democrats, for whom his advocacy “has been lifelong and unfailing.” In fact, noted the Bloomberg reporter, one of Flynt’s better political pals is California Governor Jerry Brown, who, coincidentally, happened to be next in waiting to see Flynt that afternoon.

Flynt does not like Republicans. With its usual flare for understatement, his magazine proclaims George W. Bush the “A–hole of the Century.” Coming from Larry Flynt, Bush can take that as a giant positive.

Bloomberg noted the “animating impulse” behind Flynt’s endorsement: the future of the Supreme Court. “If Hillary gets in,” explains the Hustler publisher, “chances are she’s going to have an opportunity to appoint two, maybe three justices… and we could shift the balance there.” No question about that.

But Larry Flynt is not only hyped for Hillary. The Bloomberg piece includes this revealing passage on Flynt’s admiration of Hillary’s husband, which he claims is mutual:

That Flynt holds a special place in his heart for 42 [Bill Clinton] is evident, and Flynt claims that the feeling is mutual. In 2006, the two men ran into each other at a fundraiser in Las Vegas for Jimmy Carter’s son, Jack, who was running for Senate in Nevada. According to Flynt, Bill Clinton—apparently still grateful for the porn king’s role in the downfall of [Republican House Speaker-to-be] Bob Livingston, a key moment in the deflation of the impeachment bubble—walked over, shook Flynt’s hand, and said, “You’re my hero.” As I prepare to leave, Flynt shows me a photo on his desk of him and Clinton from the fundraiser, noting that the former president has denied the quote in question. “He can say whatever he wants,” Flynt chuckles. “I have three witnesses.”

Fascinating scenario, is it not? Flynt and Bill Clinton grabbing and grinning thankfully at a Vegas fundraiser for the son of born-again Baptist President Jimmy Carter, the Democrats’ moral exemplar. And Bill embraces the porn master as his hero? And Flynt even has a picture? And Clinton denies it? Gee, who do we believe in this one? Who would Hillary believe?

While he was at it, Bill should’ve asked Flynt for a donation to his and Hillary’s foundation. In fact, I wonder if Flynt ever provided one….

I’m somewhat familiar with the Clintons’ unique relationship with this political bedfellow. In my 2007 book on the faith of Hillary Clinton, God and Hillary Clinton, I detailed a scarcely acknowledged fact concerning the Clinton years—namely, that Bill’s presence in the Oval Office was a boon for the porn industry.

This was captured in an excellent 2002 PBS documentary called “American Porn,” done by Frontline. It quoted Mark Cromer, producer of the X-rated Hustler Video: “When [Bill] Clinton comes in,” said Cromer of Clinton’s arrival at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, “it’s definitely blue skies and green lights and fat bank accounts.”

The green light was directly traceable to the Clinton administration. In the 1980s, the porn industry had been on the ropes, targeted by the Reagan administration, notably the vigilant efforts of Attorney General Ed Meese. Then, in the early 1990s, federal porn prosecutions suddenly halted with the arrival of the Clinton administration and its “different priorities” under the Clinton-Janet Reno Justice Department. “Under Attorney General Reno,” noted Frontline, “federal prosecutions slowed dramatically, and the obscenity task force effectively went out of business.”

The obscenely racist—yes, not just sexist but racist—Hustler magazine was so ecstatic with the Clinton era and all its happenings, legally and symbolically, emanating both from and under Bill’s Oval Office desk, that Larry Flynt went to bat for Bill during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, investigating the sexual lives of the president’s opponents. So busy was Flynt that the late Michael Kelly, the superb Washington Post columnist, christened Flynt “the president’s pornographer.”

Flynt is the first to gratefully admit that the porn industry enjoyed a resurrection under Mrs. Clinton’s husband, until things soured again for a time under George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

That’s another subject. As for Hillary Clinton, however, Flynt is again excited. And his excitement relates to a crucial factor ignored by Bloomberg and others: abortion. It’s the elephant on the porn set.

Larry Flynt and his industry—from performers to peddlers to consumers—need abortion badly. They must have it. And there’s no one more extreme in supporting abortion than Hillary Clinton. In my book on Hillary, I laid out at length her striking stridency on abortion, going all the way back to her Arkansas gynecologist and friend, William F. Harrison, who for decades was the state’s leading abortionist, mutilating tens of thousands of unborn babies. I interviewed Harrison several times for the book. He adored Hillary and described her as a fellow “pro-choice Methodist.”

Hillary is now well beyond “pro-choice Methodist.” Her statements in recent years, especially the horrific remarks she made on the Hobby Lobby case (click here for an analysis), reveal Hillary Clinton to be an abortion fanatic. She is utterly unhinged on the issue, radical beyond all boundaries.

Of course, that’s what Larry Flynt and the porn industry need; they crave an abortion zealot in the White House who will battle to keep the doors of the “clinics” wide open. When Larry and his friends inseminate a woman whose purpose is to serve strictly as their pleasure unit, and her contraception fails to fend off their sperm, they need abortion to discard the undesired byproduct. When one of his industry’s female performers accidentally gets pregnant, threatening to bloat the physical figure that is the object of Flynt’s customers’ desires, that girl needs Planned Parenthood. Hillary will fight to keep that spigot flowing.

Never mind, of course, that this blatant sexual objectification and exploitation of women for purely selfish male-centered reasons ought to infuriate feminists like Mrs. Clinton. For radical feminists, any man’s litany of sins is forgiven at the altar of their most blessed sacrament: abortion.

Just ask Hillary’s husband. Bill intimately learned of abortion’s reverence in the feminist church. My favorite anecdote illustrating the point was the infamous proclamation of journalist Nina Burleigh, who in the 1990s covered the White House for Time. Defending Bill Clinton’s sexual ruination of very young women (interns, no less) within the confines of the nation’s first house, Burleigh in 1998 wrote of her president: “I’d be happy to give him [oral sex] just to thank him for keeping abortion legal.” Burleigh recommended: “I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on, to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.”

Now there’s a vision of American women that Larry Flynt would heartily endorse. But for 2016, he’s content with his dream of a woman named Clinton elected to the White House. She’ll keep the theocracy off Flynt’s back—and the doors to abortion clinics wide open.

Paul Kengor’s forthcoming book is Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage. His other books include The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor and (among others) God and Hillary Clinton.