WaPo Seeks Out Hustler Porn Emperor Larry Flynt to Lecture Murdoch on Media Ethics

The Washington Post can really pick them when selecting a guest lecturer to Rupert Murdoch on media ethics: pornographer Larry Flynt. In a Sunday Outlook section article is the headline “The people vs. Rupert Murdoch: Hustler magazine founder Larry Flynt says his fellow media mogul has gone too far.” Yes, somehow, Larry Flynt gets to pose as The People.

Flynt lectured at Murdoch: “One cannot live off the liberty and benefits of a free press while ignoring the privacy of the people. People such as Murdoch and I, as heads of publishing conglomerates, have a responsibility to maintain and respect this boundary.” The Post editors clearly enjoy the notion that Larry Flynt oozes on a higher plane than Murdoch in the media world.

This sentence sticks out in the piece: “Meanwhile, Roger Ailes, chief of Murdoch's Fox News, runs a well-oiled propaganda machine.” After all, to the WashPost elite, pornography is just harmless fun, while Fox News is ruining democracy and civil discourse.

This would be Flynt’s summary paragraph:

I test limits by publishing controversial material and paying people who are willing to step forward and expose political hypocrisy. Murdoch's minions, on the other hand, pushed limits by allegedly engaging in unethical or criminal activity: phone hacking, bribery, coercing criminal behavior and betraying the trust of their readership. If News Corp.'s reported wrongdoings are true, what Murdoch's company has been up to does not just brush against boundaries - it blows right past them.

But some of the reported wrongdoings of the Murdoch papers have already been debunked. The leftist paper The Guardian has run a correction and apologized to The Sun, one of Murdoch's British tabloids, for reporting that The Sun had obtained medical records for ex-prime minister Gordon Brown's son. After the Guardian's story this week, The Sun denied the report and obtained an affidavit from its source, a member of the public whose son also suffered from cystic fibrosis. The correction ran on page 36 – not exactly where the original story ran.

That story broke on Friday, but apparently the Post is too lazy (even online) to correct Flynt from charging: “News Corp. employees allegedly hired known criminals to obtain private information about former British prime minister Gordon Brown when his infant son was given a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis.”

Flynt is especially ridiculous while he proclaims great respect for the right to privacy, which usually means the right to page through his skeezy parade of female sexploitation. Flynt knows he has violated the privacy of conservative politicians, but he believes that if your public conservatism gets in the way of fun-loving Flynt-style politicians like Bill Clinton, then your privacy rights are terminated:

I do not create sensationalism at the expense of people living private lives. Yes, I have offered money to those willing to expose hypocritical politicians — one of those offers, in 1998, resulted in the resignation of Bob Livingston, a Republican congressman from Louisiana who voted to impeach President Bill Clinton despite his own extramarital affairs. I focus not on those who are innocent, but rather on those who practice the opposite of what they very publicly preach. This may be considered an extreme or controversial practice in getting a story, but it is far from criminal.

Flynt concluded: “Members of the news media walk a fine line between fully leveraging freedom of the press and respecting their responsibilities to the public. It is a difficult balancing act. Murdoch seems to have fallen off the tightrope. Let’s just hope he doesn’t take all of us down with him.”

Shame on The Washington Post for this tabloidish turn. They really couldn’t help their liberal Fox-hating selves on this low road.

Tim Graham's picture


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