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Larry Flynt asks for a bailout of the porn industry.

The latest bailout request is from the porn industry.

From TMZ:

[Larry] Flynt (the "Hustler" guy) and [Joe] Francis (the "Girls Gone Wild" dude) are asking the government for a $5 billion bailout, claiming the adult entertainment industry has taken a huge shot to the face because of the downturn — citing the fact that XXX DVD sales are down 22% from a year ago.

"With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind," Flynt says. "It's time for Congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America."

Economically, this request is no more ridiculous than the one last month from the home building industry. After all, to stabilize prices, we probably need a lower inventory of houses on the market, not a higher one.

Today it's the porn industry wanting a bailout. Who's next in line?

steviededalus:
But wouldn't DVD sales also be down due the rise in handy and convenient (not to mention cheap to produce) online pornography? I recently read an interview with the CEO of Vivid who claimed that the internet was ruining adult DVD sales.
Maybe Joe Francis wouldn't need a bailout if he quit paying for all those late night ad spots...
1.7.2009 6:51pm
Shelby (mail):
Who's next in line?

Lawbloggers?
1.7.2009 6:53pm
Gary Imhoff (mail) (www):
Everyone does recognize that Flynt and Francis are engaging in political satire here, right? They're spoofing the special interest nature of government bailouts and making a libertarian and pro-capitalist point about letting the market work.

Aren't they?
1.7.2009 6:59pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Just as the sexual revolution destroyed demand for commercial sex purveyors, because women were willing to have sex free of charge, the computer revolution has destroyed demand for commercial porn because amateurs are willing to film their sex acts free of charge.

Time marches on.
1.7.2009 7:00pm
BRM:
"claiming the adult entertainment industry has taken a huge shot to the face because of the downturn"

Would that be a money shot?
1.7.2009 7:03pm
Burt Likko (mail) (www):
If we don't bail out Big Porn, then it won't be long before all of our smut comes from places like Sweden and Vietnam!
1.7.2009 7:03pm
James Gibson (mail):
Gary, I don't think they are kidding. Remember, Minnesota just elected (maybe) Al Franken to the Senate. Who better to represent the Porn industry in Congress.
1.7.2009 7:12pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Who is next?

Libertarian thinktanks, of course!
1.7.2009 7:15pm
Marina Martin (mail) (www):
Unless someone can prove otherwise, I'm assuming that Flynt is doing this to prove a point. The man used the legal system to fight harder for our rights than most people ever will.

I'm open to hearing why I should dislike the guy, but based on everything I've read, he's my hero.
1.7.2009 7:18pm
Sarcastro (www):
This felacious satire proves Lary Flynt is a conservative.

Because only conservatives are against the bailout.
1.7.2009 7:18pm
Awesome-O:
Just as the sexual revolution destroyed demand for commercial sex purveyors, because women were willing to have sex free of charge

Oh Lord, I wish Sarcastro were here, as there is not a single part of that statement that isn't both false and hilarious.
1.7.2009 7:30pm
SFJD (www):

The man used the legal system to fight harder for our rights than most people ever will.


Yes, he has tried his best to make things hard for many people. And however handy Mr. Flynt has been to so many of us, it would be a stiff challenge for Congress to reach around the aisle to get this bailout passed. Too many American people think they are bending over too much for too many men in suits and spiffy ties. I for one do not think a large package such as this for the porn industry will do much good, because it will take too many strokes for any money shot to actually stimulate this economy. Nonetheless, every industry is going to keep one eye open for more bailouts into their respective bank account receptacles.
1.7.2009 7:30pm
Arkady:

a huge shot to the face because of the downturn


I believe that's a subspecies of the money shot...but then there's the "downturn" thing (how they do that?). What a sentence, huh?
1.7.2009 7:31pm
David Welker (www):

Economically, this request is no more ridiculous than the one last month from the home building industry.


Yeah, if you believe that porn is as socially valuable as building a home for a family to live in.

Why is it that Lindgren likes to gravitate towards bizarre points? It is nearly as though he is determined to not be taken seriously.
1.7.2009 7:34pm
Awesome-O:
Yes, he has tried his best to make things hard for many people. And however handy Mr. Flynt has been to so many of us, it would be a stiff challenge for Congress to reach around the aisle to get this bailout passed. Too many American people think they are bending over too much for too many men in suits and spiffy ties. I for one do not think a large package such as this for the porn industry will do much good, because it will take too many strokes for any money shot to actually stimulate this economy. Nonetheless, every industry is going to keep one eye open for more bailouts into their respective bank account receptacles.

Just to keep these clever metaphors going...

Congress is using its blood-engorged penis to violate America in the colon while not even offering to manually stimulate America's penis.
1.7.2009 7:35pm
PC:
Next up: wheel manufacturers ask for a bailout so there will be more rim jobs.
1.7.2009 8:08pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
NAMING CONTEST! We gotta have a naming contest for this bailout!

Financial Viagra, etc.
1.7.2009 8:10pm
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
Who's next? How about the automakers. Studabaker, Stuts, Packard....
1.7.2009 8:49pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
Flynt's plea makes more sense than that of state governments. Penthouse, at least, is a product. Just what, exactly, doe state governments produce? Not counting more bureaucrats, of course....
1.7.2009 9:34pm
D.O.:
Why are you people still discussing "bailouts"? It is so 2008. Cheer up, now we are looking to "stimulus" and "reinvestment".
1.7.2009 10:00pm
gran habano:
Hustler is clearly too big to fail. If they go down, the domestic porn industry might stop going down, and that would be tragic.

However, the Girls Gone Wild Dude shouldn't get a bailout. GGW has put out limp, unimaginative product for years now, and their business model is clearly inferior to the stiff competitor set in this market.

Also, I think the Federal Government needs to acquire warrants for shares in these porn companies, as a condition of any bailout. It's long overdue for the taxpayers to MAKE money from a screwing, rather than the reverse.

We may also need to appoint a porn czar, so the Congress can have proper oversight over this critical industry. I have a few candidates in mind... politicians who know what a good screwing looks like.
1.7.2009 10:24pm
zippypinhead:
Reality? Satire? Who can tell the difference anymore? After all, we're talking about Flint and Francis petitioning the same Federal Government that, according to recent press reports, has been, um, "bailing out" polygamous Afghan Warlords with free Little Blue Pills*** in exchange for info on the Taliban.


***And in attempting to post this comment, I discovered that Professor Volokh has the formal tradename of the aforementioned "Little Blue Pills" in a spam block filter. Free Speech censorship right here on VC? Wow... Who'd a thunk it? ;~)
1.7.2009 11:08pm
Eric Jablow (mail):
Gran,

The government owned the Mustang Ranch for a while, and that failed.
1.7.2009 11:34pm
Sua Tremendita (mail):
And the government still owns the Crazy Horse II in Las Vegas...and lost their adult cabaret license. Dang bureaucrats can't do anything right...
1.7.2009 11:44pm
darrenm:

...DVD sales are down 22% from a year ago.

Only 22 percent? Considering how my 401K fared, this sounds pretty good.
1.7.2009 11:52pm
methodact:
Bankers always prefer to be paid back in dearer dollars, than those they loan out. Loans made these days will likely be paid back with hyper-inflated dollars, later. When inflation far exeeds the fixed interest rate on a loan, that steep difference is like arbitrage.

From Messrs. Flynt and Francis' vantage points, it might make good sense.
1.7.2009 11:56pm
darrenm:

Yes, he has tried his best to make things hard for many people. And however handy Mr. Flynt has been to so many of us, it would be a stiff challenge for Congress to reach around the aisle to get this bailout passed. Too many American people think they are bending over too much for too many men in suits and spiffy ties. I for one do not think a large package such as this for the porn industry will do much good, because it will take too many strokes for any money shot to actually stimulate this economy. Nonetheless, every industry is going to keep one eye open for more bailouts into their respective bank account receptacles.

I couldn't help it. :)
1.8.2009 12:00am
Bailed (mail):
darrenm:

Missed five...
1.8.2009 1:55am
hattio1:
Shot to the face????

Come on, how could you miss that this was farce? I bet you really believed Jerry Falwell should have won because Flynt lied about him having sex with his mother too....
1.8.2009 3:37am
Cleland:
Mostly unrelated, but amusing nonetheless: Non Sequitur
1.8.2009 3:37am
methodact:
$5 billion would go a long way toward seeding a more viable presidential campaign than that which Flynt ran previously and unsuccessfully for U.S. President, (as a Republican against Ronald Reagan), especially with Joe Francis on the ticket as his running mate.
1.8.2009 4:49am
Zywicki (mail):
One prediction does seem clear about this--there are going to be a lot of disappointed Google searchers ending up at the VC in the next few days.
1.8.2009 8:02am
mls (www):
Darn, with 32 comments already, I must have missed the opportunity to make the first joke about a "stimulus package."
1.8.2009 8:05am
rbj:

Today it's the porn industry wanting a bailout. Who's next in line?


No fair! The porn industry jumped in front of me. I've already put my hand out for the government to pay my student loans and mortgage. And with those paid for, I'd be able to spend more, er, I meant "some", money on porn.

Women's new pickup line: "Is that a bailout in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"
1.8.2009 8:14am
Al Maviva:
Who is next?
Libertarian thinktanks, of course!


Ah, perhaps you've also been receiving CATO's latest fundraising pleas. Did you get any of them that insinuate that the U.S. Govt is controlled by a shadowy cabal of neo-cons? Since the dual-loyalty libel is in fair play, I suppose an appeal for government funding can't be too far behind.

After that letter, I think I'd rather bail out Larry Flynt. He doesn't try to hide what he's become.
1.8.2009 8:33am
Brian Garst (www):
Yeah, if you believe that porn is as socially valuable as building a home for a family to live in.


Or if you believe that markets are best at deciding what is "socially valuable," not you or government meddlers.
1.8.2009 9:34am
PubliusFL:
Awesome-O: Waitaminute... I thought we just established in the "Government Reply in Lori Drew Case" thread that the United States is female!
1.8.2009 10:22am
methodact:
One prediction does seem clear about this--there are going to be a lot of disappointed Google searchers ending up at the VC in the next few days.
And perhaps even more will holler Eureka! I have found it! I've struck paydirt, hit the mother lode!
1.8.2009 10:58am
Kent G. Budge (www):
Bailouts generally create moral hazards, but this has to be the tops.

I'm tempted to make a bad pun about the risk of inflation, but that would be just too tasteless. ;)
1.8.2009 11:40am
Eli Rabett (www):
Eli thinks the right thing to do is to tell Larry to go ____ himself.
1.8.2009 12:35pm
wfjag:

Tony Tutins:
Just as the sexual revolution destroyed demand for commercial sex purveyors, because women were willing to have sex free of charge, the computer revolution has destroyed demand for commercial porn because amateurs are willing to film their sex acts free of charge.

Tony, I always wondered where you lived. Amsterdam, right?
1.8.2009 1:55pm
CB55 (mail):
Flynt is one honest man and the tax payer knows that all money given to porn goes in part for lube jobs, medical care, and fillings.
1.8.2009 5:57pm

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