Tuesday, February 17, 2004


Larry Flynt says he's finally "nailed" the Bush abortion story. I'm sure the media, who spent the past week reporting on BS scandal-mongering from Drudge, will universally condemn Flynt for daring to do such a thing, as they did when he rightly thought that the hypocritical behavior by certain Republicans during the impeachment fiasco was newsworthy.

As Molly Ivins writes:

My favorite campaign document of recent days is from a conservative email newsletter, Talon (you can't make this stuff up). In the Feb. 13 update, Item One is a nasty piece of gossip about a Democratic contender, whereas Item Three (I swear) is, "Gutter Politics to Get Uglier: Reacting in part to the relentless questioning of the President's service record, RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie said Wednesday that despite being so early in the campaign season, the Democrats have made clear they intend to run the dirtiest campaign in modern presidential politics."

I think we need a rule calling for at least two paragraphs between spreading nasty gossip and then decrying the spreading of nasty gossip. On television and radio, 24 hours should be required. Standards must be maintained here, team.

I'd also like the media to consider one thing - compare Flynt's batting average with Drudge's. While the media will jump to condemn Flynt, they should recognize that Flynt has higher journalistic standards than any of them for this kind of thing. He doesn't run with things until he has multiple sources. This story may or may not be true, but frankly I have a lot more faith in the accuracy of Flynt's reporting than I do in a lot of the mainstream press. The recent week has only re-confirmed that.

Let's remember that Drudge first became a celebrity not because of Monica, but because he falsely accused Sidney Blumenthal of beating his wife. And the media sided with Drudge.

...just a reminder. Flynt previously floated this story on Crossfire back in '00, and the CNN producers flipped out, started screaming in his ear, and the transcript was removed permanently from their website. Here's what he said:

[ROBERT] NOVAK: Mr. Flynt, never let it be said that we censor any of our guests here on CROSSFIRE, and you said you wanted to talk about the election. Tell me what you wanted to say.

FLYNT: Well, during the impeachment debacle, we did an investigation which resulted in the resignation of Bob Livingston and others and we have continued this investigation and for eight months we've been looking into George W. Bush's background. And we've found out in the early 1970s he was involved in an abortion in Texas, and I just think that it's sad that the mainstream media, who's aware of this story, won't ask him that question when they were able to ask him the drug question without any proof at all, and we've got all kinds of proof on this issue.

NOVAK: Well, you're...

FLYNT: You know, the guy admitted he was a drunk for 20 years, and if the abortion issue is true then that puts him lower on the morality scale than Bill Clinton.

NOVAK: Mr. Flynt, you said if it's true and you have no proof of that. I gather you are a very strong...

FLYNT: The hell we don't have proof.

NOVAK: Sir, I gather you're a very strong Gore supporter. Is that correct?

FLYNT: I'll vote for the lesser of the two evils. I don't like either one of them.

[BILL] PRESS: All Right, Larry Flynt, a man who speaks his word, but we remind you they are Larry Flynt's words and not ours. Larry Flynt, thank you very, very much for joining us.

This was followed by an online chat, in which Flynt went into greater detail:

CNN - Mr. Flynt, I would like to know how you plan to protect yourself from a law suit by claiming to have the goods on GWBush.

Flynt: Because we have them and the truth is an absolute defense.

CNN; When and where are you going to publish information about George W. Bush?

Flynt: When I said that we had the proof, I am referring to knowing who the girl was, knowing who the doctor was that pereformed the abortion, evidence from girlfriends of hers at the time, who knew about the romance and the subsequent abortion. The young lady does not want to go public, and without her willingness, we don't feel that we're on solid enough legal ground to go with the story, because should she say it never happened, then we've got a potential libel suit. But we know we have enough evidence that we believe completely. One of the things that interested us was that this abortion took place before Roe Vs. Wade in 1970, which made it a crime at the time. I'd just like the national media to ask him if abortion is okay for him and his family, but not for the rest of America. We're not looking at it as a big issue, we're looking at it as a situation of people not being told the truth. I think the American people have a right to know everything there is to know about someone running for President.