Most of us would agree that Larry Flynt is a pretty sleazy guy.
In 1974, he published the first issue of Hustler magazine, which quickly became the most sexually graphic publication in America. At its peak, it had a monthly circulation of 3,000,000, but its current circulation is around 500,000. In addition to the magazine, Larry Flynt Publications also licenses the Hustler brand Hustler Casino in Gardena, California, a chain of Hustler Club bars and clubs, and a Hustler store chain that sells adult-oriented videos, clothing, magazines, and sex toys
Larry Flynt is now 74 years old, and lives in Hollywood Hills, California. He has been married 5 times and divorced three (his third wife, Althea Leasure, drowned in 1987). In case you are wondering, his net worth is an estimated $500 million, which seems to disprove the old adage that the wages of sin is death.
In spite of his checkered background, though, all of us owe Larry Flynt a debt of gratitude. If you review the Wikipedia article about him, it’s clear that he has generated numerous lawsuits and controversies in his lifetime. None of those lawsuits, though, was as important to the rest of us as the 1998 Supreme Court case known as Falwell v. Flynt. A summary of that court case can be found below:
One of the net effects of the court case is that it essentially granted cartoonists and other satirists immunity from lawsuits, which is critically important at a time when the current occupant of the White House would like to jail journalists who publish articles that are critical of him. He also happens to believe that the 1st amendment of the United States Constitution is “outdated”.
Recently, a story was in circulation that Donald Trump’s lawyer was threatening to sue Berkley Breathed, who published Bloom County from December 8, 1980 until August 6, 1989. On July 13, 2015, the strip resumed, allegedly in response to the Presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump. A little research on this story found that it was actually “fake news”, a label that has attached frequently as of late to some of the more august publications in America. To quote Kellyanne Conway, it’s another example of “an alternative fact”.
Garry Trudeau has been poking fun at Donald Trump for roughly 30 years, and many of his strips can be viewed in the recently published “Yuge!, which will certainly bring a smile to your face.
Donald Trump has been a huge gift to late night comics, like Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel, and he has also provided a TON of material for political cartoonists around the country. Here’s one example from our local newspaper. Thanks to that old scumbag Larry Flynt, all of them, and all of us, owe him our heartfelt thanks.