Wednesday, May 01, 2013


This blog used to devote much cyber-ink to Republican politicians who tarnished the GOP's image as the party of family values. I was particularly amused by Mark Foley and former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert (one of the more obvious closeted gays in the history of Congress).

But I never truly wanted those guys to lose their jobs over sex scandals. For other reasons, yes. The sex stuff was simply...funny.

Which brings us to the case of Mark Sanford, who hopes to make a comeback. Sure, the "hiking the Appalachian Trail" thing amused me as much as it amused everyone else, but now -- well, I'm not sure I feel comfortable with Larry Flynt's satirical jabs at Sanford's indiscretions.
"No one has done more to expose the sexual hypocrisy of traditional values in America today. He is the man of the hour — the midnight hour," Flynt says in his endorsement posted online Tuesday afternoon. "He has demonstrated by his words and deeds that traditional values are shameful and that he will not live by such rules. As the bible teaches us: 'Ye shall know them by their fruits.'"
Don't get me wrong: I like Flynt. Sure, his porn was always kind of disgusting, even by porn standards -- back in my younger days, I'd look at Hustler only if I wanted to quell horniness -- but the guy is funny and politically savvy. And I admire that elaborate John Wayne monument he put in front of his building. Only a man of great wit and insouciance would place a massive piece of cowboy art in the middle of Beverly Hills on Wilshire Blvd.

Nevertheless, Flynt's jabs at Sanford are out of line. You can't combat sexual hypocrisy by being a hypocrite yourself.

A man's private life is his own business. Sins unrelated to either public policy or finance should not determine a politician's fate. There are plenty of reasons to vote against Sanford, but "the Appalachian Trail" is not among them.

I'm sorry now about the earlier Cannonfire posts on Hastert and Foley.
Sanford's sexual pecadilloes did lead him into incompetence, leaving the state with no notification and using state money to fund his affair.

That's what should disqualify him.
Setting aside my fervent desire to ask you the decades-old parlour-game favourite of us OCD conspiracy wonks (WHO really shot Larry Flynt and WHY?)...

Your recent soul-searching regarding the bewheeled Hustler Honcho's track record of "outings" casts a recollection back on Flynt's uber-outrageous STAGING of "surveillance sex photos" of supposedly just-killed-by-the-Russians Georgia congressman (and Birch Society fuhrer) Larry "Gimme Dose Red Squad Files" McDonald.

So what's your opinion of Flynt's behaviour in the McDonald case?
Andy, while it is fun to think that McDonald's death was staged because he knew that Flynt had embarrassing photos, I've seen no evidence to support that idea.

I saw those photos when they came out. As I recall, they were kind of funny, because the woman Larry chose was...well, she was not exactly a fashion model. The shots are not on the net. Probably just as well.

It seems likely to me that Flynt was shot by Joseph Paul Franklin, who has confessed to the deed. Admittedly, Franklin has given inconsistent stories. So we can't be sure.

There are mysteries surrounding Flynt. The key names would be Gordon Novel, Bill Mentzer and Vicky Morgan. Novel got into Flynt's good graces by proffering what he claimed was a video tape of Vicky Morgan fucking Ronald Reagan in the ass with a strap-on. Flynt showed this tape to lots of people, including Frank Zappa (who once offered a description on the radio!). Novel later claimed -- probably correctly -- that the tape was a fake created by an Eastern bloc service using lookalike actors.

For a while, Novel was THE key man in Flynt's empire. That's the period when Flynt started to say and do really nutty things in public, like wearing diapers in court.

Novel also hired some really shady characters to join Flynt's security staff -- among them Bill Mentzer, the hit man convicted in the Cotton Club murder case. Mentzer also figures heavily in Maury Terry's "The Ultimate Evil" (a book that seems rather less impressive to me now than it did when it first came out). There were a couple of articles in the old Los Angeles Herald-Examiner which talked about this. Wish I still had those clips...!

I have no idea what Novel was up to when he was on Flynt's staff. If you know Novel's story, you'll know that he had two main ambitions: Making a lot of money without working a mundane job, and inventing anti-gravity. He really thinks had the Big Secret of anti-gravity.

Guess he took it with him when he died last year. You missed your chance to ask him about his days with Flynt.
We do go back a long way, Joseph, don't we -- in our separate wanderings down the dim corridors of yesteryear's parapolitics. And thanks for your thoughtful/insightful reply regarding that now posthumously mysterious nerd, Novel. (Someday we should chat about Garrison and Bannister's early FBI years together in the Pacific Northwest, and their probable encounters with the magically unextraditable Fred Crisman!)

But you misunderstood my reference to "staging" in regard to the McDonald case. To this day I hold no brief as to the authenticity of his very timely (because of his culpability regarding missing LAPD intel docs) "martyrdom in the sky". I was instead casting doubt on Hustler's high-res humping photos, which looked for all the world to my (then) young-and-innocent eyes as a well-lit, carefully posed, studio shoot with a McDonald lookalike, rather than some dingy, available-light hampered, surveillance-cam product.
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