Relaymedia

Porn Industry Moguls Seek $5B Bailout

( [email protected] ) Jan 15, 2009 11:51 AM EST

To most Americans, the recent request for a $5 billion federal bailout by leaders of the porn industry is something to laugh about.

But for Larry Flynt, the publisher of Hustler magazine, and Joe Francis, the producer of "Girls Gone Wild" videos, it’s a serious request.

"With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind," stated Flynt in an announcement regarding he and Francis’s joint request to Congress. "It's time for congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly."

Since Congress authorized $700 billion to assist the financial industry in October, the Bush administration has already committed the first $350 billion, using it to inject capital into banks with few strings attached and to bail out ailing financial companies considered too big to fail without further damage to the economy.

On Tuesday, President-elect Barack Obama appealed to Democrats in Congress to allow the use of the final $350 billion in bailout funds, vowing to veto any move to block the money.

"Congress seems willing to help shore up our nation's most important businesses, we feel we deserve the same consideration,” stated Francis last week. “In difficult economic times, Americans turn to entertainment for relief. More and more, the kind of entertainment they turn to is adult entertainment."

According to the adult industry leaders, roughly half of all internet users visit adult sites, with the number of unique visitors to adult websites having grown to more than 75 million per month.

"The popularity of adult entertainment in America has grown steadily for the past half century," Francis reported. "Its emergence into the mainstream of popular culture suggests that the U.S. government should actively support the adult industry's survival and growth, just as it feels the need to support any other industry cherished by the American people."

Many concerned Americans, however, were quick to argue against Francis and Flynt’s claims, describing the porn industry as a cancer within society and as an industry with devastating effects on individuals, marriages, families and workplaces.

"Pornographers continue to disregard the heartbreak and devastation they wreak on a daily basis," said Steve Siler, director of Music for the Soul (MFS), a Christian ministry that recently released a multimedia compilation entitled "Somebody's Daughter: A Journey to Freedom from Pornography," which addresses the issue of pornography addiction.

And now, he says, “they take advantage of the economic misfortune of millions of Americans in order to generate free publicity.”

“I would call this act thoughtless, if it wasn't so calculated,” Siler said. “Some have called it a joke. But to laugh and joke about this epidemic is hurtful and offensive."

According to reports, “Girls Gone Wild” CEO Francis planned to send letters asking for assistance to his local representative, California congressman Henry Waxman; Massachusetts' Barney Frank, the head of the House of Representatives' Financial Services Committee); and the U.S. Treasury Department.

Though he and Flynt are quick to admit that the $13 billion industry is “in no fear of collapse,” they say “why take chances?”

“Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex," Flynt argued.

Correction: Thursday, January 15, 2008:

An article on Wednesday, January 14, 2008, about the porn industry seeking a federal bailout incorrectly reported the request as $5 million. Porn industry moguls Larry Flynt and Joe Francis have asked the government for a $5 billion bailout.