Hypocrites Exposed by Flynt: TV News
Hustler Publisher Interviewed, Clinton Accusers Ignored
Larry Flynt threatened to expose the personal lives of Republicans who
would impeach or remove President Clinton. When Flynt planned to drop a
bombshell on January 11, Geraldo Rivera invited him to blow up
Republicans on CNBC’s Rivera Live. Flynt only produced the dud
that Rep. Bob Barr used a legal privilege to sidestep adultery questions
in his divorce, but ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This
Morning invited him for an interview.
ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas began
January 12: "In Washington this morning, there is nervousness among
Republicans about what Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt
might do next. Last night, Flynt released what he says is damaging
evidence about the personal life of Republican Congressman Bob Barr, one
of President Clinton’s most vocal critics and an opponent of abortion
That night, ABC’s World News
Tonight was the only broadcast network newscast to carry Flynt’s
story. John Cochran began: "Whatever you think of Larry Flynt or his
pornographic magazine, he has shown that if you’ve got enough money you
can put an ad in the paper offering up to one million dollars for dirt
on Congressmen. And then mainstream journalists will report your
allegations about the personal life of, well Bob Barr for starters."
Cochran concluded: "Democrats sympathize, but say the sexual McCarthyism
started when wealthy opponents of President Clinton financed
investigations into his relations with women in Arkansas, including
Paula Jones. Larry Flynt says he’s just evening the score, making
Clinton’s enemies pay, and making others wonder, ‘will this ever end’?"
But have the networks always
jumped on personal allegations and interviewed the accusers?
- Good Morning America
and CBS This Morning passed on Gennifer Flowers, at least until
ABC invited Flowers last March. But the morning after the New York
Post suggested in August 1992 that George Bush may have had an
affair, authors Joe and Susan Trento were invited on ABC and CBS to
share their theories.
- Neither morning show
interviewed writers from The American Spectator or the Arkansas
troopers when Troopergate broke in 1993. Neither interviewed Paula
Jones in 1994, even though both interviewed journalists Jill Abramson
and Jane Mayer, whose book that year argued Clarence Thomas was a
- Both morning shows passed on
Gary Aldrich, whose book alleged Clinton left the White House for
extramarital affairs at a D.C. hotel.
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