Charles Keating Was "the Scum of the Earth," Says Porn Titan Larry Flynt
Are you convinced that serial-killer Joseph Paul Franklin was the man that shot you, paralyzing you from the waist down?
Yes. He shot [and wounded] Vernon Jordan, the civil rights activist. He was a real rabid racist. He supposedly shot me because of [an interracial] photo feature that I had in Hustler...He bombed a lot of synagogues in the South during the '70s and '80s, too. He was a pretty sick puppy.
And yet, you opposed his execution last year, why?
I've always been opposed to the death penalty. When you snuff those guys' lives out in a matter of seconds, suffering is gone. But if you put them in a four-by-six cell for their rest of their lives, they've got a lot of suffering to do. And I just don't think the government should be in the business of killing. And, besides, we have no evidence that indicates that the death penalty is a deterrent.
Is there any irony in the fact that the porn industry that Keating was crusading against is dying, but because of market forces, not censorship?
Oh, yeah, that's true, because the Internet has virtually killed pornography as far as publishing is concerned. But that's the rest of the media as well, because most people are getting their information off the Internet.
We have a large presence in broadcast television, where we do a lot of programming worldwide. We're still very much in the business, but publishing is just a fraction of our revenue now.
What's Hustler's circulation now, 100,000?
Yeah, that's right. It was at a peak of 3 million at one time.
Do you miss the days when the magazine itself had a lot of influence?
Hustler was a lot of fun. We were as much an entertainment magazine as we were a sex publication. We were always pushing the envelope.
What's your prescription for outliving your enemies?
That's a great question. (Chuckles.) I would say have a lot of sex. You know, when you're too old to cut the mustard, you can always lick the jar.
For the latest on all things Flynt, check out his website larryflynt.com.
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