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Porn seeks a bailout
Why stimulating the sex-film industry isn’t so ridiculous, comparatively
 

What happened
Hustler founder Larry Flynt and “Girls Gone Wild” creator Joe Francis said they will seek a $5 billion federal bailout for the adult-entertainment industry. Porn DVD sales dropped 22 percent last year, which Flynt attributes to a fall in libido tied to “economic misery.” Francis Koenig, whose porn investment fund gained 50 percent in 2008, disagrees. “You’ve got 6 billion people on the planet,” he says, “and they’re all horny.” (New York Daily News)

What the commentators said
Another day, another bailout request, said Jim Lindgren in The Volokh Conspiracy. But as absurd as a porn handout would be, “economically, this request is no more ridiculous than the one last month from the home building industry.” After all, we need fewer houses on the market now, not more.

Flynt and Francis “just might have a stronger argument than the automotive industry,” too, said Ron Chusid in Liberal Values. Unlike GM, Ford, and Chrysler, the porn industry's woes aren't the result of bad management decisions. Congress probably won’t touch this, but it would sure make for interesting viewing on C-SPAN.

It's a publicity stunt, of course, said Joe Weisenthal in ClusterStock, but seriously, “if we’re talking about avoiding systemic economic risk,” near-bankrupt California really would be hit hard by “massive unemployment in the San Fernando Valley,” the nerve center of the “sin business.”

Francis actually thinks they could get “a slice of the bailout pie,” said Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. But Flynt, who says a bailout would boost the national libido, sounds like he’s “using satire to make a political point.” "I’d say it’s just another way for taxpayers to get screwed.”

Porn purveyors may not need a targeted bailout, said Amanda Terkel in Think Progress. Porn sites and erotic goods saw a 20-30 percent upswing after the IRS sent out stimulus checks last year. In fact, the famously “recession-proof” industry might be doing fine now if not for the Bush administration’s “aggressive fight in the War on Porn.”

 

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