Hustler publisher and aspiring political muckraker Larry Flynt has given an extensive interview to Vanity Fair in which he continues to promise the exposure of juicy tidbits about “hypocritical” politicians, although it’s his comments about Rudy Giuliani that are raising eyebrows:
“As mayor of New York, would you live in an apartment with three gay guys?” Flynt’s facts aren’t entirely in order, but his train of thought won’t be derailed. “I’m not gay,” he continues. “I don’t hate gays. But I don’t want to live in an apartment full of them. They’ll bitch and cry and all. That doesn’t bother Giuliani. It doesn’t bother Giuliani to put a dress on to do Saturday Night Live. I don’t trust him. I don’t think he’s electable. I don’t know whether he’s gay or not… but I’m saying, if you got four friends, all gay, living in the same apartment, how are you going to know which one’s gay? I’m surprised no one’s even asking that question. Why do you break up with your wife and move in with gay guys?”
For the record, Mr. Giuliani lived with Howard Koeppel and Koeppel’s boyfriend Mark Hsiao in the spring of 2001. Where Flynt is getting the third (fourth?) gay man, I’m not sure. But I suppose that’s just me bitching and crying and all, isn’t it? Funny, I thought my bitching and crying was the whole reason people read the Riff…?
Anyway, while the article says Flynt had been talking about exposing some sexual “pecadillos” on the part of three “A-list” Republican names (including a presidential candidate) this past summer, the interviewer says those names are now off the table, although a fourth, another closeted gay Republican senator (whee!), is likely to be exposed soon. Again, probably because of all his damn bitching and crying. It’s hard to keep that under control.
For better or for worse, Vanity Fair says that “checkbook journalism” (Flynt usually pays his sources) taints these revelations, although later Flynt insists that Hustler sticks to tough journalistic standards of multiple witnesses before going public with a story, since the mainstream media would “step on me like a bug” if he’s wrong. Interestingly, the magazine put a tail on Larry Craig in early 2007 but by May hadn’t observed anything “untoward.” Say what you want about Flynt, but it’s hard not to agree with Frank Rich, whom the article quotes as saying, post-Clinton impeachment: “Larry Flynt is a bull in the china shop of false pieties, empty pretensions, and sexual sermonizing that have brought us to this low moment in American history.”