LAS VEGAS – JANUARY 7: Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt (C) flanked by Hustler contract … [+]
Called a dirt dealer by some and hailed by others as a proponent of the First Amendment, as a pioneer of pornography, Larry Flynt could always get a response from people. This was certainly true on social media after he died Thursday at the age of 78.
The response on social media has included a mixture of humor, condemnation, and even sympathy. Many noted Flynt’s support for journalism and his efforts to promote free speech.
Screenwriter Larry Karaszewski (@Karaszewski) was one of those who enjoyed looking back at his time at Flynt.
Political cartoonist Clay Jones (@claytoonz) was among those who noted Flynt’s support for the First Amendment.
The feeling shared by Nigerian businessman and politician Ben Murray-Bruce (@benmurraybruce).
Science blogger David Latchman (@SciWriterDave) also recognized Flynt’s support in protecting freedom of speech and efforts to shape modern journalism.
Former Voice of America reporter Bruce Alpert (@AlpertDC) said it was difficult to overestimate Flynt’s political influence.
There was also no lack of humor. A number of comedians offered some zingers to notice Flynt’s death. Greg Behrniememes (@Gregularcomedy) was among those who found a similar topic and sparked how Hustler magazine pushed the boundaries: “Larry Flynt’s funeral will be very similar to Hugh Hefner’s except that it will show penetration.”
One user, @Shadowslance, simply suggested, “What is the likelihood that Larry Flynt, like Hugh Hefner, would die on #HumpDay …”
@TylerNTyler went a lot deeper – much like Flynt’s magazine.
Not all love
Of course, news of Flynt’s death was greeted by comments from those who did not consider Flynt a promoter of free speech. More past stories of his behavior as a family and alleged depravity were brought up.
CNN’s Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) was among those who looked beyond Flynt’s support for the First Amendment and called the founder of Hustler magazine on his character, “Before remembering Larry Flynt as a hero, please remember his daughter Tonya Flynt-Vega a child molester and a monster. “
Aura Bogado (@aurabogado) was one of those who certainly experienced another side of Flynt: “Larry Flynt tormented me by commissioning racist caricatures of my resemblance and writing hit songs against me. He also commissioned a photo series which it was in suggested I should be raped. For a while I wasn’t sure how I would feel if he died. To be honest, I’m thrilled. “
Many users on social media were even happy about Flynt’s death. Writer Amy Green (@Notezbeinggrn) wrote, among other things: “The founder of ‘Hustler’, Larry Flynt, who died at the age of 78, has a new guest.”
This feeling has been shared by many who suggested that the late pornographer will spend eternity with the devil or worse.
Flynt’s death also serves as an example of how controversial figures are remembered by the masses. Social media has allowed everyone to express their opinion, and in the case of Flynt, the response has been as divisive as he is.
“Flint was an interesting guy who had little illusion about sex peddling as a business model,” suggested Charles King, technology industry analyst at Pund-IT.
“Rather than constructing a superficially cool veneer like Playboy’s Hugh Hefner or masking his porn in the style of Penthouse Bob Guccioni, Flynt and his publication Hustler were particularly raw,” added King.
“His focus on First Amendment issues made many people uncomfortable and unhappy, especially evangelical Christians, who failed or refused to understand that freedom of expression extended to sex and applied to those who believed it reprehensible,” suggested King in front. “Like anyone who evolves, advocates, and pursues strong opinions, Flynt has had to tick off a multitude of people and organizations. The fact that he couldn’t care less about their opinions only fueled their anger. I assume that he would have gotten a kick out of the brouhaha on social media. “
Others agreed that every baby boomer down there owes a debt to Larry Flynt for teaching the male population about the birds and bees.
“I think Larry Flynt and Hugh Hefner did for free speech through the use of porn what Lenny Bruce and Richard Prior did for free speech through stand-up comedy, and what Abigale Adams and Susan B. Anthony did for the rights of women and Martin have done Luther King and Malcom X have campaigned for civil rights, “said Lon Safko, author of the Social Media Bible. “All of these people had one thing in common: their willingness to defend the United States Constitution with their lives.”
Despite all odds, they campaigned for our first constitutional amendment, freedom of expression. Larry stood up for all of us until he couldn’t do it anymore when he took a free speech bullet, added Safko.
“When people who are against porn discuss it on social media, they think it was misogynistic and humiliating,” suggested Safko. “The other side of the argument was that the woman in Flint’s magazine was worshiped more than humiliated. Opposing sides always object that these women were forced into drugs or part of the sex trade, even though most of them are secretaries and teachers everything was done with “consenting” adults.
“From uncensored cave art and Egyptian hieroglyphs to penthouse and playboy, porn has played a vital role in civilization for thousands of years,” he noted. “Censorship of any kind is dangerous and extremely easy to fix. If you see something you don’t like, stop looking.”