CNN Political Ticker: Porn industry seeks federal bailout

WASHINGTON CNN — Another major American industry is asking for assistance as the global financial crisis continues: Hustler publisher Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis said Wednesday they will request that Congress allocate $5 billion for a bailout of the adult entertainment industry.

“The take here is that everyone and their mother want to be bailed out from the banks to the big three,” said Owen Moogan, spokesman for Larry Flynt. “The porn industry has been hurt by the downturn like everyone else and they are going to ask for the $5 billion. Is it the most serious thing in the world? Is it going to make the lives of Americans better if it happens? It is not for them to determine.”

Francis said in a statement that “the US government should actively support the adult industry’s survival and growth, just as it feels the need to support any other industry cherished by the American people.”

“We should be delivering [the request] by the end of today to our congressmen and [Secretary of the Treasury Henry] Paulson asking for this $5 billion dollar bailout,” he told CNN Wednesday.

Flynt and Francis concede the industry itself is in no financial danger — DVD sales have slipped over the past year, but Web traffic has continued to grow.

But the industry leaders said the issue is a nation in need. “People are too depressed to be sexually active,” Flynt said in the statement. “This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex.”

“With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind. Its time for congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly.”

So far, there has been no congressional reaction to the request.

I can vouch for Flynt’s statement … I haven’t really thought about sex in months! Of course, the fact that I haven’t been having any probably accounts for part of that as well. After all, who wants to think about it when they aren’t getting it? That’s even more depressing than the economy!

And then, have you seen the quality of the stuff that the industry is churning out these days? Sure, film went the way of the dodo bird in industry in the early 1980s, in favor of video tape, but now it seems like anyone with a digicam is churning out gonzo DVDs left and right … what happened to porn with a storyline and humor (in addition to the sex).

It’s enough to make a guy even more celibate than he already is!

But there are other industries in need of a bailout as well. Obviously, based on one of my recent posts, the professional bicycle racers of America need a bailout, especially those formerly employed by Trek-Volkswagen.

And then there are the local cyclocross officials … we definitely could use a bailout; since there’s really only one of us in the entire state of Utah!

Bloggers could use a bailout … I’ve seen my traffic fall by 3% since yesterday … how can I be expected to continue to come up with brilliant witticisms, commentary on politics and Utah, stories of bike rides and ski days, and photographs if I can’t count on continued traffic growth? Downward fluctuation is not allowed!

But most importantly … who is going to bailout the Treasury when it realizes that it’s bailed out too many industries, and the economy will never be able to dig its way out?

Yes, banks need backing in one form or another, but there will be weak banks that will still fail. The Big 3 automakers really need to restructure their entire business … I don’t know if any bailout will really help them, and I think that bankruptcy and consolidation in that industry will help it in the long run. The automobile industry needs to become lean and mean and start churning out innovative (and preferably domestic) product again … and they really need to cut their design-to-market lead time down from 3-5 years to 6-18 months.

But what can you do? Keep plugging away, keep working, hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.