Larry Flynt Speaks Out on ‘Charlie Hebdo’ and Free Speech

Jan 23, 2015
Adult Business News
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by Larry Flynt

It’s disheartening to see that most members of the national press have demonstrated their spinelessness by refusing to defend Charlie Hebdo and not publishing the cartoons that led to the senseless tragedy in Paris. Freedom is not free! We pay a price for everything, and the price we pay to live in a free society is toleration. That means we have to tolerate the things we don’t like, not just the ones we do.

Freedom of speech is not freedom for the thought you love; it’s freedom for the thought you hate the most. When cartoonists like Gary Trudeau, and cartoons like Doonesbury, lampoon politicians, they often inflict emotional distress. That’s when defending freedom of speech is most important — when it is offensive. If you’re not going to offend anyone, you don’t need protection of the First Amendment. I wonder what the Founding Fathers would have to say to The New York Times and the major networks who have shied away from their ultimate responsibility to inform the public. I don’t understand why the press should be a party to selling out one of the most important freedoms enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

larry flynt

For 35 years, I have been paralyzed in a wheelchair. I was shot by a man who didn’t like what I published in Hustler magazine. Since that time, I have devoted my whole life to expanding the parameters of free speech. My most famous legal action involved a dispute between me and the Rev. Jerry Falwell of The Moral Majority. He didn’t find humor in the cartoons, parodies and satire we were publishing about him. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and, in a landmark unanimous decision, parody and satire were ruled protected speech for the first time in the history of our country.

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Ernest Greene
Ernest Greene
7 years ago

Larry at his finest. No one can accuse him of not paying the price for his principles. And I agree that mainstream media in this country has allowed itself to be intimidated into enabling censorship from abroad. It would be bad enough if the craven response arose out of some desire to avoid putting down the religions of others (though that’s still no excuse for folding in the face of such blatant coercion), but the cartoons themselves are entirely political and have nothing to do with religion. The same news outlets that have been so outspoken about the horrors of… Read more »

7 years ago

He has paid a huge price for free speech – but they’re coming after it from another angle and they figure he’s too old to fight anymore. I believe they’ve been using the issue of child sex trafficking to go after free speech in the UK, Ireland and Canada where they don’t fight over free speech to get Americans used to the idea and then they’ll come after us. Diane Feinstein has already started. They won’t prosecute a huge trafficking case here in CA that I’ve been hounding them about with evidence for two years now . When I pushed… Read more »

7 years ago
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