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Who's Really Screwing America | The Nation

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Who's Really Screwing America

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#97: Joe Francis, "Girls Gone Wild" and America Gone Dumb

About the Author

Jack Huberman
Jack Huberman is the author of The Bush-Hater's Handbook. He lives in New York City.

The left has long been inclined to condemn sexploitation and pornography, whether on feminist grounds or out of the old-left view of eroticism as bourgeois and decadent, or out of neo-Marxist, Frankfurt School-style hostility toward capitalism's commercialization and cheapening of everything good in life, including sex. (Don't worry, we will make it from Marcuse and Fromm to Girls Gone Wild.) But with the religious right in America seeking, as self-appointed "decency" police, to impose its values on the media and the culture, liberals may feel more inclined to defend raunch as the lesser evil. This, frankly, explains why Howard Stern is not in this book.

California-based Mantra Films, which produces GGW [Girls Gone Wild], sends its camera crews to popular spring break destinations, where they invite coeds to "parties" at bars and clubs, supply them with free drinks, then get them to lift their T-shirts and display their breasts. Or to turn around, bend. The "girls" are overwhelmingly white, blond and scantily dressed (I mean to begin with). Most manage to look stunningly un-beautiful, thanks of course to being in GGW, and to a seemingly invariable look of mindless conformity and appalling stupidity. The mantra is that "[t]hese are just regular girls," as a male aficionado told the Palm Beach Post. But when they "see the camera guys in those Girls Gone Wild T-shirts, they just take it off.... The guys don't have to tell them what to do. They just do it."

A woman bartender raised in supposedly licentious, Godless France said: "You'd have trouble finding girls in France to do what they did last night for a video.... They're educated, university students, showing their breasts. I don't know. I'm 29 and I don't understand it."

Of course, the motives of Mantra Entertainment CEO Joe Francis pose no such difficulty. GGW made him a multimillionaire by age 28. He has sold over $100 million worth of GGW videos/DVDs with titles like Dormroom Fantasies, Wild Island Orgy and Daddy's Little Girls. Mantra has expanded the GGW line into pay-per-view specials, a feature film and a line of clothing and other gear bearing the GGW logo.

#93: Tucker Carlson: "As Low as You Can Go"

It's the snide, smarmy, supercilious, smart-ass, East-Coast elitist 'tude, for one thing, and the Young Republican look--all neatly and punchably summed up by the bow tie. And, for that matter, the name. Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson, I'm not at all surprised to learn, attended St. George's prep school in Newport, Rhode Island. And didn't bother finishing college. Sons of former chairmen of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and stepsons of heiresses to the Swanson frozen-food fortune perhaps don't need to worry about college degrees.

After visiting Iraq in 2004 to report for Esquire, he reversed his support for the war and told the New York Observer it was "a total nightmare and disaster, and I'm ashamed that I went against my own instincts in supporting it." Carlson, on Crossfire, the same day: "Kerry did vote for [the war], but then he opposed it.... What does John Kerry think about Iraq? Who knows. Who cares."

September 2002: Carlson accuses Representative Bob Filner (D-CA) of being a liar and of committing "slander on the United States" for saying the United States had sold biological weapons to Iraq. Newsweek, that same week: "According to confidential Commerce Department export-control documents," there were "numerous shipments of 'bacteria/fungi/protozoa' to the [Iraq Atomic Energy Commission]. According to former officials, the bacteria cultures could be used to make biological weapons, including anthrax." A few months later, Crossfire guest Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institution--a supporter of the Iraq invasion--told Carlson: "Well, we sold Saddam the anthrax and we kind of looked the other way." (Carlson: "Have we done that?")

May 2003: Carlson falsely denies that any Homeland Security Department resources were used to track the plane of Texas Democrats who left the state in order to thwart a quorum on Tom DeLay (#6)'s scandalous redistricting plan.

May 2004: "The Democratic Party has announced a new affirmative action plan for gays, lesbians, and cross-dressers." Previously, Carlson referred to "cross-dressing and abortion" as "two great Democratic values that go great together." Perhaps he would know.

July 2004: "That's a total lie.... Nobody prevented anyone from voting" in Florida in 2000.

August 2003: "I draw the line at honesty.... I try to tell the truth." Tucker, anything you put your mind to...

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