Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Porn Bailout and its Associated Puns

The original press release, sent out by Hustler's Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild's Joe Francis, contained contradictory statements by the two porn peddlers.

Joe Francis:
"Congress seems willing to help shore up our nation's most important businesses, we feel we deserve the same consideration. In difficult economic times, Americans turn to entertainment for relief. More and more, the kind of entertainment they turn to is adult entertainment."
If that were true, you wouldn't be asking the government for $5 billion. Larry Flynt's quote came next:
"People are too depressed to be sexually active. This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex."
He continued,
"With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind. It's 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."
Flynt claims that porn DVD rentals are down 22 percent. But New York strip clubs have claimed to do better as the economy tanked. “Since the market has been going down, our business has been going up — it’s unbelievable,”said the V.I.P. Club's Sam Zherka, quoted by the New York Times Blogs in October. With his business up 20 percent, he introduced a new $1,000 lap dance (20 minutes, private room, a bottle of Dom Pérignon, and a souvenir g-string).

“A lot of people are coming in and spending $2,000 and $5,000 and $10,000,” Zherka added. “They are spending like they are making millions and millions of dollars. I don’t know if they are depressed or what.”

Pathetic. This porn bingeing is apparently isolated to New York, maybe to Zherka's club. Everywhere else, Americans handle their depression by forgetting about porn.

Back to the bailout. The headlines should have been exciting, but no journalist came up with a "Headless Body in a Topless Bar"-style turn of phrase.

The most descriptive headline I saw was from an Australian source, ABC Online: "Americans 'too depressed' for sex, porn barons seek US bailout." The best headlines about the porn bailout weren't stellar. It's too easy and obvious a target. Here are some good ones:
"How Many 'Xs' in Bailout?" L.A. Times

"Porn industry seeks own stimulus ... package" MSNBC

"Mr. Smut Goes To Washington" Forbes

"Porn Tries to Get a Rise Out of Congress" Minyanville.com

"Flaccid industry sparks porn bailout bid" Cape Times (South Africa)
Hmm. Those aren't even that good. The L.A. Times' piece had a pun about the softness of the porn market that was so earnest, I hardly noticed it. Most of the headlines were variations on hard and soft or straight information, like "Porn Industry Seeks Bailout."

Some headlines were indignant, like The New York Daily News: "Porn kings Larry Flint and Joe Francis go begging for a bailout."

The New York Times Blogs headline, "Bailouts Gone Wild! Porn Chiefs Seek $5 Billion," was so different it was refreshing. But this too is predictable.

Shouldn't TMZ and LAist do better than "Joe Francis to Uncle Sam: We're Comin'" and "Flynt and Francis: Flaccid Porn Biz Needs Gov't Pumping"?

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Sarah said...

This seems like all talk and no action. Where's your suggestion for a good headline?

9:26 PM  

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