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Porn Industry Goes Limp, Seeks $5 Billion Federal Injection

By Amanda Terkel  

"Porn Industry Goes Limp, Seeks $5 Billion Federal Injection"

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bushkiss.jpg When President Bush announced his economic stimulus in January 2008, he bragged that his package was the “right size” and would “boost” the economy:

I am pleased that this agreement meets the criterion that I set forth last week to provide an effective, robust, and temporary set of incentives that will boost our economy and encourage job creation. This package has the right set of policies and is the right size. The incentives in this package will lead to higher consumer spending and increased business investment this year.

Bush’s package did stimulate spending…in the adult pornography industry. The Adult Internet Market Research Company reported that membership rates at many porn sites had grown 20-30 percent since mid-May, and “websites focused on adult or erotic material” saw an “upswing in sales” as Americans received their tax rebates in the mail. Many observers began wondering if porn was recession-proof.

Turns out that even this vice industry — which has weathered many other economic downturns — has gone limp under Bush. Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis and Hustler magazing publisher Larry Flynt have asked Congress for a $5 billion bailout, arguing that their industry is also one of the “nation’s most important businesses“:

[A]ccording to Flynt the recession has acted like a national cold shower. “People are too depressed to be sexually active,” Flynt says, “This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex.”

While not to the degree felt by banks and automakers, the Adult Entertainment industry has been hit by the effects of the economic downturn. DVD sales and rentals have decreased by 22 percent in the past year as viewers turn to the internet for adult entertainment.

The Bush administration has attempted to wage an aggressive fight in the War on Porn. In fact, cracking down on “manufacturers and purveyors” of pornography was “one of the top priorities” of Alberto Gonzales while he was Attorney General, often coming before terrorism prosecutions. Looks like all it took to accomplish these goals was the decimation of the entire U.S. economy.

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