this is what happens when we send women to war. Larry Flynt, also-ran
candidate for California's Governorship and publisher of artsy
photos, isn't going to run nude photos of Private Lynch after
all. Flynt claimed
to have bought the photos last month from the men [note the plural
here] who purportedly participated in the amateur shoot with the
undressed Army supply clerk. The soldiers "wanted to let it be
known that she's not all apple pie." Flynt demurred from publishing
the snaps of our little "Joan of Arc", saying that Lynch was nothing
so much as a "pawn for the government."
that mean Flynt will never publish said photos? Bite your tongue!
My suspicion is that Flynt lies in wait for the perfect opportunity
to publish the photos. He just needs to find a good hook, a marketing
angle so brassy and bold it could only be called American.
starters, why not release a DVD? Have Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair,
and Rick Bragg [three men who are no strangers to the vagaries
of narrative] commentate over the snapshots, lending their unique
perspectives as men who have scaled the heights of journalism's
most imposing mountains. We all know what those men can do when
faced with deadlines, and imagine that triumvirate turned toward
the comely form of Palestine's favorite soldier.
after all, spent the last four months penning
Ms. Lynch's story [I
Am a Soldier Too: The Jessica Lynch Story], as Betsy Hart
notes at NRO, and is no stranger to what the pros call
money quotes. "Jessi had given the people of the mountains something
that they had never had before. They had always had faith, they
had always believed in miracles, and they had prayed for them
over their lifetimes. They had never demanded proof, because faith
is what you have when there is no proof, no logic, no reason.
Faith is what sustained the people here through the crib deaths
and highway crashes and cancer wards."
howdy! Bragg came by such purple prose honestly, at least; it
was his ticket into the elite circle of "southern writers" you
see on C-Span sometimes [who seem to exist to reassure Yankees
and carpetbaggers that not everyone in the south totes shotguns
in their trucks to shoot varmints or bows five times a day in
the direction of the Confederate flag]. In All
Over But the Shoutin', Bragg describes his hometown Piedmont,
Alabama as "a place where grandmothers hold babies on their laps
under the stars and whisper in their ears that the lights in the
sky are holes in the floor of heaven. This is a place where the
song 'Jesus Loves Me' has rocked generations to sleep, and heaven
is not a concept, but a destination." Aw shucks! Holes in the
floor of heaven? Good thing they don't read this garbage to the
prisoners at Gitmo, or else the human rights advocates would have
an airtight case: a couple hundred pages of prose like that embodies
the idea of cruel and unusual punishment.
what Bragg could do with shots of Jessica and the boys cavorting.
Not having seen the snaps, I don't want to speculate too much
into what the pics contain. But I could see them eliciting "even
as the third or was it fourth or fifth exposed himself to
Jessi, she understood the harsh truth of the camera eye, how it
exposed things, unspeakable things, those hardscrabble days in
West Virginia, the humiliations and transgressions, spelling in
fourth grade, boxes draped with flags. Biscuits and gravy. Biscuits.
Delbert McClinton on a jukebox far away."
I'm too cynical. Perhaps I should buy into this mythology. After
all, Larry Flynt made his peace with [or piece from] the war machine.
But one can only imagine what inducements led the veteran pornographer
away from cashing in on these salacious snapshots. If those inducements
fall through, this column expects that those shots will surface,
sooner or later, in ways that bring shame not just to Private
Lynch but to the war machine that deems it necessary to recruit
young women from one-horse towns to fill uniforms on foreign soil.
Given the intellectual and moral prostitution that has led us
to this sorry impasse in the War on Terror, it is perhaps fitting
that a pornographer of global repute has this hold card, this
leverage over both Washington and the media machine that gave
Private Lynch her current mythic status.