Hustler Magazine, Inc v. Falwell

We’re starting the year off with a civil law case involving some very uncivil language. One of our nation’s most important legal battles over the First Amendment was a battle between a Nyquil-chugging preacher and an American flag diaper-wearing porn publisher. Does the right to free speech protect your right to be really, really gross?

Content note: This episode is labeled explicit for graphic descriptions of fictional incest. There will also be some quotes from primary sources containing racist, sexist, homophobic, and antisemitic language.

Featured image: Jerry Falwell in 1985. (Image source)

The Campari ad parody at the center of this case. (Image source)

Jerry Falwell at a rally in 1980. (Image source)

Falwell meets with Ronald Reagan in 1983. (Image source)

One of the Hustler clubs in San Francisco in the mid-2000s. (Image source)

Flynt in his later years. This wheelchair was gold-plated and worth over $80,000. (Image source)

A trailer for The People vs. Larry Flynt, a dramatized version of Flynt’s life culminating in this trial.