Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I don't want to, talk about it

To be clear, I haven't seen it, but judging from the description, Hustler's rancid photoshop of S.E. Cupp, and apparently various other woman celebrities, is disgraceful, debasing and they deserve to be sued for using the women's photos without their permission. The disclaimer doesn't excuse it:
Cupp is part of a new Hustler graphic on celebrities. In the feature, they place a penis in the woman’s mouth. They’re calling it “Celebrity Fantasy.”

There is a “disclaimer” saying that “no such picture actually exists.” Still, Cupp is hopping mad and told Beck as much this morning when he interviewed her. They discussed how it would stick with her and affect her future (kids, etc…) and how it will make its way around the internet.
How it might make its way around the internet is what won't really be frankly discussed. I assume Cupp and Beck were anticipating evil liberals would be behind any viral dissemination. Already, the usual suspects in the wingnut wurlitzer are screaming about an attack on her Cupp's conservative values. But I don't think that's true.

What nobody wants to acknowledge is Hustler is pitching to a specific audience. And it's not lefties. I didn't see a single left winger in my corner of the intertubz who was applauding this hideous series or passing on the photo. But I'm guessing I will eventually get it in my email. From the far right wing list I'm on.

That's the dirty secret that no one wants to say out loud. The wingers on that list are not bad people, but some of the guys on it have barely evolved from Neanderthal when it comes to wimmen. I would bet good money that at least half of Ms. Cupp's male fan base has fantasized that very scenario.

Hustler doesn't care about politics. They care about selling magazines. As does every other publication in their genre. In case you haven't heard, print media is struggling to make money right now. With the added publicity, pretty sure Hustler will sell a lot of that issue. But what no one wants to talk about is -- a lot of the buyers will be Ms. Cupp's fans.

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Blogger merlallen said...

Actually I expect it will be conservatives looking for new spank material who'll spread it.

That George Tierney of Greenville, South Carolina will be one of those douches spreading it.

8:57:00 PM  
Blogger danps said...

Look at the links here. Wingnuts are desperate to associate it with the left - even though Sandra Fluke has denounced it, there's a hash tag lots of supportive lefties are using, traditionally liberal women's groups are rallying in support of her, and so on. There's been a great deal of principled defenses of her among liberals.

So there's two new wrinkles I'm seeing about this. The first is that, unlike in the old days, it's very easy to disassociate the picture from the disclaimer. So the image itself could proliferate on the Internet and that could make it easy for it to become perceived as real and not Photoshopped. I don't think it materially affects Cupp's job prospects since a wingnut welfare sinecure is the most unassailably secure employment in the galaxy, but not everyone has it so good. That kind of attack could be a real problem for other women not so happily disposed.

The second thing is that I've already heard a lot of people citing the First Amendment (including Flynt, natch). I don't know if anyone is saying Hustler should be legally enjoined from publishing it. What I'm hearing so far are condemnations of its decision to publish it and messages of support from Cupp. The problem is that unlike, say, Komen, ALEC or Glenn Beck, Hustler is already considered outside the bounds of civil discourse and is therefore not susceptible to the kinds of public pressure campaigns that were so effective against those others. Hustler doesn't depend on any kind of public good will or forbearance. Not sure what good a boycott will do.

So I guess the best thing that can be done in this case is to show support for Cupp on this principle and use this episode as another reason to remind people why Larry Flynt operates in the margins.

I'd like to hear your thoughts, though, Libby.

(Condolences on the wingnut company at "your" site, BTW.)

5:52:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Merl, reasonably sure it will be spread on the internets and it will be mostly on email lists populated by the kind of right wing guys who routinely send around naked pictures of women as jokes.

8:41:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Dan, I don't think any pressure can be put on Hustler They're in the business of sleaze. The uproar will only sell more issues for them. Don't see they have any incentive to take it down barring a successful legal challenge. Imagine the disclaimer is enough protect them legally or they wouldn't have published it at all.

Beyond going on the record as finding it disgusting, I'm inclined to ignore it on those grounds. Any uproar only helps Hustler. And of course, no matter what "the left" does, the wingers will blame us for it and ignore our support. It's what they do, and the next time a liberal woman is similarly attacked, they won't support her either. Just as with Fluke, they'll support the perps.

Wasn't going to talk about it, but I decided that someone should at least mention the wingnut men being the target audience factor. Also find it curious that there is no mention of the other women who have been similiarly photoshopped. It says it's a series, so who are these other women?

8:51:00 AM  

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