LOS ANGELES: The notion of restraint doesn't immediately come to mind when porn purveyor Larry Flynt's name comes up. But when the sometime First-Amendment crusader announced that he would not publish nude photos of Jessica Lynch, he appeared to be nothing less than a model of restraint.In keeping the pictures under wraps - if he does indeed have them - he scored a few points against the Bush administration, which he accused of using the rescued prisoner of war for its own gain. "She's a victim of the media and the government, co-conspirators desperate to justify the war in Iraq," Flynt said. The pictures reportedly show a topless Lynch frolicking with a few male soldiers at Ft. Bliss, TX, where she was stationed before she was shipped off to Iraq. The supply clerk became the center of a media storm when her convoy came under attack in Baghdad and she was taken prisoner. Following a daring rescue by US Special Forces, early news stories driven by official accounts of the clash hoisted her as a hero who fought desperately before being taken into captivity. It gradually came to light, however, that her firearm had jammed and she hadn't fired a single shot. To many, she became a symbol of the administration's poor handling of the Iraqi war. Flynt reportedly bought the shots from soldiers who served with her. Publishing them would have been a boon to his porn empire. But, as anyone who has been following his decades-long struggles against his staunch conservative critics knows, behind Flynt's fondness for flesh is a desire to turn a spotlight on hypocrisy. This showed up during the Clinton impeachment saga when he took on adulterous lawmakers who supported the impeachment of the President for lying under oath about his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky. Taken together, these bizarre moral stands not only make sharp observations about public life, but also ensure that Flynt is known as something more than just a smut-peddler. For his latest coup, we award him PR Play of the Week.
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