Rick Perry’s Hardcore History of Investment in Porn
August 21, 2011
Here’s the story of how Rick Perry’s name became synonymous with “Teens with T*ts” in some circles. I’ve tried to make this safe for work, but if it’s not, blame Rick Perry, for such are the perils of reporting on good “Christians” like Mr James Richard Perry. If your employer has a problem with this, tell them to see Rick Perry; it’s his money trail we’re following.
Perhaps when you see Rick Perry’s bouffant pompadour, you don’t immediately think “cheerleader”, but pom-pon carrier he was, albeit for Texas A & M instead of the Bush Yale pom-pons that heralded the destruction of America’s economy. But you’re all right with pom-pons on a man. To each their own. You might not be OK with the whole Lieutenant Governor to George W Bush thing. You might not be OK with Perry’s theocratic beliefs. But truthfully, when you picture the handsome, smirking Rick Perry and his Texas down home drawl, are you thinking about pornography?
“Teens Never Say No” kind of pornography? How about “Teens with T*ts”? No? How about “Bisexual Barebacking Vol. 1” or “Big Tit Brotha Lovers 6”?
Kinda makes you all warm and family values-ish.
Rick Perry, God’s Chosen to pray Texas into prosperity, invested as a private citizen in Movie Gallery corporation to the tune of between 5-10k according to his 1995 personal financial reports. Movie Gallery was, at that time, the largest distributor of porn in America, and able to sell and rent regular videos for much cheaper than the competition due to their heady porn profit. The ultra conservative American Family Association (AFA), a self-described “Christian organization promoting the biblical ethic of decency in American society with primary emphasis on TV and other media” known for “(i)nitiating, encouraging Christian Activism,” but also now an officially designated hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, begged the government to investigate Movie Gallery.
In the ensuing years, the AFA went so far as to undertake a national ad campaign to draw attention to Movie Gallery’s porn practices, and wrote the DoJ and state AG’s demanding, “DOJ and State Prosecutors throughout the country should begin immediate investigations to determine if the products and practices of Movie Gallery Video Stores violate Federal and State laws regarding distribution of obscene material. Movie Gallery is one of America’s largest retailers of hard-core sex videos. Their attempt to acquire family friendly neighborhood Hollywood Video stores across the U.S. poses a serious threat to our communities!”
The AFA has also boycotted such companies as 7-Eleven, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Airlines, American Girl, Blockbuster Video, Burger King, Calvin Klein, Carl’s Jr., Clorox, Comcast, Crest, Ford, Hallmark Cards, Kmart, Kraft Foods, S. C. Johnson & Son, Microsoft, MTV, Mary Kay, NutriSystem, Old Navy, IKEA, Sears, Pampers, Procter & Gamble, Target, Tide, Walt Disney Company, and PepsiCo with varying degrees of success.
Burt Orange Reports said it appeared as if local authorities in Texas dragged their feet responding to the cries for investigations, in spite of the fact that The Politics In Porn (note that this link from 2006 is no longer working and the domain name is now available — don’t say I never did anything for you) wrote, “Government Officials who have been given the evidence of this illegal operation are … the U.S. District attys for the Northern Districts of Alabama and Texas.”
Not only is the AFA is a core constituency of an extreme, far Christian-right candidate, but as Hrafnkell Haraldsson reported for PoliticusUSA, Perry teamed up with the AFA for his recent prayer day rally, “The Response, a Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis.” Just this March, we saw then Presidential candidacy hopefuls Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour and Mike Huckabee courting the AFA by appearing on Bryan Fisher’s radio show. So it’s puzzling that Perry invested his money in something he must have been aware violated the very core of his alleged pro-life, pro-family, pro-conservative values. However, Perry put his holdings into a blind trust in 1998, and hence, no one knows if he is still profiting off of pornography. Perhaps the AFA doesn’t care if their Presidential pick is profiting off of pornography so allegedly obscene that they demanded the DoJ investigate.
Rick Perry later passed laws to help companies like Movie Gallery avoid “frivolous” tort suits, after they were sued for allegedly violating the law by illegally distributing porn across state lines. This move was seen by some as a move to protect his investment in Movie Gallery, as he used the very word Movie Gallery used (“frivolous”) regarding the lawsuits they were fighting at the time.
Written on Jun 26, 2006, the Burnt Orange Report elaborated on Perry’s porn problem:
Coincidentally, Rick Perry used similar language when signing the tort-reform bill that limited the liability—thereby increasing profits—of companies like Movie Gallery. Perry said the bill would “remov[e] the incentive for trial lawyers to file frivolous lawsuits.” Continuing Perry said, “we will save thousands of jobs, generate millions in new revenue to the state;” only some of those jobs come at the price of young girl’s physical and psychological health.
The AFA has undertaken a nationwide campaign—advertising in USA Today and Washington Post—urging government officials to investigate Movie Gallery. Many local authorities—like the U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Texas—are allegedly dragging their feet. With Gov. Perry owning stock in Movie Gallery, his financial interests contravene the success of any such investigation….
“Titles that Gov. Perry helps bring to Texas’ shelves include Teens with Tits Vol. 1, Teen Power Vol. 4, and Teens Never Say No.
While many disagree over society’s correct policy towards pornography, Perry’s political posturing caters to pornography’s opponents. Duplicitously, Rick Perry’s supposed politics contravene the interests of his own pocketbook. There is the Governor who endorses a plan to monitor sex offenders with satellites; then there is businessman who enjoys profits by funding such titles as Bisexual Barebacking Vol. 1 and Big Tit Brotha Lovers 6. There is the proud husband and father who announced an award of $7.4 Million to the S.T.O.P. Violence Against Women Act programs; then there is the man who invested in North America’s largest pornography distributor. In the coming weeks, there will doubtlessly be the ignorant, apologetic Governor, but under that thin veneer of good hair is the cunning financier who still hides his assets in a blind trust fund.
Given that traditionally conservative states consume the most online porn, according to the Journal of Economic Perspectives (which looked at zip codes of credit cards used for online adult entertainment), we can’t assume that just because a group is against something in public they aren’t engaging in it in private. But the Dominionists like Perry and Bachmann are taking us a step down even from that perilous perch — to a place where women are expected to be subservient to the men in their life.
If you’re still slightly confused as to why the AFA isn’t calling Rick Perry out, and how conservatives can ignore such glaring hypocrisy, it’s because they worship at the altar of a political movement based on belief in authoritarianism and a sense of entitlement for “the Chosen”. Anything that Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, or Sarah Palin do is OK. God said so. And their cult-like followers will contort themselves into a breathless internet rage in order to explain to you that none of this matters, what really matters is that the President is a Muslim Socialists Kenyan Nazi. Apparently this line of “thinking” suffices for them because they are in a cult based on belief and not real values, but also because they have bought into the meme that these special leaders are exempt from accountability for what they say. This is why you see the outrage over “gotcha” journalism from the same folks.
What kind of man are we dealing with in Rick Perry? Is he still profiting off of what the AFA calls obscene pornography? Is he still making money off of titles like “Teens with Tits”? In keeping with this line of inquiry into his purported “family values”, we note that Perry also kept on the director of the Texas Film Commission who was disciplined for sexual harassment…twice.
The Statesman reported, “Gov. Rick Perry’s outgoing director of the Texas Film Commission has been allowed to stay on the job despite being disciplined for sexual harassment in 2009 and after a subsequent investigation found similar behavior again this year.”
What disturbs me about these two facts is how well they dovetail with the Dominionists’ ideas about women being subservient to the patriarch.
The twin balls of decorative fluff known as the cheerleader’s Pom-pons aptly sum up the depth of Rick Perry’s alleged Christian family values. On one hand, we have a man invested in and profiting off of what the AFA called “obscene pornography” and a man who allowed a man twice found guilty of sexual harassment to remain in his government position. On the other hand, this same man calls himself a “family-values” Christian, and nary a peep comes from the Right to call him out.
It’s not about whether you agree with conservative values or not (but this is often how the conservatives distract people from calling their leaders out, by making it about the alleged values rather than the failure to uphold said values), but rather whether or not the candidate actually stands for what they say they stand for.
If Rick Perry doesn’t walk the talk of a conservative Christian, just what does Rick Perry stand for?