The title of this post came to me because two of the aforementioned individuals have names that are almost words, while the third has a name which is any one of several actual words. Plus, "Cup, Flint, Fluke" could be the name of a game much like "Rock, Paper, Scissors"- Flint cracks Cup, Fluke envelopes Flint... bear with me people, this post is going to have some digressions and will most likely end up borderline NSFW because of the subject matter (though, to be honest, I am writing the post at work). Before I get to the body of the post, I recommend Substance McGravitas' and Vacuumslayer's (love the title!) posts on the subject to anyone who's reading this.
The Cupp kerfuffle began when Larry Flynt's porn mag Hustler printed a faked photograph of right-wing columnist S.E. Cupp with a penis in her mouth. Besides playing a conservative atheist who goes to bat for religious fundies (of the right sort, or the white sort), Ms Cupp plays a smoking hot "Canadian girlfriend" (or beard) for trollish right-wing guys. As much as I hate to say it, Ms Cupp is awful pretty, by which I mean she is pretty, but she's absolutely awful. Cupp's basically a Wingnut Pixie Dream Girl... at the very least, she plays one on T.V.
At any rate, some editor at Hustler decided to photoshop a phallus in Ms. Cupp's mouth and to accompany said falselatio photo with some insincere "political" boilerplate:
.E. Cupp is a lovely young lady who read too much Ayn Rand in high school and ended up joining the dark side. Cupp, an author and media commentator who often shows up on Fox News programs, is undeniably cute. But her hotness is diminished when she espouses dumb ideas like defunding Planned Parenthood. Perhaps the method pictured here is Ms. Cupp’s suggestion for avoiding an unwanted pregnancy.
Stories about the picture surfaced at Glenn Beck's The Blaze website (linked by SMcG, but I'll be damned if I'll like to Herr Beck), and ignited a storm of outrage on the right, oddly enough largely aimed at the National Organization for Women for not immediately condemning Larry Flynt. As Cupp herself put it:
"The National Organization for Women, NOW, will not come out and say, ‘Liberal women deserve more respect, and we are not going to defend conservative women.’ They are not going to admit to that. You have to wonder if they had done this to somebody like Nancy Pelosi or Michelle Obama, would that stand? Would no one make a stink about it? I have to think they would."
Of course, the idea that NOW is on top of every image put out by a spank-mag publisher, and has a rapid-response team to post criticism of the editorial staff is ridiculous on the face of it, but wingnuts aren't known for their sense.
Oddly enough, the fact that The Blaze posted the picture of the graphic graphic, albeit a blurred one, means that many, many more people will "see" the image than would have had they not put it up on the site. It's akin to the Streisand effect- the response ensures that the picture will gain more prominence. Additionally, I can imagine the "Blaze" readers rubbing one out while squinting in an effort to decipher the blurred region of the picture- a masturbatory effort harkening back to their nights watching the scrambled Skinemax signal on their parents' television in the forlorn hope that an approximation of a boob would be discernible through the visual "noise". I imagine that the majority of the sales of this issue will be to the conservative autolotharios mentioned in SMcG's post.
One individual who immediately condemned the picture was Sandra Fluke, who was recently the target of a similarly vile attack by the none-too-bright George Tierney Jr of Greenville, South Carolina. Tellingly, when S.E. Cupp was asked about Rush Limbaugh's non-apology to Sandra Fluke after his disgusting three-day rant, she deemed it "sufficient" (no direct link- story is at Newsmax, and I won't send them hits). It's also sufficient to say that Sandra Fluke has a hell of a lot more class than S.E. Cupp (not to mention George Tierney Jr of Greenville, South Carolina).
Now we get to Larry Flint- the idea that Larry Flynt, a guy who has made his money by objectifying women, is a liberal is ludicrous... although I'd be willing to reconsider his "liberal" status if anyone can conclusively prove that his "Hustler Clubs" are union shops in which the strippers have generous benefits packages. Flynt doesn't map onto the traditional left-right axis- I'd consider him to be some bizarre permutation of a "libertarian", for lack of an adequate term. In response to the uproar, the loathsome Flynt characterized his faked phote as satire- to me, that statement doesn't pass the smell test... the picture is porn, and Ms Cupp is not a willing participant, therefore, the picture is outrageous and indefensible.
On the subject of porn... porn has been with us since genus Homo wised up. Porn is a vast industry, and it's not going anywhere. While a great deal of porn is misogynistic and demeaning, porn per se is intrinsically no more demeaning to women than, for example, a column by S.E. Cupp. That being said, I think that there should be a certification process for porn akin to that used for coffee, so conscientious consumers can choose coercion-free, sex positive porn which justly remunerates the performers. Porn consumption should be like meat consumption: occasional, and with a consideration of ethical standards.
Both Substance McGravitas and Mark from Newcorpse note that Limbaugh's attacks on Sandra Fluke really can't be compared to Flynt's hit piece on Cupp. Vacuumslayer brings the lulz with the title, but makes a serious point. For sustained snark, this thread at the mothership is pure comedy gold, with "not a gator" knocking it out of the park:
I’m a little surprised (maybe pleased?) at all the people defending Sippy Cupp here, but, you know, somebody put the character “Sarah Palin” in an actual porno four years ago and I didn’t see this amount of denouncing going on. Tactics or is it the shoop itself?
Sippy Cupp uses that same “sexy schoolmarm” look to get attention while claiming that everyone loves her for her “ideas”. Except that unlike Palin, who is extremely sincere about her fire and brimstone old tyme religion (Palin sincerely believes she should get her way and other exist to serve her whims), Cupp is such a fake you can see the peeling paint from the other side of the teevee screen.
How can she be “shocked” when someone “punks” her carefully crafted smexxxxy™ image? She does this shit on purpose because she wants money, money, money and she thinks she can get it out of “teh rubes” who she believes to be afflicted with the old ultra-stupid. She’s a panderer who has more contempt for her marks than Ritt Momney on his worst day. And what’s worse, she’s a bad liar to boot.
Heh, "smexxxxy™" indeed!
UPDATE: I wrote this post between 4AM and 8AM today while on the job since 4PM the previous day, and I forgot a couple of salient points, one of them being a BIG ONE.
The big point that I missed is that, according to the Newscorpse post, S.E. Cupp thanked Larry Flynt for his photoshop:
Cupp: If I could just express a little gratitude for Hustler – and I’m being completely serious here – There is an accompanying sidebar to this story and why they did this to me. And in that paragraph they say it’s because she’s lovely, she’s smart, she’s fine, but she happens to be a crazy conservative, she’s pro-life, and wants to defund Planned Parenthood. And for that she deserves a phallus in her mouth. That is essentially what they’re saying and I have to commend that as being incredibly honest. [...] So I wish that the media entities that perform this kind of misogyny would just come out and do what Hustler did instead of just beating around the bush and pretending to be fair, pretending to be above that.
Beck: So may I translate? I think what I’m hearing you say – correct me if I’m wrong – is that Hustler Magazine has higher standards than the media and the National Organization of Women.
Cupp: That’s exactly right. They are more straight forward. They have uncomplicated this belief system, which exists on the left and the right, that my being pro-life, my political views make this OK. It justifies it and I, essentially, deserve it. That is honesty on this issue I have never seen before.
Besides thanking Flynt, Cupp did thank Sandra Fluke for condemning Flynt. Of course, she did complain that NOW didn't release a statement, but they are so busy fighting an onslaught of Republican legislation that harms women that Sippy's plight is, rightly, on the back burner.
Another thing I want to note is inspired by a comment by Aunt Snow:
Gosh, I am wondering how a righteous, God-fearing right-winger might have managed to stumble upon the image.
I mean - it's not like it was out there in the public square. Anyone who objects to an image in "Hustler" that degrades women would have had to actively seek out the magazine and purchase it.
I imagine that at least one, possibly all, of the Hurr Hurr "Hawt Conservative Women" Righties set a Google alert for "S.E. Cupp porn" and that the information about the picture came up, leading them to make an issue of it. Of course, most people reading the story have asked, "Who the hell buys porn magazines anyway, besides old dudes and winos?" The very notion of walking into a store and plunking down a greasy wad of dollar bills for a beatin' bible is almost quaint, in a sleazy kind of way. Speaking for myself, I get all of my Smut on the internet.