In case you missed it, an interesting piece ran recently in the

New York Observer.

WorldNetDaily chose not to link to it because, typical of stories in the Observer, it was littered with obscenities of the four-letter kind. But some of what was contained in the article by Andrew Goldman — in fact the central point of the story — deserves a wider audience.

Goldman spent some time with an old and dear friend of President Clinton — a man who, the author suggests, saved Clinton’s presidency during the darkest days of impeachment.

I’m talking about Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler and the most notorious pornographer in the United States.

“Though the New York and Washington elite who had put Mr. Clinton in the White House would scoff at this notion, less powerful people … held one truth as self-evident: that by outing Georgia Republican Bob Barr and Louisiana Congressman Bob Livingston for their less-than-exemplary extramarital behavior, Larry Flynt had single-handedly saved Mr. Clinton’s a–,” Goldman wrote.

Are these the delusions of Flynt and a journalist taken in by them? Not likely. Flynt says, on the record, that Clinton thanked him for his dirty work.

“The president sent word to me, you know — ahh, he was thankful for my effort, and maybe after he left office we could break bread or something,” Flynt said. “A lot of people say that he should be thanking me now in person. I say, look, the last thing Bill Clinton needs now is to be associated with me in any manner whatsoever.”

Yes, indeed, Clinton is indebted to Flynt. And he and his industry have already cashed in during Clinton’s presidency, according to Dennis Hof, the man who employs 250 prostitutes at the Moonlite Bunnyranch in Nevada.

“We’ve had eight years of lack of prosecution of a sex industry,” he told Goldman. “Who’s Bill Clinton going to prosecute with all this stuff going on? Janet Reno doesn’t want any part of that. So the film industry has gone from 1,000 films eight years ago to 10,000 last year. Ten thousand pornographic movies. You’ve got Larry and (Penthouse Publisher Bob) Guccione doing things that 10 years ago you’d go to prison for. Then you’ve got all the Internet stuff — dogs, horses, 12-year-old girls, all this crazed third-world s— going on. Larry comes out lookin’ like a choirboy coming next to this stuff.”

Yeah, choirboy. This is the guy who once published on the cover of his magazine a picture of a woman being ground into hamburger. And that was a long time ago. I’m told Hustler has only gone downhill since.

But that’s the story in a nutshell. Now we have it from the horse’s mouth — or, in the case of Flynt, possibly another part of the horse’s anatomy.

Bill Clinton was bailed out by a kingpin pornographer who dug up dirt on his political enemies — published some and possibly blackmailed others. And Clinton has thanked him for it. What’s more, one of Flynt’s closest friends, a big-time pimp, says there’s been a payback in the form of a thriving illegal sex industry going untouched by law enforcement.

That’s some story. It’s a heck of a lot more interesting than the pre-convention flare-up over whether Democratic National Committee Co-chairwoman Loretta Sanchez should hold a fund-raiser in the Playboy mansion. In fact, it reinforces

the point I made about that story.

Remember what Joe Andrews, chairman of the Democratic Party, said about the Playboy event?

“We think an event at the Playboy mansion is not the right image and does not represent the values of our party,” explained Joe Andrews, the chairman of the Democratic Party.

Nonsense. With friends like Larry Flynt, Bill Clinton’s Democrats have to crawl up to the gutter to meet Hugh Hefner and share Playboy’s values.

After all, compared to Flynt, Hefner looks like a choirboy. But, then again, next to Clinton, Al Capone looks like a choirboy.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.