James Lambert
History Channel program glamorizes Playboy & its founder, Hugh Hefner
By James Lambert
December 16, 2014

The History Channel recently aired a 1 hour special entitled: Playboy & How it changed the World. Unfortunately, the special on Hugh Hefner and his pornography empire lacked significant objectivity in its reporting. The channel presented a one sided positive fluff piece on the effect the publication and its various subsidiaries have had on this country and the rest of the world since it was founded in the early '50s.

Directors of the program portrayed Hefner's magazine as being a profound and positive influence in reshaping the social and secular landscape of not only this country, but of the world. The program bragged that since Playboy's inception "sexual permissiveness has permeated social culture."

A portion of the program touched on the Reagan Administration and how they (unjustifiably – in Hefner's opinion) persecuted the porn industry and Playboy in particular. Hefner lamented that the decade of the 1980s was a "very anti-Playboy period" when "Reagan, Meese and the Moral Majority" joined forces to oppose his empire and the impact it was having on America.

With the dawning of '93, a new President (Bill Clinton) and his Attorney General (Janet Reno) decided to drop a number of the obscenity cases against the porn industry pending from the Bush/Reagan era. During the program Hefner gloated that this change represented "a complete victory over conservative America."

Barbie Benton, Hefner's one time playmate and girlfriend said that "in a conservative society, girls didn't get in the sack before marriage ... and that all changed" (with Playboy). Of course the History Channel made abstinence before marriage sound foolish to their viewers. What this so-called "history" channel failed to report was that the practice of abstinence before marriage was generally a societal norm prior to 1960, encouraged and promoted from belief in morality and the Bible. It was also during this time that Christian churches across America had more influence on society. Sadly, our culture has deteriorated drastically since that period of time.

The program went on to glorify multiple partner sexuality explaining that it "represents personal freedom" in America. Even the Reverend Jesse Jackson who was interviewed for the program defended Playboy and its culture. I wonder if this man who calls himself a minister has ever read passages from the Bible regarding lust and the harm it causes families.

It was also interesting to see comments on the special by actor Bill Cosby who defended his friend, Hugh Hefner. Cosby, it should be noted, has recently been accused of rape charges by a number of women. Just a few weeks ago, these revelations involving Mr. Cosby were all over the print and computer media. It's even gone so far that the well-known actor was recently disinvited by a major television network to appear on a popular late night program due to these accusations.

Interestingly, former Playboy Bunny, Brenda MacKillop who talks about her dramatic conversion to Christianity in the book 16 Amazing Stories of Divine Intervention once told me about Cosby's friendship with Hefner and how he along with other Hollywood stars use to frequent the Playboy Mansion party scene.

What the History Channel program didn't report was the negative effect that the pornography industry and Playboy's various enterprises have had on society. This sexual/porn culture has resulted in over 100,000 child porn sites as well over of a million hard-core porn sites now available on the internet. Even today, adult books stores will not allow people under 18 to enter their establishments, yet kids of all ages (via the home computer) have access to hard core porn sites which display every facet of obscenity imaginable. The world's appetite for illicit sex has resulted in a skyrocketing demand and increase in sex trafficking in almost every country around the world including America. This is hardly the "reshaped social and secular society landscape" (in Rev. Jackson's words) that the world needs.

© James Lambert


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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James Lambert

James Lambert has a broad business background. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Linfield College (McMinnville, Oregon), Lambert pursued a career in banking by working in various management capacities for Crocker Bank, San Diego Trust & Savings Bank and First Interstate Bank (between 1973 and 1995). By 1990 Lambert received his Master in Business Administration from National University (San Diego). For 3 years, Lambert also taught Finance at Mira Costa Community College... (more)


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