Hustler publisher Larry Flynt has offered a $1 million reward to Senate candidate Richard Mourdock if the beleaguered Indiana Republican can prove his statement that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
Mourdock, the treasurer of Indiana, made the remark Oct. 23 during a debate against Rep. Joe Donnelly, the Democratic candidate who is supported by J.J. Abrams and others in Hollywood.
The controversial statement instantly drew widespread criticism and the ire of 30 Rock
star Tina Fey
, who lambasted the candidate last week
at the Center for Reproductive Rights' Inaugural Gala in New York. "If I have to listen to one more gray-faced man with a $2 haircut explain to me what rape is, I’m going to lose my mind,” she said.
Flynt's offer to Mourdock will appear in an advertisement slated to run Nov. 1 in the Indianapolis Star.
The tongue-in-cheek advertisement suggests that Mourdock could verify his claim by providing transcripts of his conversations with God. It suggests that "letters, e-mail, text messages or videos from God, or messages addressed to you from God transmitted by any third party, including the Republican National Committee or the Romney/Ryan campaign" could be used to substantiate the claim.
"I assume that you would not have made this statement unless you had been authorized by God," the ad states. "No one who believes in God would ever use the Almighty's name in vain. That would be blasphemy."
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter
, Flynt said he was astonished by Mourdock's debate statement. "I've heard a lot of arguments from people who are pro-life, but they try to couch them in a little bit of reason," Flynt said. "But there is no reasoning in [Mourdock's statement]; it is insulting to the intelligence of the average person."
The advertisement indicates that the offer is valid until 8 p.m. EST on Nov. 5.
Flynt, a Democrat, is known for making politically provocative offers. He once put out a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer of John F. Kennedy and this year offered $1 million for information on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's unreleased tax returns. He publicized the Romney offer with advertisements in The Washington Post and USA Today.
While his Kennedy and Romney actions didn't lead to any new information, some of Flynt's reward offers have made an impact, he said. Indeed, a 1998 Washington Post
story said that then-incoming House Speaker Robert Livingston
revealed his extramarital affairs only after Flynt made a $1 million offer for information about members of Congress who had adulterous sexual relations. The story
dubbed Flynt an "investigative pornographer."
Flynt said Wednesday that since he “only has one vote,” he uses such reward offers -- and the attendant media attention – to expose hypocrisy. “It’s getting crazy out there,” he says.
During the Oct. 23 debate, Mourdock said that he has long struggled with the issue of abortion. "I believe that life begins at conception," the politician said. "The only exception I have to have an abortion is in that case of the life of the mother. I just struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize: Life is that gift from God that I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
Romney has distanced himself from Mourdock in the aftermath of the controversial remark, which Mourdock has said was misrepresented by his foes for political gain. A representative for Mourdock did not immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment.
Flynt's proposal isn't the only big-dollar offer on the table in the final stretch before election day. Donald Trump
has promised to pay $5 million
to a charity chosen by Barack Obama
in exchange for copies of the president's college transcripts and passport application -- a move considered by many media and political observers to be a publicity stunt.
Flynt's Nov. 1 Indianapolis Star advertisement is included below: