Brent Bozell

Most Americans don't know the name Joe Francis. But many are familiar with his gold mine. It's "Girls Gone Wild," the odious racket of DVDs huckstered on late-night cable shows and the Internet in which Francis and his jolly cast of soft-porn exploiters charm, badger or hornswoggle often-drunk, young, college-age girls into flashing their breasts for the camera on spring break.

This creep claims that college girls see this long-lasting video embarrassment as a "rite of passage." But as time passes, and these girls become mothers, how will their children deal with the possibility that Mom was flashing her nudity across the country in her intoxicated youth? For that matter, how do these young girls feel the morning after, sober and hung over? The footage can live on and on for decades in YouTube or its spin-offs.

Joe Francis is now sitting in a jail cell in Reno, Nev., where he's facing federal charges of tax evasion for claiming millions of dollars in false business deductions and making mysterious offshore banking transactions. But his legal troubles started on spring break in Panama City, Fla., where one of his camera operators offered increasing amounts of money and pressure to two 17-year-old girls in a shower to commit sex acts for dirty old men. Francis and his sleazy filmmakers claimed they didn't know the girls were 17 since they always go through the motions of asking their victims for their ages.

Now he's on a media crusade. Meet Joe Francis, Victim.

On Fox News, he suggested he never should have been charged in the Florida underage-porn scam: "So they came up with this ridiculous theory that because I am the owner of the company, I'm an aider and abetter to the sexual performance of a child." It's a "ridiculous" theory that Francis's sleazy soft-porn squad operates on his orders.

Francis was taken into custody in Florida, where he tells a hellish story of being mistreated like he was in Abu Ghraib. Then he told Greta van Susteren about being taunted by other inmates there. He says the chaplain asked, "Son, have you thought about Jesus Christ?" Francis quickly says yes, since he's just like Jesus: "Every day! Because this is what they did to Him."

Panama City's aggressive piling of legal complaints -- he was originally charged with 71 counts, most of which were dismissed by a judge -- has Francis feeling sorry for himself: "I always thought that if you are a good person and you didn't commit a crime, you don't go to jail." He sees himself as a historic victim: Incarceration is "one of the greatest miscarriages of justice ever."

Nazi holocaust, Stalinist purges, Khmer Rouge massacres? Move over.


Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
 
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