Sunday, August 5, 2012

Jenna Jameson's Endorsement of Mitt Romney: Mavericky Move, Or Just Plain Foolish??

You would think that the war against the condom mandate would be at the top of porn people's minds right now....but the big buzz overtaking Porn Valley this weekend has less to do with defending the right to go unwrapped. It has more to do with more traditional in, voting for President.

Jenna Jameson may be long since retired from porn, and may have even generally repudiated it (though, to be fair with Jenna, she has not as of yet gone Shelley Lubben or Linda Lovelace), but she still casts a huge shadow on the industry, having been its most visible brand name for the 1990's and early 2000's. Ever since her controversal biography A Cautionary Tale was released around 1997 or so, Jenna has parlayed her notoriety and her porn queen status into a very lucrative and affluent (as far as adult performers go) lifestyle; her net worth has been estimated to be in the range of $20-30 million, according to the website.

I guess that from that alone, you could tell exactly whom she would endorse for President of the United States this coming election.

CBS San Francisco affiliate KCBS-TV first broke the story of Jameson publically endorsing former Massachusetts governor/Republican Mitt Romney over incumbent POTUS/Democrat Barack Obama last Thursday, and it spread throughout the news cycle and the Internet like wildfire pretty rapidly.  At least Jenna was direct and honest about the endorsement: it's all about the Benjamins:
"I'm very looking forward to a Republican being back in office," Jameson said while sipping champagne in a VIP room at Gold Club in the city's South of Market neighborhood. "When you're rich, you want a Republican in office."
Funny, since in 2008 she actually backed a Democrat, Hillary Clinton, for President; and she didn't pull the trigger for John McCain, the ultimate Republican nominee that year who ended up losing to Obama. Perhaps Sarah Palin was just a bit too....shall we say, idiotic for even a diehard GOP'er like Jenna Jameson to take??

But Jenna's endorsement raised some eyebrows for totally serious reasons, too: Mittenz, as I tend to gloss him, was a generally moderate Massachusetts Republican while he was governor of that state, but like most GOP'ers, he has been forced pretty far to the Right due to the pressures of the Religious Right conservatives and the Tea Party "populists" who now have become the predominant voting "base" of the GOTP; not to mention the influence of big money billionaires such as Sheldon Acheson and the Koch brothers, and political commissars like Grover Norquist. And, that would also include going hard right on sexual expression, too; Romney has been most recently loudly about the scrounge of pornography and how he would control it through filters and prosecutions. Indeed, one of the main persecuters of the Bush era antiporn campaigns, Patrick Trueman -- who now heads the group Pornography Harms -- has even boasted that Romney (through his aides) has now endorsed fully their plans to crack down hard on porn speech and expression as an assault on "decency" and "morality".

Also, Romney had (when he was still campaigning for the Republican nomination against Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich) signed a written statement produced by Trueman's organization Morality in Media specifying "strict enforcement of our nation's obscenity laws" and a promise to appoint an Attorney General who would "vigorously" enforce same laws.

Given all that, one could wonder why someone like Jenna Jameson would basically turn so heavily on the industry that gave her her good fortune.

However, it should be noted that most upper-middle-class professional artists tend to become more conservative politically, and there are plenty of porn performers and producers who are otherwise strong conservative Republicans and supporters of Mitt Romney in general. Even someone like Ron Jeremy, who did manage to deliver a vicious smackdown at Rick Santorum for his fundamentalist zealotry against porn, was willing to give Mittenz a benefit of the doubt, calling him "a good man" who "means well", as well as "a good father". (The Hedgehog, though, is still committed to voting for President Obama.)

Some critics have raised some ulterior motive of racism against Blacks as a prime mover of Jameson's voting habits, citing Jenna's hesitance during her career of working with Black male performers (and remember, some of Hillary Clinton's followers were willing to go down that path during 2008); while others far more obtuse have simply blamed way too many facials and creampies and the nature of Jenna's "profession" for her supposed idiocy.

But while all this has become a running snark of the usual double enterdres and adolescent catcalls; there is a serious and often very dangerous aspect of dismissing Jameson's right to express her political opinions due to her chosen profession. "Slut shaming" is about as much a common practice in American culture as baseball and apple pie; and hating on women because of their sexual prowess is a custom that is far, far too common. It's more overt on the conservative side of the spectrum because that's where the more predominant antisex/antiporn attitudes lie...but it's not totally absent on the political Left, either.

The fact that Jenna Jameson happens to be a conservative Republican should not be an excuse by anyone calling him/herself a liberal or "progressive" (or any other political label, for that matter) to demonize or diminish her as a fully grown woman merely because you don't like her choice of profession or her private sex life. (And that goes to infinity for YOU, Gail Dines....I see your next CounterPunch essay working, madame.)

Also, for all you progs/libs/Lefties who are enjoying the spectacle of Jenna Jameson being raked over the coals for her conservative views: I suppose that some of you are the very same ones who were sporting #ImWithSECupp hashtags when the MSNBC hostess/right-wing libertarian/atheist apostate got satirized by Larry Flynt's HUSTLER magazine in June with the notorious "dick in her mouth" photoshop. But, if what HUSTLER did was over the top and pretty close to "misogyny", then what do you think the vicious smearing of Jenna Jameson for being a porn icon is?? Education??? Never mind that none of that pseudo-feminist solidarity with Cupp transformed her into her any less of an antifeminist/anti-contraception Tea Party sychophant. But then again, when Gail Dines can still get more run for her idiocy about porn in lefty circles while Nina Hartley, who has more authentic lefty/prog/feminist cred in her right butt cheek than a thousand clones of Dines put together, it shows how much real learning folks of the Left could use about their own sex negativity.

Jenna Jameson can and will live with her political endorsements. Maybe we can all do the same, whether or not we agree with her.


  1. Jameson's endorsement of Mittens sounded TOO honest - performance art/sarcasm in the style of Sarah Silverman, perhaps?

    In any case, props to Michael Dyson for using his time subbing for MSNBC's Ed Schultz to bring up news of Jameson's remarks front and center. Dyson was a guest on Melissa Harris Perry's MSNBC porn discussion that Dines whined about.

    1. Sheldon:

      Still, if Michael Dyson is going to think himself to be an expert in porn, he seriously needs to get the freakin' names right. Not, like in the MSNBC porn discussion, where he maligned Lexington Steele's name as "Lexus Steel".

  2. When I first read this headline, I thought it said, "... Or Just PALIN Foolish??"
    That would have actually been pretty right on.

    1. Ahhh, no....Jenna actually has a brain and uses it. And, unlike the former Half-Governor, she actually finishes.

  3. I have to agree with your assessment of the Liberal/Left reaction to Jenna's endorsement, genuine or not. One of many reasons why the liberal/left is annoying me even though I hold to the principles of liberalism.

  4. Whether Jenna means what she says in this instance, and having known her since she was 19 I would never underestimate her capacity to say just what she thinks, or what people don't want her to, she's certainly done the Dems a favor.

    Nothing much worse can befall a candidate from a conservative political party than an endorsement from a flamboyant, unrepentant porn star, even a retired one. Jenna has few kind words for the business these days, and she has her reasons. Envy is an ugly thing and she's been exposed to toxic doses of it.

    But she has never denounced it for its content and I'm quite sure her own interests do not lie with any increase in censorship. She still has a piece of her own pictures and those pictures are still out there making money for her. If she claims to be supporting a Republican for her own economic benefit, she certainly must hope he won't be the kind who really does make a priority out of coming after porn, as W. also promised to but only did in his usual half-assed manner.

    Or she might hope the candidate from that party just loses. Another thing I wouldn't underestimate is Jenna's understanding of how she's viewed by mainstream media. She's seen plenty of ugly in regards to herself there too. I don't doubt she's heard herself described in the vicious terms Dines uses when she talks about Jenna. I'm sure she realizes she's no great favorite of a certain stripe of leftist, whose opinions probably matter about as much to her as Ralph Reed's.

    Jenna knows who her enemies are and that she has few friends. She wields that knowledge in a way that gets her attention and exasperates those who have dissed her. Anyone who saw her stellar farewell to the porn biz at the AVN awards a few years back would have to realize that Jenna wants others aware of just how little their opinions of her mean to her life, and I suspect this latest move was just another way of making that clear. After all, if she really wanted to help Romney, she'd do more effectively by endorsing Obama.

    Either way, her trashing by the usual lefty porn-haters really isn't news and it's only considered such because it's that same group of haters who, these days, pretty much determine mainstream media's skew where porn is concerned.

  5. You know, Ernest....I'm not so sure that it's not legitimate interest on Jenna's part. I don't think that her backing Hillary Clinton for President in 2008 was anything other than authentic support for a woman running for President; and I don't think that her "endorsement" for Romney was anything but a reflection of her somewhat libertarian conservative viewpoints.

    Maybe there is a slight bit of left-handed compliment in that "endorsement", but given her income bracket, it doesn't surprise me one bit...she's not the only conservative porn performer around, you know.

  6. There are plenty of politically conservative porn performers. In fact, there are some whose political opinions would be rather shocking if they talked about them publicly.

    But they don't and Jenna does. I do think her praise for Hillary Clinton was an expression of Jenna's own brand of feminism, but I doubt she expected it to swing any votes. The Romney endorsement had a much cheekier quality to it, if quoted accurately, and while I don't doubt her inclinations are libertarian, I give her credit for understanding that Romney isn't now and never was a libertarian. He went from being a counterfeit liberal to being a counterfeit right-wing ideologue and in neither guise would he be a friend to Jenna's continuing financial ambitions.

    She's not nearly as rich as the dopey bloggers made her out to be, but she is still a substantial stakeholder in an industry that would be directly threatened by those who would have influence in a Romney administration. While she may broadly support The First Amendment, I think her primary concern for it is as a bulwark against possible attempts to choke off her ongoing royalties from products still on the market.

    In other words, I think Jenna knows where her real economic interests lie and that would be nowhere near a candidate who has to answer to James Dobson as well as Grover Norquist.

  7. sure doesn't look like Jenna's playing around and acting....she sure sounds like a ex-XXX version of Ted Nugent mixed with Victoria Jackson.

    One of her latest tweets today retweeted Ann Coulter, and this is another one from yesterday:

    Why do democrats think if republicans get into office they will destroy porn. That is just the lefts way of fear mongering.

    Obama is the only president whos party had not produced a single budget in the chambers of congress. What a shame.

    (Of course, never mind that Congressional budgets are by rule initiated by the House of Representatives, which is controled by Republicans...and that Democrats have a right not to support budgets that would essentially kill people...)

    I could listen to @RepPaulRyan talk tax and budget policy all day everyday #newamerica #letsgo

    That certainly doesn't sound like she's merely playing to her "real economic interests"...she's fully drank the KoolAid and going full on right wing (save for defending porn on a pseudo-"libertarian" stance).

    Of course, her libertarianism still puts her on the leftward side of the Tea Party/Religious Right/Koch Brothers cabal that seems to have assumed total command of the GOP. We'll see if all this pandering will get her anywhere.

  8. And there you have it. It's never easy to tell when Jenna's running a bluff, but it doesn't look like she is on this thing. Well, whether she means to be or not, she's still more a hindrance than a help to the GOP. She may or may not be trying to piss off her old friends, but she's certain to do as much for her new ones. Just look at the way her cozying up to the wingnuts has made the rounds in this business and landed here. Now Gail Dines can trash porn and the religious right at the same time. It's a dream come true for a certain contingent on the left.

    But that contingent has no electoral constituency anyway, any more than Jenna does. Of more immediate concern to the Romney camp figuring out whether to just ignore Jenna or repudiate her endorsement. Jenna, as we've seen many times before, can make herself hard to ignore, but telling her to get lost isn't a good look either. They're certainly not going to invite her to any events and she's certainly not going to give them any money (which would be an even worse problem for them), so my guess is they'll just change the subject of some reporter brings it up out on the trail.

    As for Jenna herself, I doubt many of her fans care how she votes. That isn't why they buy her pictures. Like I said, there are performers with far more toxic political views of all sorts and I don't think that has much impact on sales.

    All I can say is that if she wants to put as much distance as possible between herself and the people she made all that money both for and with, this is certainly a good way to go about it. The few people she actually considers friends are unlikely to abandon her over it. I have other friends whose politics I don't share but I don't shun them over it unless they try to force them on me, which I doubt very much Jenna would in a social encounter.

    The important point here, as Anthony makes clear, is that Jenna has a right to her opinion, whatever it is, and dragging her former career out to smear her with for doing so is a bogus move that actually might do some good for Romney – yet another good reason to abstain from doing so.