LOS ANGELES—A post on Gather.com today says that Texas Governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry invested in pornography in 1995 through a financial interest in Movie Gallery, a movie and video game rental company that at one point in time was second only to Blockbuster with around 4,500 retail locations throughout the nation. In 2010, the company closed the last of its Hollywood Video and Movie Gallery stores in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.
Still, according to the post, Perry invested somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000 in the company back in the '90s until the hammer came down, courtesy of one of the most fanatical anti-everything hate groups in the nation, the American Family Association.
"Perry's investment was put in jeopardy when the American Family Association started putting pressure on the feds to investigate the company," wrote Reno Berkeley on Gather.com. "If you recall, the AFA is the same organization that recently helped Perry organize his monumental and hypocritical prayer rally."
As AVN reported back in 2007, the AFA called for a nationwide boycott of Movie Gallery because many of its stores rented adult videos in addition to its primary mainstream movie business.
"Led by family-values fanatic Donald Wildmon, AFA has been attacking the video store chain for several years," wrote David Sullivan. "When Movie Gallery announced its acquisition of Hollywood Video, Wildmon's group took out a full-page ad in USA Today alerting readers that 'your family's next trip for a video could become an introduction to the world of hardcore pornography.' AFA also organized a protest rally at Movie Gallery's headquarters in Dothan, Alabama."
Needless to say, the company folded not because of the AFA's lame attempt at a boycott but because of the rise of the internet. Still, according to the Gather post, pressure from the AFA forced Perry to put his investment in the company into a blind trust, which is publicly sealed.
But the story doesn't end there. According to Berkeley, Perry's 2006 tort reform law targeting frivolous lawsuits was inspired not by his interest in tort reform per se but by self-interest.
"With Perry, every move he makes has an ulterior motive," she wrote. "His tort reform bill essentially protected his investment by making it harder for family values organizations like the AFA from having them investigated for illegal practices."
It's an interesting hypothesis until you consider that renting adult videos was only a part of the Movie Gallery business model, and who knows, maybe Perry wasn't even aware of that side of the business when he invested in it. Maybe he was.
One thing is sure, though. If this ridiculous story gets any traction at all, he'll be asked about it, and maybe the AFA will as well, considering they're once again buddy-buddy with the divinely inspired secessionist governor who would be president.
"The American Family Association is very well aware of Perry's maneuvering to save his own skin, but they evidently don't care," wrote Berkeley. "As long as he talks the talk, it doesn't matter if he doesn't walk the walk. After all, the more you drive home a lie, the more truthy it gets, right?"
More likely, however, the ancient and tenuous connection to pornography, if raised, will allow an opening for Perry and the AFA (and maybe Morality in Media, which has its own problems) to make the devil's playground (that would be porn) a campaign theme.
Stay tuned for some finger-lickin' family values!