Core Skill: Finding Common Ground with an Adversary

  • Transcript


Larry Flynt:  Well the Reverend Falwell spoke out against me for 15 years on his Old Time Gospel Hour and then we did a satire on him in the magazine, which was rather unflattering and he didn’t like that, so he sued me and we fought for another 4 years in court and it became a landmark Supreme Court decision.  It was decided in my favor.  Now for that whole almost 20 years we were bitter enemies and then I had an opportunity to meet with him and so the trials were all over and I figured why not, so my mother used to always tell me that regardless of how much you might despise someone once you get to know them you will always find something about them that you like and I found that a very good observation and the same thing applied to Falwell.  I think he was misguided.  I think he was wrong about many things and there was really nothing that I agreed with him about and some of the things were just so bizarre and so far out like he held a press conference one day to say that the Teletubbies were gay because they wore purple clothes or something.  So I called him up and I said, “Reverend.”  I said, “You’re one of the best known evangelists in the world.”  And I said, “How could you do something so stupid?”  “This can’t help you.”  So he said, “You know Larry I've been thinking about that.”  “I was wrong.”  “I shouldn’t have done that.”  So that’s how Falwell was.  It wasn’t that he was necessarily mean-spirited, but he said and did a lot of things that came off that way.