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Margold Scotches Free Speech Rumors

The subject was rumor. One of them being that Bill Margold was no longer with the Free Speech Coalition. Margold dismisses that notion as hogwash. “It’s not true,” said Margold. “Ford is an idiot. The man has no clue. I don’t know where he gets his information. I’m on the board of directors.” Margold was referring to an article appearing last week on Set.go that said his days were pretty much spent with the FSC. Which is kind of funny because Margold was on KSEX Friday night promoting a Free Speech event that was featuring Summer Haze among the headliners.

According to Margold, the Free Speech fundraiser Monday night made about $500. “It was a harmless little event.” Margold also dismissed rumors that Free Speech itself was riding into the sunset. “Kat Sunlove is in charge as executive director. Whether or not that’s temporary, I don’t know. But she seems to have the motivating forces behind her. I’m certainly not abandoning it in any way, shape or form. My position may be changed as Trade Show coordinator. I guess that might happen but I’m still trying to keep PAW alive which is my favorite among all my organizations; and, of course, FOXE; and once we get XRCO back- and I don’t know if it’s a matter of even taking it. I think it’s just ours for the grabbing. With the XRCO I want to cut down the number of awards. I want to get rid of some of the crap. And I don’t want to have to give out a worst movie of the year. That’s vile.

“No, but I’m still with Free Speech,” Margold continued. “And I will be with Free Speech until I lose an election. Let’s put it that way. I think I’ve earned the right to be a member of the board to perpetuity.”

There have also been rumors that former FSC executive director Bill Lyon may have left under circumstances not of his choosing. “Lyon has simply been replaced,” said Margold. “That’s what’s going on right now. Rumors are society’s farts. A clear statement will be made that settles the dust and people move on. Of course Scott Ross [of AVN] wrote that Lyon’s only been there three years. The man will be there four years at the end of this year. But that’s AVN reportage.”

Margold said there’s none of the controversy surrounding the FSC that people are trying to make out. “Things have to be changed around,” he concedes. “The Free Speech Coalition needs the support of an industry that it protects. It needs a better communications system. It needs a better public relations system. It needs a better promotions system. I took care of it at the booth but it needed to get out beyond the booth. My dealings with the real world are held in contempt by people who get upset when I say what I say.”

Margold made his feelings abundantly clear on KSEX when he stated that supporters of porn need to stand up and be counted, that advice also extending to the porn industry as well. Margold was also pretty extensive in his reply to the question what FSC has done for people lately. By the same token, I mention to Margold that the perception was the FSC had turned its back on Cincinnati’s Elyse Metcalf during her obscenity trial, Mark Kernes reputedly telling her that her case wasn’t high profile enough.

“Absolutely not,” said Margold. “In fact at the meeting it was proposed that a letter of recommendation go out to every person in the industry to support and show the FSC is asking for their support of the Elyse Metcalf case. Mark Kernes didn’t have a clue, but never, ever did we denigrate Elyse Metcalf. I don’t know where Kernes got that statement. That was never said and immediately Russ Hampshire dumped $5,000 into the kitty. But we don’t disparage any of these cases.

“Elyse was prominent enough to where we sent out letters of recommendation to support that case. We did what we’re supposed to do. We can’t force the industry to support any case. We can suggest to the industry that they don’t isolate anybody. Because once somebody’s isolated, who will be next to be isolated?”

The idea from Day One, stemming from the original Adult Video Association, had been to create a voluminous war chest, seeded by the supposed multi-billion a year adult industry, to fight cases such as Metcalf’s.

“It never got created,” Margold says frankly. “There’s never been that kind of money. We don’t have it and will never have it. Because a lot of people don’t need us until they need us. They may need us after the election in November. Maybe I’m a doomsdayer, but I don’t think Bush is going to be able to avoid coming after us because he’s probably sold his soul so many times now that he can’t even buy a piece of bubblegum with it. Free Speech is guilty of nothing except trying to protect the industry. But nobody wants the organization unless they really need the organization.”



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