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WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FLYNT, STARR?

I've been enjoying the response from Republicans to The News editorial endorsing Larry Flynt's investigation. It's important, I think, to distinguish between what Flynt does from what Kenneth Starr does.

Flynt pays people to contribute information to him; Starr terrorizes people to get information. Flynt spends his own money; Starr spends the taxpayers'. Flynt publishes smut in a magazine, reaching thousands of people; Starr puts smut on TV, reaching millions. Flynt's smut is glossy; Starr's is drab.

Flynt has a political interest in the outcome of the Clinton scandal, because he's a libertarian Democratic activist; Starr has a political interest in the outcome of the Clinton scandal, because he's an authoritarian Republican activist. Flynt does not take himself seriously, because he has a sense of humor; Starr takes himself very seriously, because he does not.

Otherwise, smutwise, there's not a dime's worth of difference between them. After careful thought, I've decided that -- as long as we're going to spend so much time, money and morale to support the activities of the sex police -- I prefer Flynt to Starr. He's funnier and cheaper.

ROBERT K. DENTAN

Buffalo

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