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Will you see Brendan Fraser's 'The Mummy 2' in theaters?


a) Certainly - I enjoyed the first one.
b) Depends on the trailers.
c) Nope - I didn't like the first one and probably won't like the next.

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Hustler Publisher Flynt Wants to Cover Afghan War



WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt wants his magazine to cover the war in Afghanistan, or perhaps uncover it.

"Who knows, maybe we'll give them the girls of Afghanistan,'' he joked in an interview with Reuters on Friday before going to court to try to force the Defense Department to let reporters accompany U.S. troops to the front lines.

Flynt says he is serious about the lawsuit, which he filed with the U.S. District Court in Washington in November after the Pentagon turned down his request to let Hustler writers go along on U.S. combat missions in the war in Afghanistan, saying it was too dangerous.

While Hustler might not be the first place most people go for news on the war, Flynt argues that real issues of press freedom are at stake. Past U.S. wars were every bit as dangerous as Afghanistan, and yet reporters were allowed to document the fighting, he says.

"If Roosevelt had treated the press the way Bush had, we wouldn't have the History Channel today,'' he said of Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S. president during World War II.

The U.S. military has organized some pools of reporters in Afghanistan, but there have been complaints that they are heavily restricted, and not allowed to "embed'' with American military units and cover their daily operations.

For example, last month a group of reporters was not allowed to cover troops injured by an errant U.S. bomb, although they were being treated nearby. The Pentagon apologized for this incident.

U.S. officials point out that journalists are able to go to Afghanistan unilaterally, without the help of the Defense Department. But Flynt says this is no way to cover U.S. military efforts.

"We're talking about access to the front lines, and we need their cooperation. You don't want to go over there and act silly. You could get a vehicle and say, drive me up in the mountains, and you wind up getting needlessly killed.''

Other media may look askance at Hustler's claims, but other media are not really covering the war, Flynt says.

"When you turn on the television and you see pictures of journalists in major cities reporting on the war, the average American thinks that these people are covering the war. They are miles away, and in some cases hundreds of miles away.''

"A member of the mainstream media should have filed this lawsuit instead of me,'' he added.

It was unclear when there would be a court ruling on Flynt's lawsuit, and the Pentagon refused to comment. "For ongoing litigation we don't have anything to say,'' Army Lt. Col. George Rhynedance said.

 
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