Some people would love to be featured in a magazine.
But state Rep. John Lawless, D-Montgomery, is less than pleased about his most recent media attention.
The February 2002 issue of Hustler, published by Larry Flynt, criticizes Lawless in an article complete with a graphic of the representative's head superimposed on a cartoon donkey's rear.
The piece was a monthly feature with a less-than-flattering title.
"I guess it could be politely called 'Rectum of the Month,'" Tim Kenneally, managing editor of Hustler and writer of the piece, said during a recent television program about the article.
Mixing insults on Lawless' appearance and scathing commentary, the article criticizes Lawless' actions against Penn State, calling them a "jihad against university financing."
Last year, Lawless argued that Pennsylvania should withhold parts of the university's funding because of activities on campus that he considered inappropriate.
Among the comments more acceptable for print in mainstream media, the Hustler piece says, "clarity of perception is about as alien to him as facial symmetry."
Lawless' debut on the pages of Hustler made the gossip rounds in Harrisburg, and at the end of December shortly after he announced his switch to the Democratic party and his campaign for lieutenant governor the representative was the guest on a one-hour Pennsylvania Cable Network call-in show.
During the program, Kenneally explained why Hustler bestowed the uncomplimentary award upon Lawless. Kenneally went up against the legislator via telephone during the broadcast, saying the monthly feature tries to focus on free speech and first amendment issues.
The magazine lists Lawless' problems with Penn State, from his condemnation of a 1997 quilt made with women's underwear to his visit to last February's Sex Faire, an event sponsored by Womyn's Concerns with a stated goal of education about sexual health, liberation and consent.
The opinion piece ends by discussing Lawless' most recent condemnation: speaking out against Flynt's October speech on campus. Flynt spoke at the request of the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment after being interviewed by two Penn State faculty members for an article in a communications law journal.
Kenneally said Lawless' negative response to Flynt's speech sparked the editorial piece, and he said the research for the piece about Lawless' actions came from local media in Pennsylvania.
"Flynt himself makes the ultimate choice" on the monthly piece's subject, he said.
On the recent TV show, Lawless insisted that Hustler did not have its facts correct.
"I didn't go to Sex Faire," he said. "I went to the 'C-Festival.' "
Lawless was confusing the two events. He and a cameraperson attended the Sex Faire, not Cuntfest. Lawless was a vocal critic of Cuntfest, a separate event that occurred in December 2000; however, he did not attend the event.
Robert Richards, one of the faculty members who invited Flynt to campus in October, saw Lawless' response on television and called it ironic.
"He was claiming that the editor of Hustler had his facts wrong, when in fact Lawless had his facts wrong," Richards said.
One caller asked Lawless if he would ever support Penn State, and the representative responded by praising the university with the exception of events such as Sex Faire.
"I'll support the Pennsylvania State University every year if they begin to get away from programs that don't have any educational value," he said.