Business Insider looks into the history of reporters making the GOP-stripper link, a story which is getting way too much attention this go-round, fitting perfectly into the “War on Women” harpy cries. I’d immediately point out that 50,000 travelers would not be a huge boon to the industry. Any large city in America has more visitors during the peak summer months or Spring Break than a week at the end of August.
You read lots of stories about strip clubs, naturally. It’s time for the quadrennial discovery (at least since 1992) that strip clubs love publicity as much as reporters like writing about them!
“While the Astrodome overflows with talk of family values, other values are on display at Houston landmarks for the libidinous. And they, too, are attracting conventioneers,” wrote the Washington Times‘ Matt Vane
while covering the RNC’s 1992 convention in Houston. Adding that, “Some of Houston’s 39 topless clubs began preparing for the convention more than a year ago.”
For what it’s worth, I did some custom Google searches and found one article
from 1988 which mentions the link between political conventions and strip clubs. Only a portion of it is accessible, but it doesn’t seem to provide much of a link to either party. Despite being a notably contentious election, the media hadn’t yet started scraping the bottom of the barrel for news stories.
My sense is that 1992 marked a change in the way politics was discussed in the media. I don’t know how much that had to do with some in the media beginning to talk about the GOP’s penchant for titty bars. But I’ll run with it.
I wasn’t cognizant of the fledgling culture war as it swirled into being in the early 1990s as political correctness was really taking hold, the fight over abortion was spilling over into the streets, Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas were squaring off, college campuses were touting diversity and holding campus rape seminars. This was the era of the erroneous myth linking domestic violence to the Super Bowl
(as with today’s Super Bowl sex trafficking hysteria). The early 1990s was a time when one half of the nation was primed for Pat Buchanan’s infamous “Culture War Speech”.
Perhaps all of that floating in the ether created the circumstances necessary for media observations about the strip club-GOP linkage. Stories of hypocritical politicians sell, and 1992 would have been the first year in which conservatives had really staked out a strong position on issues surrounding sexual morality. Though, they were sort of forced to stake out the position given the increased “awareness” being raised by academic-bureaucrats and accomplices within government, social services, and quasi-government non-profit organizations.