Accuracy in Media

They claim that she gets “the big stories.” But MSNBC’s Rita Cosby continues to dig in the bottom of the barrel to attract an audience. However, she left something out of her December 23rd pre-Christmas show at the mansion of Playboy founder and dirty old man Hugh Hefner. She said she was offering viewers “a behind-the-scenes peak” at the mansion but she forgot to mention the eyewitness testimony that was offered years ago before a federal pornography commission about what really happens there.

Reed Irvine and I reported on this in an August 29, 2002, column:

Back in 1985 former Playboy Playmate Miki Garcia and former Playboy bunny Brenda MacKillop testified before the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography. Garcia, who worked for Playboy for ten years, said she knew of Playmates who suffered from venereal diseases, who had attempted suicide, who had procured abortions, used illegal drugs, and engaged in orgies to please Hugh Hefner. She said that at the Playboy mansion Hefner and his staff “encouraged Playmates to use illegal drugs and coerced them into bisexual activities and orgies to satisfy Hefner’s interest.”

MacKillop, a Playboy Bunny at the Playboy Club in Los Angeles, testified that illegal drug use, group sex, and homosexuality were common in the Playboy mansion and that she began to drink and use drugs to desensitize her mind to the seamy world in which she found herself. She testified, “The ‘Playboy Philosophy’ gave me no warning as to the emotional, physical and spiritual devastation that accompanies this supposed sexual liberation. In reality it was an addiction to sexual perversion.” In response to this testimony, Hugh Hefner ridiculed the witnesses as “a parade of born-again basket cases, antisex feminists and fun-hating fundamentalists.”

Dorothy Stratten, one of the most famous Playmates, was murdered by her estranged husband, who was competing for her affections with Hugh Hefner and film director Peter Bogdanovich, who maintains that Stratten was also a victim of the pressures of the Playboy lifestyle. At least two former Playmates died from drug overdoses, with the mother of one of them saying, “I wish there had never been a Playboy.”

Oblivious to this testimony, Rita Cosby introduced three more of Hefner’s “gorgeous girlfriends,” who “were nice enough to give me my own personal tour of their posh pad right before Christmas.” Here was some of the dialogue:

Cosby: How does it feel to celebrate Christmas at the Playboy mansion?

Female: It’s wonderful.  Everything is so beautiful, like the food on Christmas.  Everything’s just so cool?

Cosby:  Who did the tree?

Female: I did the tree.  I wanted to decorate the tree.  Hef used to have just staff do it, and it was kind of generic looking.  And I always wanted to have a Disney tree, so I have all my little Disney characters and everything.

Well, my gosh. Little Disney characters? It almost sounds family-friendly.




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