Patterico's Pontifications

9/13/2023

This Week’s Sordid, Sleazy, and Gross Story [Updated]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 4:19 pm



[guest post by JVW]

UPDATE [9/14/23, 2:00 pm]

I can’t help it; this is hilarious and sums up the hyprocrisy pretty nicely (hat tip to Powerline):

—— Original Post ——
Because sordid, sleazy, and gross is right up my alley.

Maybe you’ve heard mention of the story of Susanna Gibson: wife, mom, nurse-practitioner, Democrat candidate for Virginia’s House of Burgesses (i.e., the state legislature), and — well, how do we put this delicately? — camgirl on a pornographic website where she makes and distributes sex videos featuring herself and her husband in return for cash “tips.”

I have nothing of particular value to add to this story, so I’m just going to provide a round-up of others’ reactions to it. Over at Powerline, John Hinderaker finds the Democrat media up to their old tricks:

[. . .] In its effort to help the Democrats in Virginia, the [New York] Times slides from spin to outright falsehoods. It headlines: “State House Candidate in Virginia Condemns Leak of Sex Tapes.” But there was no “leak.” Susanna Gibson performed sex acts in public, for money. The videos were posted by her, not someone else. Nor was there a “sex tape,” which carries connotations of nonconsensual posting of a private video by another party. No: Gibson did this herself, publicly, for cash. And the paper’s suggestion that the story here is Gibson’s “condemnation” of Republicans, not what she did, is risible.

Just the fact that the NYT referred to the product as sex “tapes” shows how hopeless stuck in the Clinton 90s that paper truly is. [Confession: in the second paragraph to this post I instinctively wrote “sex tapes” too, before I managed to recall that we are living in 2023 and there is pretty much zero chance that VHS comes into play at all here.] Mr. Hinderaker then suggests that Ms. Gibson and her enablers are out to lunch when they attempt to claim that GOP efforts to spotlight the unusual hobby of the Democrat candidate amount to violations of Virginia’s nebulous “revenge porn” law.

It is true that “[r]eleasing damaging information about candidates of the opposing party…is an age-old political practice.” But the Times’s characterization of “releasing damaging information” presumes that Gibson was entitled to engage in public sex for money without the fact becoming known to voters. In fact, the “release” of damaging information was done by Gibson when she uploaded her videos (there were more than a dozen) to Chaturbate, to be watched by the public. And, yes, this situation is “highly unusual.” It is unusual because most politicians do not use porn sites to engage in sex acts for money.

Writing in The Spectator, Cockburn turns his jaundiced eye to the particulars of the matter and discovers that Ms. Gibson actually violated the terms and conditions of her sex video hosting service:

In her streams, Gibson could be seen prompting her 5,770 followers for “tips” in exchange for various sexual acts with her husband, who looks like a lost, and less talented, Manning brother. Tips are paid in the form of “tokens” purchased through the site. Asking for them apparently violates Chaturbate’s house rules. “Requesting or demanding specific acts for tips may result in a ban from the Platform for all parties involved,” the site’s policy says.

Gibson is a shrewd businesswoman though and won’t often settle for a measly one or two tokens. “I need, like, more tokens before I let him do that,” she responded to a request to perform a certain act with her husband. “One token, no. More. Raising money for a good cause.” In another video, she promised that for 500 tokens she would order room service in a hotel so the delivery person could see her naked. [. . .]

There some more gross stuff about Ms. Gibson in Cockburn’s column, so if like me you appreciate the raunchy details you will find them there.

Jeffrey Blehar at NRO is disgusted by said details, but he puts on a brave face and finds a bit of humor in the whole affair, though he recognizes that there is a quite sorrowful part to the story too:

The story’s details — and I will leave you to the links in this case rather than recounting them myself — are excruciating. (The sexual ones are unworthy of specific mention; the moment at which Mrs. Gibson pauses in the midst of said acts unworthy of mention to chirp that the payments for them are going to a “good cause” are an unfortunate matter for campaign-finance lawyers to scrutinize.) I want to start by clarifying that I understand that one must put on a brave face when caught in an intolerably embarrassing situation. Though I myself have never been caught running a pornographic live-cam side hustle after having asked a party’s voters to entrust me with its nomination, I think we can all agree that it’s the sort of “rookie mistake” anyone could have made.

[. . .]

I actually find it more difficult to be funny about this story than I otherwise might, and the reason is that I’ll never understand the internal psychology of a person who engages in this sort of public exhibitionism, much less then goes out and seeks nomination for public office (Gibson’s primary was not a blowout by any means) with it not just in their past, but their active present. And, more than anything else, because — although this is obviously newsworthy — I shudder to think of the consequences for her family. There’s no punch line to end on here, just a lament about the tawdriness of our demotic era and the invisible damage done.

It was obvious as the Baby Boom generation came to power that we would inevitably at some point end up with a First Lady who had posed nude during her modeling career (as well as the wife of a British Prime Minister who had done the same thing on a much more informal level), and it’s reasonably likely that at some point we’ll have a member of Congress who posed for Playboy while in college or who was photographed streaking through the campus quad one drunken evening. Heaven knows, Italy was electing a pornographic actress to to their parliament 36 years ago, so maybe Puritan America is just decidedly behind the times. But given the social crusading left’s zeal to provide legitimacy to what they deem as “sex work,” does that really mean that we’re ready to entrust our representation to the likes of Susanna Gibson? I guess we’ll find out, and perhaps quite soon.

But spare a kind thought for the pioneering Katie Hill, would ya’?

– JVW


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