Carl Paladino, a Republican candidate for Governor of New York who associates himself with the Tea Party movement, apparently likes to forward emails with racial jokes and horse porn to what has been described as "a long list of political and business associates." Some selections:
A December 2008 email showing a video of African tribesmen performing a traditional dance. The video is entitled "Obama Inauguration Rehearsal."
• A September 2009 email entitled, "Easy Steady Big Fella….XXXX," with a photograph that graphically depicts a horse having sex with a woman.
• A January 2010 email, containing a hardcore pornographic video entitled "Miss France 2008 F[***]ing."
• A July 2009 email showing a photograph of an airplane landing directly behind a group of black men. The caption reads: "Holy Sh*t. run ni**ers, run!"
I believe current convention requires us to accuse the liberal media of planting the emails. But Paladino didn't get that memo. Faced with this situation, Paladino has adopted exactly the same defense that your asshole uncle Wayne uses when you ask him to stop forwarding shit: "I don't read it or think about it, I just forward it, what's the big deal?" His press flack's statement:
Carl Paladino has forwarded close friends hundreds of email messages he received. Many of these emails he received were off color, some were politically incorrect, few represented his own opinion, and almost none of them were worth remembering.
We're not surprised the political establishment feels threatened by Carl's drive the take Albany back for taxpayers. Our campaign won't be wading through the details of what is just another liberal Democrat blog smear. It figures that members of the Party who brought us record taxes, record spending and record debt would want to change the topic from reform to having sex with horses and S&M parlors.
I think we'll see a serious and credible discussion of horse-fucking long before we see a serious and credible discussion of reform — from any party.
Anyway, if true, maybe this defense simply makes Paladino a different kind of asshole — not a racist asshole, but the asshole who compulsively forwards you stupid shit. I'm sure people have given up on asking Paladino not to send them horse porn, sending him links to snopes.com, or complaining that some of his emails are kind of offensive. Maybe he just wants attention. We should be happy he's not forwarding something really offensive, like those horrible inspirational stories that make you want to go out and beat brave sick kids with a shovel until they stop being so goddamned optimistic.
Or maybe he's not just a serial forwarder. I've argued before that social networking technology — including email — has a tendency to lead certain types of people to out themselves. Believe it or not, I'm not just talking about racist assholes. I think there's an excellent argument to be made that much of this racial "humor" is racist. But I could write until my knuckles bleed and I'll never change minds on that one — either you're prone to accept Paladino's explanation "I'm not sensitive to ethnic humor," or you're not. No, the types of people I'm thinking about are not racists, or not merely racists — they're morons.
Giving email and social networking tools to stupid people — particularly stupid politicians — is like giving a loaded gun to a dull toddler. Paladino's been in politics for a while. If he had a room-temperature IQ, or better judgment and self-discipline than God gave Lindsay Lohan, he'd grasp that you can't send porn and racial humor to a "long list of business and political associates" without it becoming public, probably at an inconvenient moment. You might as well cc the New York Post. We didn't have to grapple with the morality of infidelity in order to reach the conclusion that Gary Hart proved himself too stupid to lead when he dared reporters to catch him cheating while he was, in fact, cheating. Similarly, we don't have to agree whether or not Paladino's penchant for racial jokes makes him a racist in order to conclude that he's a spectacular fool to be sending out these sorts of emails whilst attempting to run for office. We're not talking about someone who is merely a little dim about how computers work. We're talking about someone who, in a game where nobody is your friend, chose to send friend and associates racial jokes and porn, assuming nobody would mind or say anything about it.
Paladino says he's the only Republican in the race who is 100% behind conservative values. Let's leave aside, for a moment, how his penchant for forwarded porn meshes with that. Let's just leave it at this: whatever Michael Moore may tell you, being a dumbshit is not a conservative value.
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