Rep. Mike Rogers Angrily Defends Bathroom Spycam

Dateline: Washington, D.C.: Representative Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) was defiant today in the face of accusations that he had installed a small digital camera in the women's bathroom in his office at the Capitol.

"This is just politics," said the ten-term Congressman. "I would argue the fact that we haven't had any women come forward with any specificity arguing that their privacy has been violated, clearly indicates, in ten years, clearly indicates that something must be doing right. Somebody must be doing something exactly right."

When reporters asked how women would know to complain — the spycam, funded by the government, was expertly hidden — Rogers asserted that was the point. "You can't have your privacy violated if you don't know your privacy is violated," said Rogers.

Rogers went on to explain that the nation's Capitol — which has housed figures like former Congressman Bob Filner and former Senator Bob Packwood — presents known dangers to women, and that the spycam is calculated to make certain they are protected from those dangers. “If the women knew exactly what that spycam was about, they would be applauding and popping champagne corks. It’s a good thing. it keeps the women safe. It keeps the Capitol safe," Rogers asserted.

Rogers then abruptly concluded the interview, threatening to sue reporters if they wrote about it.

Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. SarahW says

    "You can't have your privacy violated if you don't know your privacy is violated," said Rogers.

    Well that was painful.

  2. Anglave says

    Wow. Just wow.

    The peeper at the window isn't doing anything wrong, so long as the subject of the peeping remains unaware.

  3. Scott says

    I wonder if he'd agree that "You can't be raped if you don't know you're being raped" is justification for roofies.

  4. ketchup says

    It is fine for you to write about Mike Rogers as long as he doesn't know you are writing about him. From his opinions as reported in the above post, he clearly does not read Popehat, so you are fine.

  5. Rich Fiscus says

    So basically he's saying Fourteenth Amendment violations cancel out Fourth Amendment violations.

    I think there's something wrong with his math but I can't quite put my finger on it.

  6. James says

    As a teacher I feel for Vladeck in that video. You try to think of very simple ways to get your point across to students who are struggling and they often just give you dumbfounded looks in response.

  7. Craig says

    This is like saying that it's okay to murder someone as long as the body is never found and the victim was the sort of person who won't be reported missing (say, a lone transient passing through the area, with no family or friends who might wonder what happened to them). If no crime is ever suspected, then it wasn't a crime at all. So if some lobbyist gives Mike Rogers money to buy his vote, and nobody ever finds out, his conscience is clean. How very convenient.

    Basically he's arguing that if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, not only doesn't it make a sound, but it didn't even fall.

  8. ShelbyC says

    "I wonder if he'd agree that "You can't be raped if you don't know you're being raped" is justification for roofies."

    Don't give him any ideas.

  9. Please don't lie to me says


    I understand you are trying to make a point, but changing words in "" from someone is bad. You are lying to me about what Rogers said. Your changing of the context changed him from being a lost politician to a pervert. Would it be right for me to go through articles on your site and swap out a word or two and change how you are viewed?

    Also now that you have lied to me, I am not sure you can be a trusted source and I need to double check anything you say. It makes me sad to loose that trust.

  10. Jim Salter says

    Dude… started out just clicking the third link, and still thought we were talking about fictitious bathroom cams. (Which frankly don't seem that impossible for congresscritters, ESPECIALLY (R) congresscritters.) Clicked the second link, still wasn't too sure. Finally clicked the first link and was all DAMMIT POPEHAT TROLLED ME.

  11. BPFH says

    I just had to go check to see if he's my representative, since I do live in Michigan. Thank God, he's not.

  12. says

    Also now that you have lied to me, I am not sure you can be a trusted source and I need to double check anything you say. It makes me sad to loose that trust.

    Buh-bye now.

  13. Dan Weber says

    Hidden spycams emit anti-rapist rays that make rapists uneasy and not go into women's bathrooms.

    *EDIT* My comment doesn't make sense.

  14. ketchup says

    I am not sure you can be a trusted source and I need to double check anything you say.

    That is true of anyone on the internet.

  15. Xenocles says

    I admit that at first I double-checked the byline expecting to see Patrick there. But if Ken wants to get into the parody game more power to him. It was well done.

  16. Glen says

    I'd equate Rep Rogers to a spouse that everybody is trying to explain to him how and why is spouse is cheating on him. It's almost like he is plugging his ears, closing his eyes and screaming "I CAN'T HEAR YOU! LA LA LA LA".

    What a dolt!

  17. Luke says

    The original version makes him look just as bad as the satirical version. His reaction to the "tree falls in the forest" analogy is dumbfounding.

    I'm waiting for someone to use this to make an argument along the lines of "I wasn't spying on you, I was spying on someone else and they didn't know about it. That spying was private so exposing it is a violation of my privacy."

  18. Rich Fiscus says


    You hope this is satire.

    Actually I wish Mike Rogers' reality, and I use that word in the loosest possible sense, wasn't so far out you can't tell the difference.

  19. Anonymous Coward says

    Has Popehat ever been hit with a SLAP or bogus defamation case like Mike Rogers' staffers are suggesting? This kind of post, which I think is much needed commentary, seems like the kind of thing that would draw retaliation.

  20. says

    In related news, attorneys for the Steubenville, OH rapists are preparing an appeal of their clients' convictions on charges of raping an unconscious minor on the grounds that the near-comatose girl didn't know she was being violated, thus it never happened.

    Schrödinger would be so proud.

    (Moderation? This went to moderation?)

  21. Al says

    No one mention that Ken, Clark, Patrick and David aren't real Popes.

    (Derrick was but that's some weird rung on the Starcraft ladder.)

  22. darius404 says

    @Ken White

    Are the first and second link supposed to go to the same place? Because they don't seem like they're supposed to.

  23. ketchup says

    No one mention that Ken, Clark, Patrick and David aren't real Popes.

    You mean Angus is the only real Pope? I'm flabbergasted!

  24. Jesse from Tulsa says

    I love this concept! In that I recently went to the U.S. Treasury and took $1,000,000,000,000.00 worth of mortgaged backed securities (that they are purchasing at a rate of about $100,000,000,000.00 a month). There's so much funny money being crated the Treasury doesn't even know I took them. So it wasn't steeling. I didn't do anything wrong.

    Better yet – in that the mortgaged backed securities *might* become worthless and bring down the economy again, really I'm helping them by removing a political hot potato. So even if they knew what I was doing, they'd be happy about it.

    $1,000,000,000,000.00. You can thank me later.

    /for my NSA friends, this is sarcasm. I didn't take a trillion dollars.

  25. KC says

    The problem is that politicians have said such stupid things lately it's hard for some of us to avoid the sarchasm…chasm…chasm… hey, someone throw me a rope?

  26. joshuaism says

    The problem with congressional representatives is I didn't even realize this was satire until I moused over the links.

  27. Whandall says

    I don't understand how somebody could lack the brains to understand what Ken was doing here, but somehow manage to figure out how to make a post.

    I have this picture of thousands of lemurs slapping their keyboards until one manages to submit.

  28. VPJ says

    You mean that the US government *doesn't* have naked pictures of female congressional interns?

    *tears up FOI request*

  29. says

    I know how the "Please don't lie to me" guy feels. I was watching this old Spartacus movie with Kirk Douglas. At the end all the captured slaves were standing up and shouting "I am Spartacus." But they weren't Spartacus, Kirk Douglas was. What a bunch of liars, they completely lost my trust.

  30. Jim Salter says

    Really, @Whandall? You can't imagine a GOP congresscritter both bugging the ladies' room AND angrily trying to call it a feature, rather than a bug – and threatening vexatious lawsuits to silence critics?

    Not so sure @please don't lie to me is the best target in the thread for the "must be new around here" snark… =P

  31. Marconi Darwin says

    But they weren't Spartacus, Kirk Douglas was. What a bunch of liars, they completely lost my trust.

    Now you are lying. Kirk Douglas was a poseur. The real Spartacus is Liam McIntyre

  32. Duvane says

    The most horrifying thing here is that, satire though this is, the line "You can't have your privacy violated if you don't know your privacy is violated," is not part of the satire. That literally sounds like a line straight from the Onion.

    He actually said that. He actually believes that. He was surprised when someone else didn't agree with that. He is in Congress. This was not a slip of the tongue. He is either that stupid or that morally twisted. And there I thought Lindsey "If you're not doing anything illegal" Graham represented the nadir of congressional discourse on spying.

    I need a drink.

  33. Michael says

    This is no joke, when I read this posting at work, I didn't at all pick up on that fact that's satire. It wasn't till I got home and started clicking through the links, that I discovered that no, Mike Rogers hadn't installed a spy cam in a bathroom. Sad commentary on where my expectations of our government lie, and well done.

  34. Harold says

    Dear Popehat,

    I believe somehow your RSS feed had been crossed with that of The Onion.

    If I am mistaken, I must downgrade my opinion of your writing skills; with material like this even Jay Leno could get real yuks.

    Very truly yours,

    Your obedient servant,

    Yadda, yadda, yadda,


  35. says

    Marconi Darwin – You say Kirk Douglas was a poseur? Kirk Douglas? That makes you a liar, and I am afraid I have lost my trust in you as well. That makes me sad.

  36. says

    If you don't want your privacy violated, then you shouldn't use the rest rooms. Besides, unless you see yourself on a revenge porn site, it didn't happen anyway.

  37. Pedant says

    “Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

    Mark Twain

  38. A. Anderson says

    Long time Popehat reader, first time commentator here.

    I too did not 'get' this as satire. In fact, this article and the supposed justifications sounded entirely plausible, given what I've already seen of the behavior of certain men in positions of power; i.e. the former mayor of San Diego. I shared this on my Facebook wall and quite a number of others also did not 'get' this as satire until clicking through and reading all the links.

  39. Luke says

    Someone should start a #AskMikeRogers game on twitter over this since most of his recent tweets are aimed at #AskSebelius

  40. Joshua says

    Remind me again. This guy comes from the party that's supposed to advocate for LESS government intrusion in our lives, right?

  41. MCB says


    What does it say about me that when I first read this I thought a house member might say precisely that? Took me a minute to put 2 and 2 together. My brain apparently doesn't work too good.

    I shall never trust again.

  42. Luke says

    Umm…WTF. From the ACA hearing:

    Continuing with the issue of privacy, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., ridiculed the program as unsafe for private information, stating that functionality concerns are indicative of a lack of privacy.

    “If it’s not functioning, you know it’s not secure,” said Rogers. “You have exposed millions of Americans because you said it was “an acceptable risk.”

    So actual NSA privacy violations: not a problem.
    Potential ACA privacy violations: huge problem.

    I wonder what this guy has said about IRS privacy violations. I mean, since they actually happened he shouldn't feel they are a problem if people didn't know about them.

  43. Deathpony says

    I dont know which is scarier…the supercilious brain dead attitude of Rogers…"back to the corner laddie, and do your homework or you dont get any dinner" in effect, or the fact that he then shuts down Schiff so Bachmann can bloviate about how evil Snowden is.

    Scary scary stuff.

  44. Votre says

    "Whom the gods destroy, they first make mad."

    Good old Euripides. Still tellin' it like it is 2500 years later.

  45. barry says

    The NSA just wants to be loved, and nobody wants terrorists in their showers, and those damned whistleblowers are violating everyones privacy now.

  46. Drb says

    Let's go ahead and assume this is true:

    "You can't have your privacy violated if you don't know your privacy is violated"
    Now since we know that our privacy has been violated and considering Rep. Rogers view on privacy(1):

    "I firmly believe it is in our national security interest to protect the personal information of all Americans."

    Does this mean that Rep. Rogers will now support limits or real oversight in regards to the NSA spying on Americans?


  47. Caleb says

    Yeah, the fact that the headline didn't immediately trip the ole' satire detector says something about the state of our elected officials.

  48. Ryan says

    I confess that I did a double-take and had to mouseover the links to realize that this was actually satire.

    Of course, the fact that one can confuse satire with possible actual speech from the political realm is a sad, sad commentary on the state of political behaviour.

  49. David C says

    It's satire, yes – but the sad part is how few words were changed. I think a total of 4 words in quotation marks were changed, and with the exception of "spycam" even those changed words don't really change the meaning.

  50. Joshua says

    You know, it's reports like this that make it so damn hard to distinguish true events from satire today. This is something I would expect us to be laughing about from the "Free Wood Post," "The Borowitz Report" maybe. Now I find it's true. OY!

  51. nlp says

    And then there's this rather bizarre appeal in the Boston Supreme Court. A man is appealing his conviction of taking pictures under women's skirts. He was arrested for this on the Boston T. He now is appealing his sentence on the grounds that women on the T have no expectation of privacy. I'm sure Representative Rogers would agree, especially if the women didn't know they'd been photographed.

  52. babaganusz says

    He now is appealing his sentence on the grounds that women on the T have no expectation of privacy.

    waiting for the too-oblivious-for-digestion 'monkey see, monkey do' justification – "hey, leaders of government programs are just ordinary humans like me, why lose sleep over anything i can spin ~just so~?"

  53. Christopher Jones says

    I read this and was angry. Then I got to the end and realized I should probably click the links and check for satire (how bad is Congress that I wasn't sure by this point?). Reading the linked articles didn't make me feel in the least bit better!

    I'd rather he was just trying to lamely defend perversion than actually believe the tripe he's spewing.

  54. Rex Carpenter says

    So, if I sneak p and shoot you in the BACK of the head, and you die instantly, not only have I not murdered you, but you are not even dead!

  55. John Herbison says

    I am reminded of the joke about the director of the NSA walking into the bar. The bartender said, "Hey, I got a new joke for you."

    The director said, "Yeah, I heard."