Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Dirty Pictures Gambit

In a blatant* attempt to get hits, why not a thoughtful, serious post on the House candidate who had some mildly naughty pictures leaked to the press this week?  There's so much fun here, after all.

First, this (Democratic, running in a lean-GOP district) candidate is apparently actually named Krystal Ball.  So that's already a good story!  Second, this post by Dan Amira relaying Ball's reaction, which is basically to proudly own up to the pictures and pose as the symbol of her oversharing generation (she's 28), demonstrates the terrific potential of Christine O'Donnell's contribution to American political discourse as a punch line:
The truth is, anyone who went to college has been there. Ball is not a sexual deviant. She's nothing you've heard. She's you
Third, this gives me an excuse to repeat my inspired (if I do say so myself) comment on the Delaware Senate candidate that I tweeted late the other night: "I don't know why I didn't think of this before, but O'Donnell is *so* one of those losers in the Wicca group where Willow met Tara. No?"**

Fourth...this is the "serious" part of the post...I know nothing at all about what happened here, but if I were a candidate with a small but non-zero chance to win, and if I had some mildly naughty pictures that had once been online -- which, as Bell and Amira point out, will apply to virtually every candidate born in about 1980 or later -- well, I'd have to seriously consider leaking those photos in the hopes that they go viral, as the kids say, and I wind up raising tons of money, attracting lots of attention, and shaking up the race.   Of course, that's only going to be true if the pictures are "good" enough to get people to link but not so "good" that they would actually hurt the candidate's reputation (which seems, in my judgment, to be the case here).  So while I don't want to accuse anyone of anything, I would say that it seems to me that we're apt to see numerous cases of this over the next several election cycles, with more than one of them self-revealed.

*Totally fail, though, since I'm not using any of the available good words.

**You did stick with Season 4 long enough to watch "Hush", didn't you?


  1. Yeah, drove a lot of web traffic. I know I got here from searching "mildly naughty willow tara"...not...

  2. Sorry, didn't work. I read you anyway.

    Oh, well . . .


  3. Always love the Buffy references. To their credit, the Wicca group was still there in season 7. And they hadn't tried to destroy the world. Poor Wiccas? Yes. Homicidal maniacs? No.

  4. Nowadays every girl with a spice rack, a henna tattoo, and a WWJD sweatshirt thinks she's a sister to the dark ones.

  5. My students were contemplating this before Krystal Ball's photos surfaced. They had come to the conclusion that they were never going to be able to run for office because every teenage/young adult indiscretion is digitally documented - a lot of it photographically - but reconsidered when someone brought up that Clinton had to say he "didn't inhale" when asked about marijuana use but Obama wrote in his book that he "did a little blow."

    Evolving standards of (in)decency???


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