Sex Humor: Social Media And Politics

by Fiona Wilde. 

New York got to see another pop-up from disgraced politician Anthony Weiner last week. Only this time instead of a cock shot it was his middle finger, displayed to the media in a moment of high defiance at the bitter but long-overdue end of his political career.

In an age where social networking has been a boon for politicians, it can come back to bite them in their aspirational haunches.  Tweet a shot of your junk under the name “Carlos Danger” and kiss your mayoral bid goodbye. And with everyone watching, even something as innocent as “liking” a Facebook page can get a politician in hot water. Just ask Jersey City assemblyman Charles Mainor, who realized after the fact that his constituents took note of his following a page called “Big Booty Freaks.”

Read on…

Is it that our public figures more deviant than they used to be? Oh, hell no! It’s just that this age of Too Much Information has turned us into a society of exhibitionists or voyeurs and – sometimes – both.

If this technology had been available hundreds of years ago, things may have been just as bad.  I’m pretty sure that King Henry the Eighth would have been tweeting shots of his royal junk to Lady Jane Seymour during the execution of Anne Boleyn, even as she was “liking” the Facebook pages “House of Tudor” and “Women Who Really Want to be Queens”.

But it’s not like our founding fathers here couldn’t have gotten in trouble with social media. They weren’t exactly saints. Can you imagine if they’d had Twitter accounts?

Thomas Jefferson Tweet












Of course, for certain politicians known for peccadillos, social media may have made hiding affairs difficult, especially when the temptation to brag just became too much:

JFK Tweet








Yes, there would have been loads of material if social media had existed back when we had to count on persistent reporters to dig up the kind of dirt today’s politicians carelessly dish on themselves. And for someone like me, who cares more about what my politicians are doing (their job) and less about who they’re doing, the old ways at least meant that we got to know something about how they handled their official duties before we found out about their sexual performance. And by the time that happened, if the budget was balanced and unemployment low, most of us didn’t even care.

Today things are different. They’re too partisan and if politicians aren’t tripping themselves up, they’re leaving bread crumbs of information that are too easy to follow. And some may argue that the self-destructive behaviors of politicians should be exposed before they take office. And maybe in Weiner’s case they are right. I still don’t think someone who can’t come up with a better screen name than “Carlos Danger” would have made a visionary mayor. But I may have had the same misgivings about Ben Franklin, whose penchant for older women would have no doubt had him liking the “MILF” pages on Facebook. So who’s to say?

Then, as now, maybe there are some things we’re better off just not knowing..

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