But people do enjoy playing with shiny things.
But in the shadows, a parallel, and much less polite, campaign has been unfolding, this one having to do with lingering questions about presumptive front-runner U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s history with prostitutes.If you're among the "shadows" Bridges is describing here, stop it. At best you're digging for fool's gold. At worst you're this asshole.
There, a small army of journalists, bloggers, private eyes and opposition research specialists has been chasing rumors and tales about the senator’s murky actions. Of course, Vitter’s major opponents — Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle and state Rep. John Bel Edwards — have more than a passing interest in the subject.
A Baton Rouge television reporter was fired Tuesday several hours after a confrontation with U.S. Sen. David Vitter, and he claimed later that he lost his job because Vitter’s gubernatorial campaign threatened to pull its ads from the station.Well that's certainly huge... well not huge but a thing.. maybe... if true. Is it true, though? Did Vitter's campaign really even bother with this? That would seem counter to their, highly successful for a decade, practice of ignoring and stonewalling. But maybe this particular reporter was just important enough to draw special attention.
Tuesday’s confrontation took place in the parking lot of the Secretary of State’s office after Vitter signed the papers to qualify for the governor’s race. Myers, 23, attempted to question Vitter as the senator was walking to a waiting car with his wife, Wendy. Vitter ignored Myers’ questions.Oh so he's a 23 year old kid whom Vitter didn't even acknowledge. Well, alright. Maybe he's got some other big time credential that makes him worth the extra effort.
Myers arrived in Baton Rouge three weeks ago after working for the ABC news affiliate in Ocala, Florida. Originally from Ohio, Myers said he takes pride in his aggressive style. His Twitter account says he is nicknamed “bulldog” in the newsroom.Jesus. We are dealing on the James O'Keefe credibility level here. Why take anything this guy says or does seriously? Here is a Facebook video I may have failed to embed where he describes to us the standard by which he judges the quality of his own work.
“I’m a hard-hitting journalist who likes sharing people’s stories,” Myers said in the interview.
This is a video Derek Myers - the 23-year-old reporter who says he was fired for asking David Vitter questions - posted to Twitter in July. Suddenly, I'm on Vitter's side.
Posted by Jeremy White on Friday, September 11, 2015
It's bad enough when a stupid self promoting pseudo-journalist like Myers behaves this way. But the reason Tyler Bridges is writing about the prostitution scandal on the front page of today's Advocate is because a concerted effort of political strategists, PACs, and commenters is conspiring to make it into a major campaign issue. This is a bad idea. At least if you're trying to beat David Vitter it is.
One assumes Vitter's opponents would like to beat him, although it's possible they just like having him around for comedic purposes. And, hey, it is fun. Vitter asks to be taken seriously as a pious defender of "family values" and yet his personal proclivities reveal him to be something of a fraud. Major LOLZ there. You don't even have to be particularly creative to score points off of that.
But maybe ten plus years is enough of that. Is it even funny anymore? More importantly, shouldn't we know by now that this isn't the way to win an election against David Vitter? Hey remember that time everybody pretended they were going to run a porn star against him? Wasn't that hilarious? How did that work out?
Beyond mere efficacy, though, the real problem with drawing the focus of the campaign to Vitter's personal foibles is it is essentially a conservative tactic. It inhibits our ability to talk about what the next governor should actually do. Party operatives and "thought leaders" prefer we not take this opportunity to talk about real life. The elites in these positions prefer not talk about the problems Louisiana faces and the wealthy and powerful people we would have to upset in order to fix those problems. It's so much easier for them to just parade salacious rumors in front of an electorate they clearly have no respect for whatsoever.
But disrespect begets disrespect. First, an out of touch, too clever by half club of political pros insults the voters. The voters respond by electing the intended target (Vitter in this case) anyway out of spite. The club concludes, once again, that the real problem is the voters are stupid. And so the cycle repeats next time.
You'd think the pros who've seen this movie a few times would catch on, eventually. On the other hand, they're always going to be fine either way. And this is pretty easy hack work. Why ruin a good thing?