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May. 4 2010 - 3:05 pm | 15,650 views | 1 recommendation | 19 comments

Heroic porn-viewing Florida senator threatens reporter who caught him

Update: Porn-viewing senator gets ‘paneled‘ by Sean Hannity on Fox News

My blog, and thus True/Slant, is having a good day on account of my little observation yesterday that Florida Republican State Senator Mike Bennett is a modern-day Office Space-style hero for coping with a boring, useless abortion debate by viewing some pornography.

But apparently Mike Bennett was not having a good day. And so late yesterday, he called up Lane Wright, the reporter who filed the original blog item on Sunshine State News, and threatened to cause him to lose his job, or at least his access to the floor of the Florida Capitol:

“What kind of man are you?” he asked, then ascribed other attributes to my character such as “pathetic” and “voyeuristic”.

“What kind of man sneaks over people’s shoulders like that?” Bennett questioned.

[...]

“I will do everything in my power, everything — I don’t know what that is exactly — but I will do everything I can to make sure your days at the Capitol and reporting are over,” Bennett said.

via Sen. Bennett Threatens Sunshine State News Reporter | Sunshine State News.

Wright points out that he was not standing in any place other than where reporters are allowed access. And inspecting Wright’s video, it is notable that he is not only viewing sexy ladies, but also has an open window with a video of some dog playing on the beach.

Which is to say that Senator Bennett was really bored listening to a pointless debate about an unnecessary and probably unconstitutional Florida abortion bill when Florida’s economy is underwater and the state needs to figure out how to dig itself out of the hole it’s in, and figured his attentions were better direction toward other matters, like dogs on the beach and good-looking girls.

So Senator Bennett, you’re still my hero, even if you’re being a dick to Lane Wright.


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  1. collapse expand

    “I will do everything in my power, everything — I don’t know what that is exactly — but I will do everything I can to make sure your days at the Capitol and reporting are over.”

    If you’re going to threaten someone, don’t hesitate mid-threat to ponder your ability to carry it out.

  2. collapse expand

    This guy is obviously an asshole, but come on, what business is it of anyone what he is viewing? I believe that even a Republican has a right to a little privacy. This kind of partisan sniping does not further the debate on abortion or anything else I can think of.

    • collapse expand

      I’m not sure that one has an expectation of privacy while sitting on the floor of a public governing body – it’s not like he was sitting in his office by himself and someone used a high-powered scope to peek through this open blinds. If he wants his screen to be private, he can invest in a coating for his monitor that makes it all but unviewable from behind.

      Anyways, I doubt the Florida bill did anything to further the debate on abortion either. If conservative lawmakers want to outlaw abortion, they should pass laws that do so rather than creating legal obstructions to women who have a constitutionally protected right to elect to have a medical procedure performed. In 2006 they tried to pass such laws in more than a dozen states, and they failed in every single one of them, and now they’re back to trying to weigh down the women who can legally have abortions with unnecessary interventions in their elective medical treatment.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Yes, yes I understand your point abour the bill, and I sgree that it is another redneck assault on a woman’s right to choose.
        I also know that he could have taken steps to obscure his screen.
        My question was, and is: What business is it of anyone what he is viewing?

        In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          I think as much business as I would have listening in to a stranger’s noisy ‘private’ cell phone conversation in a coffee shop. You lack an expectation of privacy in a public place.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          The answer to that is…everybody who lives in Florida. He is a Senator, elected by the people to help their state. When you are in that position you have the responsibility to serve the public to the best of your ability. Since the public elected him and his actions can have a direct impact on the lives of Florida residents they have every right to know what he is doing when he is on the capital floor hearing a debate about abortion rights. It’s a matter of accountability. This is the same type of check that a lot of corporations use when they monitor the websites of employees. The employee (Senator or otherwise) owes a duty of care to the employer (citizens or otherwise). So to answer your question, it is the public’s business to know what he is viewing because it is the public that employs him by electing him to office and paying for his salaries. If he can not do his job without paying more attention to porno videos on his computer than to a debate about abortion rights than everyone should know about it so he can be removed from office at the next election.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      Ok point conceded.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  3. collapse expand

    Those sneaky reporters- good job! If he is that horny to look at porn in a Senate we know he is addicted to that S@#*!

  4. collapse expand

    From an investigative reporter’s viewpoint, the senator’s verbal threat addressed to a journalist is disconnected from the abortion debate in Florida or partisan politics. Rather, it is about blaming the messenger while failing to understand the First Amendment.

  5. collapse expand

    Heh! What a dope! First Bennett is busted viewing porn when he’s supposed to be working, then he THREATENS (although pretty weakly) the reporter who IS doing his job! You can’t make this stuff up! BTW Senator Bennett, I’d say YOUR career is the one that is in jeopardy!

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    I'm waiting for the day when I can get the news directly into my brain. Until then, I'll be lit up by the electric glow of screens, chasing the latest breaking like the hopeless news junkie I am. Ever since the Encyclopaedia Britannica tried to launch a web portal ten years ago, I've seen many ends of the online news spectrum, from my time as a political news reporter for both RawStory.com and the Huffington Post to the better part of a year I spent running the late New York Sun's website. There have been a lot of other stops in between. Now I am your homepage editorial overlord. But I haven't let it go to my head. Yet.

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