Did Gawker Go Too Far On Alleged Christine O’Donnell One-Night Stand Story?

People love to read about celebrity’s genitalia. Just ask Deadspin, who, for the past month, have been riding an online traffic wave atop Brett Favre’s penis (well, that’s the grossest sentence I’ll ever write). However, some are already saying that Gawker, Deadspin’s pater familias, has gone too far in posting an anonymous account of an alleged one night stand with Christine O’Donnell.

The post reads like something you’d find in a porn magazine (basically “Dear Penthouse Forum, I never thought it would happen to me but, on Halloween, Christine O’Donnell and her hot friend asked if they could change into their costumes at my apartment. Boy howdy, was I psyched!”) although the author makes it clear he and O’Donnell didn’t actually have sex when they got back to his bedroom. He does, however, describe her as drunk, naked, a “cougar,” and waxes poetic* about her, ahem, lack of waxing.

The story was just recently posted but it’s already causing quite a bit of a stir. For instance, Wonkette complained with tongue and cheek (they joke that, since they’re no longer part of the Gawker Network, they can get away with calling the post “puerile” and “tacky” yet post quotes from it anyway), while Dave Weigel took a much harder line.

In fact, there hasn’t really been any reaction to the piece that isn’t moderately to extremely negative. Hell, even Jezebel, also under the Gawker umbrella, has come out against it. Sure, they really couldn’t react any other way considering they’re the “women’s interests” blog. To quote their post: BUT STILL.

The post, in general, is far from the nastiest thing to be either posted on Gawker or about O’Donnell. However, it’s anonymous nature and proximity to the election will certainly raise some more eyebrows. Anyone concerned about how it will affect O’Donnell, though, probably needn’t worry. Most of her supporters will either never see it or react the same way Sharron Angle fans did when Joy Behar used the B-word, seeing it as another sad attack from the liberal media. And Gawker will get a ton of traffic from the already brewing controversy. So, like a lot of these stories, I guess everyone wins?

What do you all think? Was this post, to paraphrase Weigel, a sleazy, piece of shit story, or a prime example of what makes the news and gossip behemoth so addictive?

*Where I say “poetic,” feel free to read “sophomoric and vaguely misogynistic.”

(photo via Gawker)

Kentucky Democratic Party Using Head Stomping Footage In Anti-Rand Paul Ad

As we found out earlier, serious campaign ads tend to be the most effective ones. If that’s true, then Rand Paul might be in trouble, as the Kentucky Democratic Party has unveiled a spot that doesn’t pull any punches — or stomps. That’s right, the new spot employs footage of Tim Profitt stomping on Lauren Valle (borrowed from Fox News, it should be noted), which it likens to Paul’s policy stances. And in case anybody missed the metaphor, it ends by warning viewers, “Rand Paul: Stomping on you. Stomping on Kentucky.”

“It’s a scary ad,” acknowledged KDP spokesman Matt Erwin. “But it’s the truth.”

As The Hill noted, Paul accused Democratic opponent Jack Conway of trying to distract voters from the issues. In fact, the ad (paid for by KDP but not Conway) tries to do the opposite, citing student loans, mine safety laws, and the Civil Rights Act as a few of the issues it claims Paul will ’stomp’ if elected into office (though it offers no indication of how Paul would do this).

Watch the latest reminder of how crazy this campaign season has been:

Christine O’Donnell Summons Spokesperson During Heated Radio Debate

With only a few more days left in the midterm election season, its time to take time out and appreciate all the good fortune media news bloggers have had with young Christine O’Donnell. The GOP Senate candidate for Delaware has been a font of great and well traffic posts, and presuming the current polls hold up, we likely will be seeing less interesting moments form Ms. O’Donnell…like the following video clip of her getting frustrated during a spirited radio interview, snapping her fingers and beckoning her spokseperson to somehow intervene. We can only hope that Ms. O’Donnell will continue to be visible in the public realm.

Writing for the NY Daily News, Sean Alfano reports:

A video from the Senate wannabe’s live interview with a Delaware radio station shows her snapping her fingers to beckon an aide during a testy exchange with the host.

Outraged, O’Donnell’s campaign manager, Matt Moran, threatened to sue and “crush” the station if they didn’t turn over the video, WDEL-AM told The Associated Press.

Around the midway point of the 19 minute clip, host Rick Jensen presses O’Donnell on how she would reduce New Castle County’s budget deficit, where her opponent, Democrat Chris Coons, is county executive.

Sarah Palin Calls Glenn Beck In Response To Media Matters: ‘They Must Be Desperate’

The other day Media Matters founder David Brock called on Sarah Palin to publicly stand up against Glenn Beck’s “erratic” so-called violence-inciting behavior. Said Brock:

“So, Sarah Palin, right now, in our view, needs to step up. She needs to step up because she`s a leader of the Republican Party, of the conservative movement.”

Uh huh. If I didn’t know better I’d think Brock was merely gunning for some good SEO here because otherwise this is pretty dumb. Anyway, today Glenn Beck called Sarah Palin (“You’re like Obi-Wan Kenobi! You’re our only hope!”) at her home in Alaska to find out whether she was going to renounce him publicly at the behest of Media Matters. Answer: No.

OK Glenn, from my kitchen table in Wasilla here’s the deal. You are up against one of the richest…and most powerful men in the world…the extreme left wing king, with many, many minions! So when I speak of your love of our Founding Fathers, and how you’re helping to educate Americans about respecting our nation’s history so we don’t lose what makes America exceptional. And the far left wing mouth pieces their twisting and spinning and perverting that message. I go back to what Abraham Lincoln said about standing anybody with who stand with anybody that stands right…I stand with you, Glenn.

Cue lots of laughter. Palin goes on to say that Brock’s decision to call on Palin shows “how pathetic their argument is that they would be that desperate to reach out to me to say you need to stop Glenn Beck.” Such self-awareness! Also, I suspect Palin has to worry more about Beck standing up against her at some point in the next year, than vice verse. In the meantime it’s happy hour on the radio and Media Matters can wring ten more posts out of today’s spot. Interestingly, while we’re on the subject of Sarah Palin standing up, at the end of the segment talk turned to third parties and Palin appeared to subtly call out Karl Rove for being “entitled.” Watch below.

[h/t The Right Scoop]

Mediaite Office Hours, With Candy Crowley, Darren Rovell And More

Mediaite Office Hours is back today with a great show from Livestream.com at 3:15pmET – with CNN’s Candy Crowley, CNBC’s Darren Rovell and more!

Watch live streaming video from mediaite at livestream.com

With Crowley, we’ll talk about the various midterm races that are winding down, as well as CNN’s coverage (and “Matrix”) on Election Night. Rovell will talk about the new LeBron ad, World Series and more. Follow Crowley on Twitter here, and Rovell here.

Glynnis MacNicol, Steve Krakauer and Rachel Sklar host the live-streamed call-in show.

Watch us live here on this page at 3:15pmET, or check it out at www.livestream.com/mediaite.

See you at 3:15pmET!

Frank Luntz Explains How To Build A Better Campaign Ad In Six Easy Steps

Attack of the 50 Ft. PelosiThis morning, we learned that the vast majority of claims made in political ads this midterm season have been blatantly false. But that doesn’t mean all of those ads have been ineffective. Political consultant, Fox News analyst, and focus group holder extraordinaire Frank Luntz has been conducting polls in 20 states for the past eight months in an attempt to figure out what makes a campaign spot work—and what sorts of ads voters hate. He’s publishing his results—which are intriguing, if not entirely surprising—in this week’s edition of Time Magazine.

The number-one rule any candidate should follow? Make sure to talk about how much you hate politics. “Because Americans loathe most politicians, they love a candidate who hates the game,” Luntz explains. Candidates should also try to appear anti-Washington, anti-establishment, and anti-spin. Talking straight to the camera is much more effective than any other strategy, since “when we can see candidates up close, warts and all, we tend to trust them more.”

Luntz’s most interesting finding, though, is that serious ads work much better than ads that employ glib humor:

This election is about a country and an economy in peril, yet some campaigns still trivialize the issues. Yes, mocking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi makes Republican voters laugh, but independents in my focus groups were angered. Turning Pelosi into a puppet or a 50-ft.-tall Godzilla monster does not work; talking specifics — bailouts, stimulus, health care and voting records — does. None of these ads help lawmakers solve our various ills. It’s no wonder some people think more highly of used-car salesmen than of their representatives in Washington. But the inexorable cycle goes on, and soon enough another 10,000 ads will be heading our way. Next time, reach for the remote.

What’s good for reaching viral video status, then, isn’t good for the candidate him- or herself. Read Luntz’s article in full at Time.com.

White House Has No Timetable on Waiting for Republican Cooperation

At Tuesday’s White House briefing, I asked Robert Gibbs to square Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s remarks to National Journal’s Major Garrett that “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president” with the President’s hope that Republicans will work with him after the midterms.

Gibbs’ answer, while reasonable, didn’t address a central issue: will the President switch from carrot to stick at some point, and when? I took another run at this at Wednesday’s off-camera press gaggle.


MR. GIBBS:  Tommy, do you have one follow-up from yesterday?  And then I’ll –

Tommy Christopher: Yes, I hate to follow that, but I wanted to ask you about Leader McConnell’s comments.  I understand the necessity or the desire to allow the Republicans a window of time in which to realize that they have to roll up their sleeves and work together.  I think what I wanted to ask you yesterday is how long a window is that going to be?  And what’s the plan, what’s the strategy, if that window expires and they’re still not working –

MR. GIBBS:  Well, look, Tommy, I don’t know how long that window is.  I don’t know –

Tommy Christopher:  Shorter than it was the last two years?

MR. GIBBS:  Look, I will reiterate what I said yesterday and what I’ve said even before Senator McConnell made what I thought was his unfortunate comment, and that is, regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s election, the American people are going to want Congress and the White House and the two political parties to be able to sit down in the same room, talk coherently about the issues that face the American people, and work constructively to solve them.

Look, if anybody takes a different message from this election, I think they will find themselves on the wrong end of voters two years from now, as well as when they take actions that are different than working together on these issues.  I know it’s the President’s hope — you heard him enunciate in that interview — that we can work together to solve our problems; that we can work together to put our economy on an even stronger footing; and that we can work together to improve our educational system and to improve our foreign policy.  All of those things the President wanted to do in running for President and hopes to do even — hoped to do here and certainly hopes to do after the election.

Gibbs is right about the message of this election, but only partially. There’s also a message in that enthusiasm gap that everyone’s talking about. All those voters who are staying home aren’t doing so because they’ve loved waiting two years for Republicans to work with the President.