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Politicians and Porn: 10 Great Internet Fails

Ted Cruz has become the latest politician to have his social media account linked to porn – but he’s not the first

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 12: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, walks through the Senate subway as he leaves the Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. It was discovered that someone with access to his Twitter feed liked a porn related tweet on Monday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ted Cruz made headlines this week when a clip of the porno "Dick for Two" was favorited on his Twitter account.

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

By a miracle cast down from some X-rated version of heaven, this week’s most talked-about political story has absolutely nothing to do with Donald Trump. Instead, the Internet’s attention has been focused on the delicious news that Ted Cruz’s Twitter account liked some porn. It happened Monday night, and the Cruz camp quickly spun the situation as far away from their boss as possible. They rescinded the like and contacted Twitter. They pinned it on one of the multiple staffers who allegedly have access to the account. Cruz, they insisted, had nothing to do with it. All of these things could be true, but it’s also true that if a politician of Cruz’s stature gets caught ogling threesome stepmom porn called “Dick For Two,” there is a 100 percent chance he’s going to find some way to deny it. Though we’ll probably never know the truth, the Ted Cruz porn train has left the station for good, and for this, Twitter, we thank you.

Of course, Cruz isn’t the first political figure to find himself tangled up in online pornography. When the hair-trigger immediacy of Twitter was introduced to the sex scandal-laden world of politics, it was inevitable that a porn habit or two would find their way into the light of the Internet. We’re able to enjoy these mini-scandals so thoroughly because there is no real victim other than the politician’s image, which they have spent their entire adult lives fastidiously maintaining. Even sweeter is when the porn-watching politician has used their position to dictate how others should lead their sex lives. The embarrassment of being caught indulging in the very thing they forbid is enough to redirect the blood from their private parts to their face faster than a smartphone can snap a photo. And no matter if they actually did it or if it was, in fact, a hacker trying to put an end to their careers, we will never get tired of that bright-red look. 

Former US Congressman Anthony Weiner leaves Federal Court in New York on May 19, 2017 after pleading guilty to one count of sending obscene messages to a minor, ending an investigation into a "sexting" scandal that played a role in last year's US presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

An entire documentary was made about Anthony Weiner's mess-ups.

Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty

Anthony Weiner, Former Congressman

Including Anthony Weiner on a list of politicians who have been caught liking adult film stars on Twitter is like sending Babe Ruth up to bat in a tee-ball game. Not only did Weiner post a lewd image of himself to the social network, he communicated directly with both a future porn star, Sydney Leathers, and a former porn star, Ginger Lee. Earlier this year, Weiner pleaded guilty to obscenity charges for exchanging sexually explicit messages with a 15-year-old. (He is currently trying to stay out of jail.) For more, watch the entire documentary that was made about Weiner’s sexually explicit travails.

HUNTINGTON, NY - OCTOBER 23: Steve Bellone attends 2014 Long Island Music Hall Of Fame Gala at The Paramount Theater on October 23, 2014 in Huntington, New York. (Photo by Chance Yeh/Getty Images for Long Island Music Hall Of Fame)

Steve Bellone made headlines when his Twitter account followed Duke porn star Belle Knox.

Chance Yeh/Getty

Steve Bellone, Suffolk County, Long Island County Executive

In early 2014, a woman who had written anonymously for XO Jane about how she paid her tuition at Duke University with earnings from porn was outed. After incessant harassment, she wrote another column for XO Jane under her stage name, Belle Knox, and developed an online following. Later that year, Suffolk County, Long Island politician Steve Bellone followed Knox on Twitter. The married father of three vehemently denied having any knowledge of his account’s activity, blaming the follow on a hacker and going so far as to tell the New York Post that “law-enforcement authorities have been notified.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 21: Karl McCartney (Member of Parliament for Lincoln)makes a speech following the release of the report produced by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, which examines the economic and employment value of golf to the UK Economy, during the Royal & Ancient Parliamentary Reception at the Houses of Parliament on March 21, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Karl McCartney claimed he was hacked when an explicit photo was favorited on his account.

Andrew Redington/R&A/R&A via Getty

Karl McCartney, Former British Member of Parliament

In 2014, British politician Karl McCartney favorited a tweet featuring an image of a woman tied to a bed, naked except for thigh-high rubber boots. To explain himself, he pulled out the most common card in the Twitter slip-up rolodex: he was hacked. “Followers know I tweet or retweet & don’t use fav button,” he explained. “Thx to all who notified me.”

Mike Webb, Former Virginia Congressional Candidate

Mike Webb said the two porn tabs up on his browser were part of an "empirical inquiry."

Mike Webb, Former Congressional Candidate

Any politician caught looking at porn needs an excuse, and in 2016 Virginia congressional candidate Mike Webb delivered an all-timer after he posted a desktop screenshot that happened to include a couple of X-rated browser tabs. Why was Webb looking at sites titled “IVONE SEXY AMATEUR” and “LAYLA RIVER TIGHT BOOTY”? In a Facebook post that has since been deleted, Webb wrote a convoluted explanation detailing how he was performing an “empirical inquiry” to see if his computer would be infected with viruses created by an “evil operator” looking to ensnare “Christian candidates” for federal office. He did not make it past the primary. 

UNITED STATES - MARCH 04: From left, Brad Dayspring, Rob Collins, and Kevin McLaughlin of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, are photographed in the office's courtyard. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Eric Cantor aide Brad Dayspring faced scrutiny when he followed a Twitter account called SexyTwitPics.

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty

Brad Dayspring, Former Aide to Eric Cantor

In 2011, we learned that then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s communications director Brad Dayspring followed a Twitter account called SexyTwitPics. His reasoning was that he had a model friend who asked him to follow the account. This is a pretty benign political infraction, but considering Dayspring is a communications director whose savvy had just been touted in the New York Times, you’d think he’d keep a little tighter watch over which accounts he follows.

EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO MERCHANDISINGSimon Danczuk 'This Morning' TV Programme, London, Britain. - 15 Jul 2015 SIMON DANCZUK MP - After weeks of tabloid revelations and accusation about his marriage breakup, Simon Danczuk, 48, Labour MP for Rochdale joins us on the sofa to set the record straight about his separation from "Selfie Queen" Karen, 32, after three years of marriage. The pair have exchanged bitter tweets publicly, with allegations of infidelity and alcoholism, but what is the truth behind the headlines? (Rex Features via AP Images)

Simon Danczuk has a dubious excuse for his account liking a porn tweet, but later said that "we should not be too sanctimonious about this."

(Rex Features/AP

Simon Danczuk, Former British Member of Parliament

Danczuk came up with the clever excuse of a faulty phone charger causing his iPhone to “jump about” when it was discovered he favorited an erotic Twitter account. “Before I knew it, and unbeknown to me, I had favorited a tweet which related to this porn site image,” he explained. But Danczuk would later redeem himself when he went on a radio show and admitted to watching porn. “I think we should not be too sanctimonious about this,” he said. His wife even backed him up, tweeting that “if you’re not watching it yourself you really need to.” Bravo, Danczuk family. Bravo. 

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