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May 17, 2016

Congressional Candidate Accidentally Posts Porn Screen Grab

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Mike Webb has been working hard the past few months to become the congressman in Virginia's 8th District, but after he lost the Republican primary, he decided to run as an independent. And in the course of his campaign, Webb posted to his Facebook page a short piece, responding to an email from the Curzon Staffing Agency in Arlington, talking about how hard it is to find a job in southeastern Virginia. There's only one problem: To illustrate the post, Webb used a screen grab from his own computer of a map of the area surrounding Curzon's address, but those sharp-eyed folks over at the conservative "news" site The Daily Caller noticed that some of the tabs above the map's URL were of porn—and suddenly, Webb himself was on the map, and not in a good way. "[A]s it happened, Webb hadn’t bothered to close his pornography tabs when he took his screengrab," The Daily Caller's Blake Neff noted. "'IVONE SEXY AMATEUR' may have a completely innocent meaning, but a quick Google search indicates the video is featured on RedTube and other very X-rated websites. Similarly, Layla Rivera [of the tab LAYLA RIVERA TIGHT BO...] is a porn star. Something about her is apparently tight, and it probably isn’t her relationship with her father." (According to Gawker, the full title of the link is LAYLA RIVERA TIGHT BOOTY.) Webb's screen grab stayed on his Facebook page for at least six hours, even after he'd been apprised of the gaffe, and when it was finally taken down, it was replaced by a message that seemed to imply that the porn tabs were the result of a computer virus. "Curious by nature, I wanted to test the suggestion that somehow, lurking out in the pornographic world there is some evil operator waiting for the one in a gazillion chance that a candidate for federal office would go to that particular website and thereby be infected with a virus that would cause his or her FEC data file to crash the FECfile application each time that it was loaded on the day of the filing deadline, as well as impact other critical campaign systems," Webb wrote. "Well, the Geek Squad techs testified to me, after servicing thousands of computers at the Baileys Crossroads location that they had never seen any computer using their signature virus protection for the time period to acquire over 4800 viruses, 300 of which would require re-installation of the operating system. We are currently awaiting their attempt at recovery of files on that machine accidentally deleted when they failed to backup files before re-installation. ...  But, now let me tell you the results of my empirical inquiry that introduced me to Layla and Ivone. Around Powerball lottery time, January 9, 2016, I calculated the odds that my friend Rev. Howard John Wesley and I working independently arrived at the same prayer plan, and I was able to determine that there was about a one in a billion chance that that could have occurred in the way that it did... Well, as much as folks like Duffy Taylor want to hope that the Devil is waiting for Christian candidates on a particular pornographic website to infect his or her FEC data file is even more improbable than my Paul and Silas story, and I know that Duffy Taylor is not a man of faith belief; so, I don’t know how he empirically arrives at his conclusion. I couldn’t see the probability or possibility without a RAND computer." So rather than "The Devil made me do it," Webb's excuse is that "The Devil made my computer do it." In response to a request for comment from Gawker's Ashley Feinberg, Webb tried to soft-pedal his porn viewing by stating that, "From a faith based perspective and as a preacher’s kid, I probably would not be comfortable with ‘adult’ topics, but politically, within certain parameters, as a conservative with many libertarian ideas, it can and should be discussed," going on to say that during his campaign, he'd "touched on" dating sites, Nigerian email scams and forcible sexual abuse, concluding with, "So, from that perspective, I do not really see a problem with the viewing of some tabs on a screenshot, even if it does show the scrutiny to which some candidates for office are subjected." Not everyone bought Webb's "explanation." "So here is the big trick for the candidates out there: just be honest," wrote TheVerge's Chris Plante. "Own up to an act of sexual expression performed by millions of people across the world. Or apologize, if you prefer that. Americans love a penitent sinner and a changed politician. We're suckers for character growth. ... Whatever you do, just don't triple down on the lie, looping in gospel quotes while refusing to atone. The only thing worse than a lie is using God as your wingman. It's like a 13-year-old explaining their internet history by saying they were looking for sinner who need to be saved." But one thing's for sure: The next time Webb appears on a ballot, a lot of people may vote for him just because his name is, for some reason, familiar to them, even if they don't remember exactly why. UPDATE: AVN wasn't the only adult industry company to notice Webb's "transgression." E-tail site GameLink.com has announced that it's willing to pledge $15,000 to Webb's congressional campaign "if he publicly denounces the digital piracy of pornographic movies." "We value the same principles of accountability and honesty which Mike Webb is running his platform on, and we would love to contribute to a campaign which actually backs these ideals up," said Jeff Dillon, vice president of business development for eLine management company, whose clients include GameLink.com. Dillon was apparently referring to the fact that at least one of the porn tabs visible on Webb's Facebook-posted image is linked to RedTube, a site that, according to Dillon, like XHamster and PornHub, "often feature pirated movies from adult entertainment studios, costing the adult industry millions of dollars each year." "We are glad to hear Mike Webb watches pornography, like most average Americans, but we hope he does it ethically and ceases to watch pirated content," Dillon advised. "With the increased media attention on Mike Webb, now is a great opportunity for him to use his platform to denounce porn piracy without distancing himself from the fact he enjoys adult movies." Indeed, Dillon offered Webb a free account on GameLink, claiming that, "It’s the only URL Mike Webb will ever need to visit when in need of some relaxation."

 
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