The EFM Feature

News flash! Following his shaky response to allegations that he lobbied for an abortion rights group, Fred Thompson was rocked today by allegations that he also lobbied for pornographers and organizations with long-suspected ties to organized crime. An old story in a previously obscure publication revealed that Thompson’s former clients include soft-core porn provider CableAmerica (home of “Skinemax”) and the pension fund of the notorious La Cosa Nostra-influenced International Brotherhood of Teamsters, also known as the “Bank for the Mob”.
Senator Thompson has thus far failed to comment either on the amount of money he earned from the cable porn industry or on Jimmy Hoffa’s whereabouts.

Every word above is patently, obviously, and plainly absurd. Yes, Fred Thompson lobbied for cable providers and for the Teamsters, but does that mean that he should be shamed as a lobbyist for the porn industry or the mob? Of course not. Yet that is exactly the level of reasoning on display in the latest bizarre conservative attack that Governor Romney is to blame for on-demand porn in Marriott hotel rooms.
I suppose I should stop being surprised by what is either (1) outright deceptive spin; or (2) a stunning lack of sophistication or knowledge by some quarters (often self-described “grassroots activists”) of the social conservative movement. The idea that a board member of a multi-billion dollar company has any input into the vendor contracts of its franchisees is almost hilarious. Quite simply, that is not what board members do (and are often actually barred from such micromanagement by corporate governing documents). They have about as much influence over individual vendor contracts as lobbyists do over the cable lineup or the historic mob ties of their clients (which is virtually none).
Is it too much to ask for the folks on our side of the aisle to either grow up or go to school? There is certainly a legitimate and serious debate over whether Mitt Romney or Fred Thompson will be the best standard bearer for social conservatives, but the grade school absurdity of the Marriott “gotcha” has no place in that conversation.


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